Bengal centre to offer support for start-ups

East India does not have a single state among the top states in terms of recognised startups under the Start-up India initiative

By A Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 8.12.18, 3:35 AM
  • Updated 8.12.18, 3:35 AM
  • a min read
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Harsh Neotia at Infocom 2018 in Calcutta on Friday. Picture by Mayukh Sengupta

Availability of adequate early-stage funds, policy support and ecosystem are essential to encourage the growth of start-ups in the eastern part of the country. A flair for innovation and a strategy to support failed entrepreneurs are also necessary to bolster this process.

Official data show that not a single state from the east features on the list of top five states of the country in terms of recognised startups under the Start-up India initiative as of July 5, 2018. Maharashtra tops the list with 2130 recognised startups, followed by Karnataka (1611), Delhi (1485), Uttar Pradesh (891) and Telangana (592). Bengal is at the 10th position with 335 recognised startups.

Sikkim, Mizoram and Meghalaya bring up the tail of the state-wise distribution of recognised startups.

“There is no dearth of talented people in the region and the east offers great scope of market access. However, there are challenges related to funds. This is a problem that needs to be overcome. Start-ups also need adequate mentorship and government support,” said Harshavardhan Neotia, chairman of the Ambuja Neotia group, at Infocom 2018, an ABP initiative.

Debashis Sen at Infocom 2018 in Calcutta on Friday.
Debashis Sen at Infocom 2018 in Calcutta on Friday. Picture by Mayukh Sengupta

Sagar Daryanai, co-founder and CEO of Wow! Momo said entrepreneurs need to constantly innovate. Daryani said during the demonetisation period, the company had distributed water and momos to individuals standing in queues outside ATMs, which helped sales that were otherwise affected by the currency crunch.

While east has talent, how to retain that is a key concern, said Chand Tulal Mazumdar, head public policy, Uber India.

Debashis Sen, additional chief secretary of the Bengal IT department, said the state is setting up a centre of excellence with academic institutes to harness talent and encourage innovation to promote startups.

While Jharkhand is offering funding support through entrepreneurship development and venture funds, Bihar is exploring the possibility a policy of procurement from startups, government officials of the two states said.