The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), on Friday (September 11), released the much-awaited State Startup Ranking for the year 2019. Union territory Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been named the best performers in Category Y, whereas Gujarat has won the title best performers in Category X.
The category X entails all union territories of India except Delhi and all states of North East India except Assan, whereas the Category X entails all the other states. The category division was introduced for the ranking of 2019, prior to this, there were no such criteria in place.
Gujarat had emerged as the “Best Performer” for the ranking of 2018, while Karnataka, Rajasthan, Odisha and Kerala come in a notch below as ‘top-performing states.’ For 2019, Kerala and Karnataka were named ‘top-performing states’, while Odisha and Rajasthan were named as the leader. Best performing states are the ones with 100 percentile, whereas top performers are the ones with 70-100 percentile.
The title for Andaman & Nicobar Islands has come off as a pleasant surprise, given the fact that it was not mentioned in the State Startup Ranking 2018. For Category Y, it was competing with Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tripura.
The region had excelled in the fields of institutional support, easing public procurement, incubation support and awareness and outreach. Meanwhile, the union territory was unable to set up its mark in simplifying regulations, seed funding support and venture funding support criteria.
Talking about Andaman and Nicobar islands, DPIIT in its report added that the union territory has a system in place to prove 100% intellectual property (IP) assistance to startups in terms of the provision of subsidies for filing national or international patents, trademarks or copyright. Besides this, it also offers a monthly allowance of INR 15K to the startup founders and cofounders.
Besides this, it also offers the same allowance to women, transgenders, scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), educational backwards communities (SEBC) and physically challenged (PH) for a period of one year. “ In such a case women/transgender/SC/ST/SEBC/PH founder(s) should at least have 50% equity in the startup entity,” the report added.
The Innovation and Startup Policy of Andaman and Nicobar released in 2018 aims to develop a startup ecosystem in the region by 2023. It aims to foster a culture of innovative thinking and risk-taking by providing entrepreneurship skill-based training and ecosystem infrastructure for the youth.
On paper, the policy also provides for incentives and exemptions over and above the Startup India Action Plans of the Government of India. It also offers other benefits like digital technology subsidies for reimbursement on 50% of the capital expenditure for the purchase of computers and related hardware up to INR 1 Lakh, 50% power subsidies to a limit of INR 5 lakh per annum for a period of three years.
However, the startup India website also highlighted that there are more than 12 registered startups coming out of this region. This includes Digital Arts Technologies, Nouveau Techsolutions, Britech IT, Nico Technologies and Travel Solutions, Aquatropics, Colonels Security and Management Solutions, 100Keys Tradecome, Online Andaman and Go2andaman.com. The majority of these startups are either into IT services or travel and tourism.