The government of India recently announced the results of the third edition of Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems.
The results released by India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles Mr Piyush Goyal were classified into 5 Categories, viz. Best Performers, Top Performers, Leaders, Aspiring Leaders and Emerging Start-up Ecosystems.
Gujarat and Karnataka emerged as the Best Performers in a category of States which included NCT of Delhi while Meghalaya won the top honour among UTs and North-eastern (NE) States. Similarly Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa and Telangana got the Top Performers award among states, Jammu & Kashmir emerged as the Top Performer among UTs and NE states.
Assam, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh were adjudged the winners in the Leaders category among states; Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa bagged the Leaders honour among the UTs and NE states. Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were declared as Aspiring Leader.
Now if you are still wondering if Andhra Pradesh did figure in the rankings. Well it did but in the emerging category i.e. at the end. Andhra Pradesh along with Bihar, Mizoram and Ladakh were clubbed under this category which came in at the end.
‘Last year we were ahead of Gujarat in the rankings and this year Gujarat has emerged as the top performer. We as a state need to consciously look into why we are being ranked so low. It is not that things are not happening at the ground level but there is total lack of coordination, compilation and alignment’ said Prof H Purushotham, the DPIIT-IPR chair at Andhra University.
Startups in the state have been yearning for a vibrant ecosystem which can assist them in their growth, better networking, funding opportunities etc.
‘Five years ago I set out to build a homemade electric bike using parts available just in Vizag. I set up a garage in the industrial confines of Suryabagh but as a lone founder we got no support from either the eco-system or the government’ said Mr Ramaseshu Botu, an aspiring startup in the state.
Many startups/entrepreneurs in the state feel that the government needs to take the lead if it really wants to attract talent and make AP a hub for startups.
‘When we look at some of the exciting ecosystems in India such as in Telangana, Bengaluru, NCR and Kerala, the role of the government in promoting these ecosystems is paramount’ said Mr Varun Jami another startup based in the state.
Concurred Mr Neeraj Sarda, CII AP chairman and said ‘We cannot afford to lose out on startups. AP has a lot of catching up to do when compared to its other southern peers. Startups will be the engines of growth and job creators in the near future’.
So what is it that the government isn’t doing or needs to do because the intent seems to be there which was evident when the Chief minister met Indian unicorns in Davos and asked them to make Visakhapatnam a startup hub.
Prof Purushotam lists out a slew of dos which he feels the state should do in order to be ranked among the top. ‘In my opinion GoAP should immediately do some of the following Startup AP should be re-branded and a new vibrant startup policy should be brought out, APIS should be revamped and people should be given authority to take decisions and implement, An AP Startup venture Fund/Fund of funds needs to be created, noted the AU, DPIIT-IPR chair (see table).
‘I cannot see why AP can’t be ranked among the top when it has been showing tremendous progress in all other welfare and development indicators such as SDGs ,EoDB etc.’ added Prof Purushotham.