With the government leading the Digital India programme “with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy”, Union minister Suresh Prabhu recently decided to leverage digital technology to reach out to people across India and address questions from them on Startup India, a government campaign that aims to build a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and startups in the country. Here are the top five points made by the minister during the FB Live:

‘If you have a good idea, not having a mentor shouldn’t get in the way of your success’

Addressing a question on mentorship, Prabhu emphasised that finding a mentor is important but finding the right mentor is more important. He also informed the audience that the central government is working on mentorship programme for startups. However, he believes that if one has a good idea, a startup can be successful without a mentor too, while adding that self-confidence is a must for success.

‘Women’s participation is not as high as it should be’

Talking about women entrepreneurship in Indian startups, the minister said that women’s participation is very important not just in startups, but in the Indian economy as a whole. Even though it is not as high as it should be, the government is working on addressing this problem.

‘Regulations should change with time’

On the ever-increasing government regulations around startups, the minister explained that the government had developed regulations based on an understanding of the market and the system which has prevailed over a period of time. However, startups are breaking away from the system and challenging the existing system. Prabhu believes that regulations must be dynamic and must change with time.

‘The commerce ministry is looking at the development of agritech’

While reminding the audience that the government is focused on agriculture and on doubling farmers’ income by 2022, the minister said that the commerce ministry has considerable expertise in agro policy. He added that the government is working to enable shipment of perishable products across India. In this context, he said that the aviation ministry was exploring options like airlifting goods to places in India and globally. We are also working on creating logistics hubs. Suresh Prabhu added that startups in agriculture have a great future

‘We organise many Startup Yatra initiatives’

Explaining government initiatives for students and entrepreneurs, Prabhu said that the government has been organising “startup yatras” — it recently held one in Gujarat — to encourage and boost startups. The minister believes that the movement to support startups has to be people-driven, and also wants to create an awareness programme to involve more people in startup initiatives.

While signing off from the FB Live, Prabhu said that the government and public should continue to work together on the initiatives. “The sky is the limit for startups,” he said.

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