The northern European country of Estonia considers Gujarat as one of its key focus markets for its e-Residency Programme this year. According to an ET report, Riho Kruuv, ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to India, is looking to enrol over 100 startups and freelancers from the state in the programme this year.
Earlier, in March 2018, Inc42 reported that in the e-Residency programme, startups are considered “trusted location-independent EU companies” and, hence, they can access Estonia’s advanced and secured digital infrastructure along with all the tools required to grow globally.
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.
Estonia is the first country in the world to introduce an e-Residency Programme “that offers startups access to a government-issued digital ID, thus enabling the opening of a global EU company fully online while working from India.” It was launched in December 2014 and as of date has over 30,000 e-residents from 140 countries.
Overall, the EU markets offer a huge scope of growth for startups operating in fields such as healthcare, IT/ITeS, tourism, business/technology consulting, and e-commerce, among others.
“We see huge potential in Gujarat and the state is one our key focus markets for this year. We are keen to work closely together with the entrepreneurs from the state and help create a sustainable startup ecosystem in the state,” added Riho.
The startup programme aims to select budding startups from the state that want to ride the next digital wave. The e-Residency Programme will offer such startups solutions to make their take-off seamless, and enable them to nurture in a hassle-free technology-driven environment.
Entrepreneurs from Gujarat can run their micro-businesses in India as well as grow them with access to the entire EU market.
Further, the e-Residency programme is also inviting freelancers from Gujarat to work across multiple sectors like web designing, content development, and data entry among others. With this, Estonia aims to provide the freelancers a platform where they can get easy access to the EU market.
“Already more than 1,600 Indian citizens are e-residents and Estonia expects this figure to grow exponentially in the coming years, as economic ties between Estonia, India, and the European Union deepen further,” said the ET report.
Estonia is not the first EU country eyeing the booming Indian startup ecosystem. GOInternational Finland, a Nordic International Accelerator, and the French Nodal Agency, among others, have made their entry into the country with different programmes for Indian startups.
Further, Narsi Subramanian, director, growth, PayPal India, in a recent webinar with Inc42 indicated that India is increasingly seeing newer verticals that freelancers are exploring.
“Software development continues to be the top area and we continue to see it growing significantly and evolving over time. One of the things happening is that students, especially, are contributing to a significant part of this growth as well,” he said.
With India’s growing relations with the other countries to promote the startup ecosystem, opportunities abound for Indian startups as well as young millennials who are looking for flexible job opportunities from their homeland.