What does Make In India mean for entrepreneurs?

Startup meeting

‘Make in India’, the initiative by the current government is certainly a buzzword today, with entrepreneurs across the country being encouraged to take up this mantra. But what does it really mean for business people? Recently, a group of 30 entrepreneurs were invited by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman to Udyog Bhawan to listen to their challenges in terms of funds, regulatory terms and other such issues.

Some of the big names at this meeting were Paytm’s Vice President Sudhanshu Gupta, Ola’s Senior Director Anand Subramanium, Suraj Saharan, Co-founder of Delhivery, Nykaa.com’s CFO Sachin Parikh, Abhiraj Bhal, Co-founder of UrbanClap, Anu Acharya, CEO of Mapmygenome, and Rivi Varghese, CEO and Co-founder of CustomerXPs. Apart from Acharya, there was one more female founder present at he meeting- Aadra, founder of Aeka Biochemicals.

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For Anu Acharya, the meaning of Make In India is when a product is made in India or an innovation that’s invented in India or for Indians. “I think Make in India is something that’s produced in India or it’s a product for the people of India which takes the generic make-up or something to understand about the people of India. So I think there are two versions of it, they way I look at it,” she expressed to SheThePeople.TV.

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Aadra had another perspective which she shared , “Basically it means to make India better and more industry-friendly country. To me, it means to create more jobs. It means to give our students and our graduates to have a chance to work here.”

The meeting that went on for about an hour and a half had founders sharing their inspiring stories, while a few of the budding ones talked about the challenges they face. However, all agreed that one of the challenges faced by everyone is that banks quiz  Startups about turnover and experience, which dissuades them from participating in the procurement process. Hence they voiced the opinion that this policy needs to be changed.

The key problems discussed in the meeting were IPR pendency period, lack of prompt response from incubators for issuing recommendation letters, complicated paper work involved in all government compliances, tedious import and export procedures, the need to have a clear definition of Aggregators under Service tax, among many others.

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Sitharaman heard all this feedback,  and she opined that the founders should not wait for such meetings to happen if they face an immediate challenge. They should approach the government when they run into any problems. The suggestions were heard by the ministry and now the ball is in the government’s court to address the issues put forth by the entrepreneurs. So that ‘Make in India’ gets one step closer to reality.

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