It seems that PM Narendra Modi’s Startup India initiative is proving to be a walk on pins and needles for aspiring startups. In the last 3 months, out of 250 applications received, only one got clearance from the government to set up new business.
Hyderabad-based Cygni Energy Pvt Ltd is the first startup to be selected. It provides inverter-less home renewable energy controller, thereby replacing the traditional inverters. The solution would help reducing electricity bills by 50% through intelligent use of solar, battery and energy-efficient DC equipment. The technology for the backup was developed in collaboration with IIT Mumbai, and provides a 48V DC power backup line.
The officials have cited incomplete registration process as a major reason for rejection. About 170 applicants didn’t complete the registration process, while about 25 had not given their process details of business. The remaining were stuck with hard luck as board members didn’t find them attractive enough to certify.
Does that mean there is lack of innovative ideas in the country? No.
As said by officials, “Many entrepreneurs don’t come to us for registration. They get funding from other sources and they are doing their own business.”
PM Narendra Modi kicked off the ‘Startup India, Standup India’ campaign in January this year. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry launched the Startup web portal and mobile app in April.
DIPP has also set up an inter-ministerial board to verify the eligibility of startups opting to avail tax and IPR-related benefits. Besides, the department is engaging with state governments in building incubation capacities for young entrepreneurs. The Modi government has already declared the fund for startups in the Budget and accordingly INR 2,500 crore each year would be released to SIDBI over the next four years.
Since the launch of this programme, there has been a continuous debate on the efficiency of the initiative. Where some are finding the registration process tedious, others are troubled with the loopholes in eligibility criteria.
For example, one has to get a recommendation letter from the recognised incubator cell or be recognised by the GoI or should be funded by recognised funds. Well, this is not an easy task as everyone is not from an IIT or an IIM.
No one knows what the future beholds. But if Government continues to reject applications in such large bundles, it will definitely impact the morale of upcoming startups.