Two years of the Modi government may have been a mixed bag but one place where it has made a big mark is 'entrepreneurship'. It multiplied the buzz around the notion of a start-up. It brought power to entrepreneurs and put the spotlight on the need for people to become job creators and job seekers.
The government sat up and took notice. And the world's best start-up owners came to India. Narendra Modi championed the audiences at Start-up India in January, and Amitabh Kant, the then Secretary of DIPP and current CEO of Niti Ayog, kickstarted a journey with young people. Today, when people say they run start-ups, they are not faced will puzzled looks, and instead, are wowed for their ability to take on the world on their own and stand up for their passions. To me, this is a seriously important and materially relevant success story of the Modi government.
Start-up India cut down the tedious processes and the regulatory framework for the start-up owners. It brought in self-certification, a single-window system, and tax exemptions. Among other announcements were no income tax on profit for three years and exemption from labour compliance. The budgets too talked about entrepreneurship and how to promote it more.
A 10,000-crore fund for first-time start-up owners was put out, though its rollout and execution is something we are still getting to figure. "We believe that the new guidelines has brought some clarity," says Swati Bhargava of CashKaro.com. She also shares government made positive moves to redefine e-commerce marketplace rules – it allowed 100% FDI. Additionally, the DIPP has also come out with the definition of e-commerce, inventory-based model and marketplace model. "Ease of biz and growth to the e-commerce sector like simply starting initiatives like the 'Twitter Seva' which accelerates communication to the numerous queries by entrepreneurs like us. Also, by introducing 100% FDI in e-commerce, Modi government has kept the promise of continuous reforms and bought rejoice to investors," she explains.
For women specifically, there were measures announced. Such as loans to start out, lower interest rates. This was across sectors and income groups. The government has put out specials measure for women from SC/ST groups as well. The Stand Up India scheme, launched on April 5, said that women and SC/ST entrepreneurs have a fair chance at setting up their own businesses. The scheme facilitates loans from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore for these sectors of the population.
The overall environment is better in the last two years. The policies are positive from the sentiment point of view. There is an intent of the government to talk and engage with entrepreneurs. The commerce ministry and the DIPP have never been so frequented by young people as they are now, which is a brilliant sign.
Agreed that we need more clarity on all the measures and a review of execution. Perhaps, the remaining term of the government should be spent in putting the spotlight on what's been executed. It would also benefit from sharing how their efforts have truly made it easier for entrepreneurs to do business. With more than 12 million jobs being sought in a year, it's a no-brainer that entrepreneurs of all kinds and genres must be promoted to create and grow new businesses.