TN must encourage people to work in start-ups: Gopalakrishnan

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on August 01, 2019

S Gopalakrishnan, Past President, CII, and Chairman, CII Start-up Council, with Rajendra Kumar, Tamil Nadu Industries Commissioner, at a CII Startup Conclave in Chennai on Thursday   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Tamil Nadu needs to take more initiatives to encourage people to work in start-ups. Talent in Bengaluru (only rivalled by NCR) is willing to work in a start-up whereas in Tamil Nadu people want to work in established companies like Infosys, Cognizant, TCS or Wipro. The State government and the industry need to encourage talent to work in start-ups, said S Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, CII Start-up Council and Co-Founder, Infosys.

Unlike any other city, the number one reason why start-up entrepreneurs move to Bengaluru is access to talent, he said in his special address at Startupreneurs, a CII Startup Conclave. A dynamic start-up ecosystems exists in Tamil Nadu in places such as Salem, Coimbatore, Erode and Madurai. The State should do even better than what it does now, he said.

India creates 3,000-4,000 start-ups annually and employing 2.50 lakh people. Many of the jobs are being created in supply chain and delivery. There are nearly 50,000 active start-ups; 30 Unicorns; estimated investment of $130 billion and total employment of about 6 lakh. Start-up brings about innovation to market to society and generates economic activity is quite important, he said.

Gopalakrishnan, who is also Chairman, Axilor Ventures, said that it is important for start-ups to be profitable from day one and the best start-up is the one that does not seek external funding. There is a risk involved being an entrepreneur or working with start-up. Entrepreneurs must understand this as venture capital investors expect good returns. “Unless your product can give superior returns do not go for external funding,” he warned the entrepreneurs.

Rajendra Kumar, Tamil Nadu Industries Commissioner, admitted that the State is lagging behind in terms of start-up ecosystem and now catching up. The State, which was ranked seventh in terms of start-up ecosystem, needs to develop incubators and ensure availability of funding and also focus on outcomes.

“There is need to create innovative companies to address the job challenges. Tamil Nadu has rolled out a start-up policy and would soon launch a Tamil Nadu start-up mission to handhold start-ups,” he said.

Published on August 01, 2019

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