Back in the day, one had to borrow money from the scheming Munshis and greedy pot-bellied merchants, by mortgaging one’s prized possession – in order to start one’s own business. Nowadays, entrepreneurial dreams are being fuelled by the numerous traditional and non-traditional investment channels available ; be it business plan competitions, debt or equity financing, crowdfunding, accelerator/incubator programmes or even families and friends.
The modus operandi of new-age startups are different from the traditional businesses, and therefore the fund requirements and utilisation are accordingly different. The ecosystem understands these requirements and is trying to take a closer look at the traditional investment channels to customise them and make them more relevant to these new-age startups.
However, this evolution will not happen without understanding what the startups want from these channels. LetsIgnite is, therefore, coming up with an initiative to carefully understand the needs and requirements of the startups, with respect to these traditional investment channels. With the help of an impressive panel comprising of leading thought-leaders of the ecosystem and moderated by the industry champion and a prolific investor TV Mohandas Pai, LetsIgnite aims to delve deep into the intricacies of fund raising and come up with potential ways to make traditional investment channels more relevant to startups.
As the buzz around startups and entrepreneurship has been increasingly growing in India, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have stepped in and are playing an essential role in nurturing and regulating the ecosystem. SIDBI chairman and managing director, Kshatrapati Shivaji, recently said that the financial institution will be raising the proposed $1.4 Bn (INR 10,000 Cr) corpus for ‘Stand Up India Fund’ from RBI through the priority sector lending shortfalls. The fund will be disbursed to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women entrepreneurs.
In August, last year, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched two funds by SIDBI – the INR 2,000 Cr India Aspiration Fund (IAF) and INR 10,000 Cr SIDBI Make In India Loan For Enterprises (SMILE). SEBI, on the other hand, is actively trying to facilitate the listing process on the capital markets for the startups.
These two bodies understand the investment channels in the country, like no other. Therefore, LetsIgnite has invited Amit Tandon, DGM, SEBI and AK Kapur, CEO of SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd to grace the panel.