Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the kickstart of the consultation for Delhi’s new policy for startups in a meeting with industry leaders on Saturday (August 8).
The industry leaders who participated in the meeting included Ajai Chowdhry (cofounder, HCL), Rajan Anandan (MD Sequoia Capital), Padmaja Ruparel (cofounder, Indian Angel Network), Sriharsha Majety (cofounder and CEO, Swiggy), Farid Ahsan (cofounder, ShareChat), Suchita Salwan (founder and CEO, Little Black Book), Tarun Bhalla (founder, Avishkaar), Riyaaz Amlani (CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants).
Those who participated in the consultations are likely to provide inputs in drafting the new startup policy.
The Delhi government said in a press release that the draft will soon be released online to seek inputs from the general public on the startup policy. “This will give the startup policy a fresh perspective and in the true spirit of the Delhi Model, cement Delhi government’s commitment to delivering results through teamwork and unity,” a spokesperson of the Delhi government said.
During the meeting, Kejriwal referred to a September 2019 TiE report to highlight that with over 7000 startups from the region, Delhi has the highest number of active startups in the country and now the valuation of the city’s start-ups is about $50 Bn. The report states that Delhi-NCR is set to become one of the top five global start-up hubs with 12,000 startups, 30 unicorns, and a cumulative valuation of about $150 billion by 2025.
Kejriwal said, “Right since my IIT days, I have seen some of the most brilliant minds from India go abroad looking for better opportunities. I believe Indians are the smartest entrepreneurs in the world and all they need is the right opportunity and the right conditions to help them thrive. With this start-up policy, we aim to make Delhi as one of the top 5 global destinations for startups.”
Delhi The New Startup Hub
Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) has witnessed the highest number of startups being founded in the first six months of this year, on the back of its digital ecosystem, government support and infrastructure, including startup accelerators, incubators and enablers.
Between January and June, 109 startups were founded in Delhi-NCR, followed by 63 in Bengaluru and 44 in Mumbai, according to data by venture capital industry tracker Tracxn. Sectors such as edtech, fintech and enterprise applications saw more traction with several start-ups also repurposing their solutions to offer Covid-related solutions.
Industry Welcomes Move
Welcoming the state government’s move, Anandan said, “NCR is already the largest startup region in India and within NCR, Delhi has the most number of startups. We were honored to be invited by the Chief Minister of Delhi to provide suggestions on how to make Delhi one of the world’s top 5 startup destinations. The discussion was very good with many ideas on what it will take Delhi’s startup ecosystem to the next level.”
Meanwhile, Amlani added, “I am glad that the CM has convened this panel. To battle the financial effects of Covid timely measures provided by the Delhi Govt would mean that we can defeat the financial effects of Covid and come out even stronger.”
However, this isn’t the first time Kejriwal has attempted to device a strategy for startups. Earlier, in 2018, the Delhi government had presented the first draft of its startup policy to NASSCOM, FICCI, and CII.
The Delhi government had earlier decided to establish an Incubation Centre at the Delhi Emporium Building with a goal to provide infrastructural support as well as a conducive environment for the startup ecosystem to grow.
As per the Inc42 DataLabs funding report 2017, since 2014, about $11 Bn has been invested across 924 deals in Delhi/NCR region. But the number of deals fell drastically in 2017. The year 2015 had witnessed 305 deals, which grew to 316 in 2016. However, in 2017, the deals fell by 30% in comparison to 2016.