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CSI Outfitting start-ups for Entrepreneurship Readiness (Interview)

Aug 19th, 2018 6:11 am | By | Category: LATEST NEWS

Sci Meenu ghosh
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to transform India into a hub of start-ups and innovation is a landmark initiative to take India into the club of world’s most developed nations. Neither are ideas nor enthusiasm of entrepreneurship is short in India, though some factor may slow down its progress, it is seen the potential is not being fully realised.But young entrepreneurs are still finding areas where they can push their business to grow. This sector is one of those areas wherein India could have a lot more opportunities in entrepreneurial startups for business, trade and industry provided if there is some organisation to ease and encourage the start-ups in India.

THE NEWSMAN OF INDIA.COM which is itself a successful example in startups medias within, approached “Council for Startup India” a pioneer organisation which is
commitmented and dedicatedly involved in making the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India ‘true’ by facilitating in making hurdle-free business environment for Indian start-ups in India. Council for Startup India Headed by Ms. Meenu Ghosh, (Corporate Honcho) The General Secretary – Council for Startup India

Ms. Meenu Ghosh has more than 23 years of experience in the corporate sector. Having worked for companies like HCL, Oracle India, and Birla Group, she enjoys a very reputed stature. Her accolades, however, happen to be nuanced, extending from Strategy Planning to Extensive Social Work. She is the Vice Chairperson at Thakur Anukul Chandra Sansthan, where she along with her team engages in the arduous work of uplifting the under-privledged and the down trodden. Even during her time at Oracle, she was not oblivious towards her social responsibility, which is well corroborated by the fact that she got Oracle to adopt Mamta NGO. Recently she has been working extremely ardently towards the industrialization of agriculture in an effort to make way for farmers to benefit directly. She also works actively with the National Commission for Women, Govt. of India, towards the alleviation of women in the country

In a one to one interview Ms. Meenu Ghosh, talked in lenght about Council for Startup India’s establishment and its initiatives.

What is your mission for Council for Start-up India. Council for start-up India is a name in itself. It needs no introduction. What is your dream about the organization and what efforts are being made to fulfil it?

CSI has been founded to nurture and promote the Start-up ecosystems across Globe. CSI is striving to foster a trusted ally where people engage in dialogue, analysis and support to build a strong ecosystem – A society where all come together to create the future they envisage.

India being the largest youth population of the world. Every month almost a million population gets added in the workforce. More than 10 million jobs are required to be created in a year to give a meaningful purpose to the youth. This demographic dividend can become a crisis for India if not attended properly. Relying on just jobs for everyone will not serve the purpose. We need Job Creators- we need Start-ups. CSI has a clear mission of supporting creation of more and more start-ups across India in various industry segments.

CSI is a non-partisan, non-governmental diverse and inclusive organization committed to open dialogue, solid research, consensus building and effective encouragement to enable sustainable & scalable growth for ecosystems for everyone in the Globe. CSI facilitates Start-ups through problem-solving process to prepare them for Change, Challenges and Future Growth.

What are your priorities and how are you going about it?

CSI is a team of thinkers, economists, technocrats, government officials, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and investors. We are focusing on the exact pain-point which can solve Indian start-up problem and that is Government policy and foreign investments. As you can see Indian start-up ecosystem still lacks depth in terms of availability of funds. Though government is doing their part of support by running awareness campaigns, policy guidelines, funds creations, we still see a number of promising start-ups chasing funds. CSI is creating a platform for various overseas investors, governments, funds to invest into promising start-ups in India.

The question that CSI will address is – How Start-ups can be promoted to nurture a sustainable and scalable growth – “The need to develop our ecosystems” by advocating recommendations to appropriate decision-making agencies of the country.

Would you like to put some light on the present scenario taking Start-ups in India into Consideration?

According to Nasscom India ranks 3rd amongst Global start-up ecosystems. With 3-4 start-ups emerging every day. Besides all the hypes created all is not well with Start-up movement in India. As per Forbes more than 95% start-ups fail during its first 3 to 5 years. Majority of the start-ups are largely limited to information technology enabled products and services thus product start-up sector has been essentially ignored; Side-lining the MAKE-in-INDIA concept altogether. Products have to evolve from concept to a prototype and have to undergo many iterations till it hits the market. But unlike IT enabled ideas, product manufacturing does not have ready backers and without early stage funding product start-ups would find it extremely difficult to sustain themselves.

Currently Start-ups ecosystem in India is still in its early phase. Many incubators, accelerators, funds, corporates, mentors are still trying to define their exact value proposition in context of start-ups. Most of us are enthusiastic about start-ups in India, however the slow pace of growth and success are making many stakeholders worried. We need to make sure that growth momentum of these start-ups should not lose steam. There is lot of work required in the area of policy guidelines related to start-ups. CSI is bringing such start-up challenges in front of government so that gaps can be filled.

Any pockets of stress? And if then, what mechanism you have to curb it?

O’Brian once told “they tell you what does not kill you only makes you stronger. What they forget to tell you is that it almost fucking kills you”. We all have been challenged at different points in our lives, what we are not equipped for is the chronic stress that inevitably accompanies with start-ups. If affects you psychologically, emotionally, socially, physically and of-course financially.

Successful entrepreneurs achieve hero status in our culture. Starting a business is gruelling, no less daunting for first timer as it’s for a serial entrepreneur. Failure is normal, ignoring it isn’t.

CSI has created a unique model through which it prepares, trains, guides, mentors and hold your hand through-out the start-up life cycle until your idea is converted into a sustainable business model. Our USP is Founder may alter, venture succeeds; thus protecting investors, mentors, founders, jobseekers and even revenue authorities against tax generating floated future streams.

Government intervention is required to create alternate sources of funding and through partnership between the Industry and Academia. CSI is working to create a Credit & Thrift society as alternate source of funding which will help Start-Ups and other small enterprises to overcome the problem of lack of adequate collateral, limited cash-flow and the high risk involved. Lastly, the ease of doing business in the country also matters a great deal. This includes ease of starting a business, obtaining relevant permits, accessing credit, paying taxes, etc. and CSI will be holding hands of the Start-ups to launch them successfully to make the Indian Start-Up Ecosystem reach its true potential.

What is your R&D strategy?

CSI is a location in the making for cultivation of innovation businesses, products and technologies and for helping start-ups to upgrade and transform their systems through enhancing the functions of incubation services to create a learning mechanism and society of knowledge based entrepreneurship. CSI will provide start-ups with office space, instruments, equipments, R&D technology, helping them to secure finance and by providing management consulting and all around business services to facilitate the effective integration of resources, helping to reduce the costs and risks that start-ups have to bear in its early stages of business development and increase the new venture success ratio.

CSI have partnered with many engineering colleges and their laboratories are available to us. Every college has at least few students who are extremely motivated and are keen on a start-up with their ideas. CSI will leverage these ideas and help incubate these students realise their dreams.

Conclusion & Suggestions

Start-ups are emerging as foundation for economic development and a mainstay of social stability across the Globe. Yet, we face quickly changing economic and trading environments that requires continuous upgrading and transformation.

Entrepreneurship has become a global trend and is anticipated to create common value, giving hope for brighter tomorrows. Thus, we request Government authorities to collaborate with civic organizations to provide channels for start-ups to have access to the all-around supports of financing, R&D, marketing and commercialization by creating a platform of entrepreneurship to spreading seeds which will grow into thriving companies and would build a knowledge based entrepreneurial society.

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