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Smaller cities emerging as startup powerhouses; healthcare steals the show

Stressing on the paramount role of start-ups in India achieving its ambitious developmental aspirations, V. Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India, said that tier-2 and tier-3 cities of the country, including Kerala’s capital, are emerging as start-up powerhouses leveraging the improvement in infrastructure and government’s supportive policies. He was delivering the leadership talk at the three-day Huddle Global Summit organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) here on Saturday.

He also noted that Kerala’s start-up journey has been an inspiring one with KSUM serving as the catalyst since its establishment in 2006 to promote change that propelled the State into the forefront of the global start-up arena. The active participation of start-ups in India in developing business models on the foundation of expanding physical and digital infrastructure will continue to generate efficiency, revenue and economic returns for the country, he said.

“The culture of entrepreneurship and innovation is one pandemic that India would like to experience continuously. It must spread. The last decade has seen an exceptional transformation in the start-up landscape in India, which has emerged as the third largest ecosystem globally, with over 1.12 lakh start-ups presently recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) across 763 districts. Among them, more than 110 are unicorns with a total valuation of around $350 billion,” he said.

Innovation quality
He said that the country ranks second in innovation quality. The innovation in India is not just limited to certain sectors as start-ups are solving problems in 56 industrial sectors, with 13% of them from IT services, 9% from health and life sciences, 7% from education, 5% from agriculture and 5% from food & beverages. It is significant to note that 49% of start-ups are from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, which has turned to be a game-changer as the business advantages in these locations enable entrepreneurs to operate at lower costs as compared to tier-1 cities, he said.

According to him, apart from the improved infrastructure and government’s pro-active policies, availability of a technically skilled talent pool is a huge advantage for start-ups to set up and flourish in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Having over 4,000 registered tech start-ups, 63 incubators and 10 lakh square feet of incubation space, KSUM has not only met its goal of promoting technology-based entrepreneurship but has also earned a distinguished position among the world’s top business incubators, he said. The Hindu

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