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October 14, 2015

T V Mohandas Pai roped in by WB Govt to draft startup policies

T V Mohandas Pai roped in by WB Govt to draft startup policies

Infosys co-founder and IT industry stalwart T V Mohandas Pai will take the leading role in drafting a policy to encourage build and nurture a conducive environment for startups and entrepreneurs in the sector in Bengal.

Pai has proposed a target of building as many as 10,000 startups in the state in 10 years, generating around $50 billion business. Latching onto Pai’s pitch, state finance, industry, commerce and IT minister Dr Amit Mitra requested him to take charge and formulate a comprehensive startup policy for Bengal.

On the sidelines of the Investment Roadshow for the Bengal Global Business Summit in Bengaluru, Pai, “I will wait for the Bengal government’s next proactive step. We have to sit with the government and other authorities. Let them come up with some concrete measures and I will definitely pitch in with ideas.“

At the roadshow organized by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Dr Mitra said, “The government has always encouraged technocrats and industry experts to take lead. And, I wish Mohan Bhai to take the leadership. I am assuring him that the government will do its best to fulfil the target by five years. Mr Pai will send us a draft policy on the startup soon.“ He promised to make Bengal the startup capital of the country. According to Pai, startup will be the most vibrant and buzzing sector of the economy. “By 2025, there will be one hundred thousand startups operating in India, generating a business of a staggering $500 billon. West Bengal, with its 93 million people–most of them making a talent pool–can’t lag behind in the race. Imagine the number of jobs that would be created, if you count 35 peoples’ employment involved with one startup,“ said Pai, who is currently the chairman of Manipal Global Education Services.

Pai also urged the state IT minister to come up with or arrange for initial funding for the budding startup space: “The state government needs to set up Rs 1,000 crore angel fund for the seed capital.“ Replying to it, the state finance minister said in the last state budget, the government earmarked Rs 200 crore for the fresh entrepreneurs.

According to Pai, who has become a pioneer in investing, advising and nurturing startups in India and across the globe, startups do not mean something dealing in pure IT jobs only. “They can work in life science, 3D printing, stem cells, and robotics. So, high-quality, Wi-fi equipped digital infrastructure for the common man and a policy to back vibrant enterprises are the need of the hour. Kolkata, once called the east of London, is moving towards it. The road map lies there,“ Pai signed off.

Taking a cue from Pai, Dr Mitra announced that the government would organize Startup Bengal Global Summit this year under the umbrella of Bengal Global Summit, January 8-9. “We needed a mentor, such as Mr Pai, to push us to a new frontier,“ he said.