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Call for national policy on innovation and entrepreneurship
Nov 24, 2014

Develop entrepreneurship by design, says Kris Gopalakrishnan

India now needs entrepreneurship by design, led by innovation and reinvention, and not out of necessity to make a living.  Entrepreneurship has to be supported by enabling Central and State government policies and financial support.  Various stakeholders including banks and industries have to play active role in mentoring and promoting budding entrepreneurs and start-ups by creating the required ecosystem, according to Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan,  Immediate  Past President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Addressing `Startupreneurs 2014’, a conference-cum-exposition on entrepreneurship and start-ups, organised by CII here on Monday, he said that  entrepreneurship by design was  to take innovation and create a business around it in a planned manner. The local businesses, especially banks, have to be partners in this development process and provide the seed capital and other necessary facilities. There should also be mentoring by the existing businesses by offering internships, skill development’’, he said

There should also be a national innovation and entrepreneurship policy. A beginning has been made by Kerala and Andhra Paradesh, by putting up such a policy for comments. “If all the stakeholders worked together systematically we can have thousands of entrepreneurs and start-ups”, Mr Gopalakrishnan said.

He said the industry should look at academic institutions and translate the research ideas into businesses and create wealth. Industries and start-ups need to think about new businesses and products not of replicating what was successful in other parts of the world, said Mr Gopalakrishnan.

Mr Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice Chairman, Cognizant Technology Solutions, said that with the `Make in India’ campaign and the ministerial and institutional arrangement and commitment by the Central and State governments, it was the right time for entrepreneurs who could think of making as many things as possible in India.

The government has also committed large amount of money for promoting and supporting entrepreneurship. It was also proposed to create over 150 million skilled people in 8-10 years. “The macro situation for the promotion of entrepreneurship is right now’’, he said.

At the ground level, to be successful the entrepreneurs need to understand what entrepreneurship was about, and how businesses were done. They need to get seed capital, should have the ability to talk to people and they should have access to market.

Mr Arun Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Polaris Financial Technology Ltd, said that for entrepreneurs the important capital ingredients were the right product, right customer and sales and distribution. When these were in place the important part was the `human capital’, the role of the entrepreneur and execution of the idea. The outcome of these was the finance. However, in the recent past finance has become the first capital of entrepreneurship.

Mr Jain suggested that the entrepreneurs could meet regularly by creating a sustained forum. They could visit some of the companies and also create a hub of diversified group of entrepreneurs who could be mentored by one of the successful entrepreneurs in each region.

During the Inaugural Session, Confederation of Indian Industry (Southern Region) and the Indian Overseas Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote Start-ups in Chennai.  This initiative would strive  to nurture an innovation eco-system among academia members of CII and also provide a bridge between industry and the academia in creating this eco-system.  

After signing the MoU, Mr Naval Gupta, General Manager, MSME Department, Indian Overseas Bank, said that IOB gave importance to converting job seekers to job creators and provided financial support for that. He said the bank had schemes for start-ups, budding entrepreneurs.  Mr Gupta said there were special schemes for women entrepreneurs and for women empowerment.

Mr Anand P Surana, Chairman, CII Startupreneurs 2014  and Chief Executive Officer, ICEGEN Computing P Ltd, said  an idea proposed two years ago  was being realised now with over 500 registered start- up entrepreneurs.

Mr P Ravichandran, Chairman, CII Chennai Zone  and President, Danfoss Industries Ltd, said , it is the right time to position or reposition  Chennai as the start-up capital of not only South India but South Asia.   There was need to create a ecosystem in Chennai for inclusive growth and to cultivate  entrepreneurs or `Startupreneurs’ from  every part of the country, especially rural India. 

24 November, 2014


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