As a warm welcome for Indian startups to the European Union (EU),Estonia has introduced its E-Residency programme for Indian startups to work in the country without any hassle.
The E-Residency programme offers startups access to a government-issued digital ID, thus enabling them to open a global EU company online while working from India. With the e-residency, the startups are considered as “trusted location-independent EU companies”, and can access Estonia’s advanced and secured digital infrastructure along with all the tools required to grow globally.
What Is E-Residency For Indian Startups?
Estonia believes that startups can now grow their businesses with access to the entire EU market and therefore, it terms e-Residency as a ‘Make in India and Sell in Europe’ idea.
Commenting on the Estonia and India relations, Kaspar Korjus, Managing Director of Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency programme, said, “The size of our countries might be very different, but Estonia and India actually have many things in common. Like Estonia, India has always been a very entrepreneurial country. India has the world’s largest freelance workforce with the highest percentage working in software development and technology, while Estonia is a global leader in ICT technologies, especially in e-government.”
“E-Residency can help leverage these common points by offering Indian entrepreneurs access to the European market of 500 million people,” Kaspar added.
Estonia aims to reach out to Indian startups through a series of roadshows and industry tie-ups in the next 12 months. The programme aims to enroll over 200 startups during 2018.
At present, more than 1,200 Indian citizens are e-residents and the country expects this to grow exponentially in the coming years.
The E-Residency programme was launched in Estonia in December 2014, and it now records more than 30K e-residents from 140 countries.
Other EU Countries Exploring Indian Startup Ecosystem
Estonia is not the first EU country eyeing the booming Indian startup ecosystem.
In November 2017, GOInternational Finland, a Nordic International Accelerator hosted Smart City Bizhack India at its headquarters in Helsinki. It was the first Indian-themed event to be hosted alongside Slush, an international technology conference organised annually for startups and tech talent to meet top-tier international investors, executives and media at Helsinki, Finland.
At the same time, Karnataka government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French Nodal Agency, Business France India to develop and intensify mutually beneficial cooperation for promoting startups and the ecosystems in both countries. As part of the partnership, Indian companies will also be offered support to scale their operations through learning programmes in France.
Earlier in October 2017, the Indo-Finnish Market Entry Acceleration Programme was launched as a flagship initiative by GOInternational Finland which is actively driving cross-border collaboration between India, Finland, and the Nordics.The accelerator aims to facilitate smart city and village innovation in India and bridge the gap between the Indian and Finnish startup and innovation ecosystems.
Amid such associations, the introduction of e-residency facility for Indian startups by Estonia is a welcome step in cooperation between the two countries.