Innovation and entrepreneurship are the game changer for new-age India: Vinod Tiwari, Regional Mentor – Gujarat, NITI Aayog

To make entrepreneurship ecosystem better in India, NITI Aayog launched the Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges programme to support MSMEs and start-ups for making India a self-reliant and resilient economy.

Vinod Tiwari_NITI_AAYOG

According to the Economic Survey 2019-2020, India ranks third globally when ranked on the basis of number of companies created this year. The number of new firms in the formal sector grew by 12.2 per cent in the period of 2014 to 2018. The growth witnessed was maximum in the service sector when compared to other sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and infrastructure.

“As a result, from about 70,000 new firms created in 2014, the number has grown by about 80 per cent to about 1, 24,000 new firms in 2018,” the survey revealed. This clearly implies that entrepreneurship is growing in India at a significant rate. Considering the landscape of overall entrepreneurial activities, Delhi, Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Haryana retained the top spot.

However, in the state startup rankings 2019 announced by the government in September, Gujarat was adjudged as the best performing state. Kerala and Karnataka were also the top performers. Also, to make entrepreneurship ecosystem better in India, NITI Aayog launched the Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges programme to support MSMEs and start-ups for making India a self-reliant and resilient economy.

Department of Promotion of Internal Trade and Industry (DPIIT) has recognized 27,916 startups. The period from 1st February 2020 hence became conducive for 32 unicorns. As a result of this, all 29 states and UTs now have their own startup policies. Furthermore, governments are increasingly acknowledging the significance of startups for economy of India. Vinod Tiwari, Regional Mentor of Change- Niti Aayog for Gujarat talks to SME Futures about factors responsible for the growth of entrepreneurship in India.

What is your opinion about the startup ecosystem in India and hurdles in entrepreneurship for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I firmly believe that a good vision matters most for an entrepreneurial venture or a budding startup. Only that may take it to a great height. It is purely the state of mind which takes a product from local to global and then becomes a renowned brand from a humble beginning. We need visionary leaders to realise big dreams and thereafter inspire people to emulate them. The saying, ‘whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’ is true to a large extent. The limitations are inside, not outside.

Is Atmnirbhar Bharat initiative is encouraging Indians truly towards their way to opt entrepreneurship?

Currently, a wave of good momentum and positivity is flowing in India because of aggressive initiatives by the Government of India. Aatmnirbhar Bharat initiative will prove to be a revolution within a decade. It is no more a dream now and people have started conceiving the idea of being independent and manufacturing products in India.

The focus of Atal Innovation Mission is to support innovation and entrepreneurships. How important it is in your opinion to promote innovations through entrepreneurial programmes in India?

Atal Innovation Mission is a flagship initiative set up by NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurships in India. The body has set several initiatives to support Indian government’s objective and vision through this. Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) is one of the highest successful initiatives meant for school kids across the length and breadth of country.

To meet the demand of technological era known as Industrial revolution 4.0, young students are being trained from high school level in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Internet of Things etc in order to ensure high efficiency through integration of man-machine approach. NITI Aayog has partnered with various public and private organizations including MyGov for providing the digital experience to tinkering lab associates.

IBM has partnered with ATL to offer student internship programme first time for school children. Dell started student entrepreneur program to design game developer module till marketable product. Adobe has also joined hands with us to extend their creative cloud technology for the launch of a programme, digital creativity skills for students, teachers and mentors. Many other renowned corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon, SAP, Intel etc are new names to support this great initiative.

Gujarat for the second time has emerged as the best performer in the recently announced startup ranking list for states. Please tell us something more about it.

Being Regional Mentor-of-Change for Gujarat state, I proudly mention that Gujarat has retained its first spot again this year in the ranking as best performing state while competing with 22 states and 3 Union territories. They have come up with brilliant ideas and simple solutions to critical problems. There are many aspects to be learned from this state including the attitude of gratitude and principle-based business ethics for rapid scaling up of their operations. Indian entrepreneurship is hence the game changer for new-age India.

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