President Mukherjee: India woke up late to start-ups

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee during a meeting with the Indian Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Technologists and Venture Capitalists at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday, Jan 15, 2016. Photo-PTI

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee during a meeting with the Indian Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Technologists and Venture Capitalists at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday, Jan 15, 2016.
Photo-PTI

Just a day before the official launch of the flagship ‘Start-Up’ campaign by PM Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee said that India had “woken up” too late to the start-up culture. President Mukherjee said this while speaking with leading Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, Technologists and Venture Capitalists at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday.

“Some of you have correctly pointed out that they (new entrepreneurs) feel confident, they want to do..It is the job of the government to create the policy environment to encourage entrepreneurship. We have taken too long but nonetheless we have taken that decision. We have woken up,” the President told the leading CEOs  while referring to the ‘Start-Up’ campaign which is aimed at boosting entrepreneurship at grassroot level.

Not just that, the President also owned up responsibility for the delay in creating an environment friendly atmosphere for the growth of small entrepreneurs in India.

“I cannot pass on the buck to anybody. I will have to take the buck to myself because I was in administration too long,” admitted the President who has also served as Finance Minister in the previous UPA government.

“…The amount of investment we made for hospitalising the sick industries over a longer period of time only made the investment inefficient,” said President Mukherjee while talking about the UPA policies during his tenure as a minister.

President went on to appreciate PM Modi’s Start-Up India initiative which is being launched today.

President also spoke about how India needs to grow at the rate of 10 per cent for the next 10-15 years in order to address the issues of poverty so that basic requirements of civilised life can be provided to all in the country.

“…Mere political freedom, if not backed by economic freedom, is not going to solve the problem of vast multitude,” he said.

The delegation of CEOs under The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) umbrella met President Mukherjee on Friday evening. The entrepreneurs told the President that India needs to do away with red-tapism so that investors from the US can invest in start-up firms in India.

Agreeing with the TiE delegation, the President said that the norms to begin a start-up should be eased in India.

“What is to die, let it die peacefully. Out of 100 (start-up firms), 60 are bound to die and 10 may be in grey area which is they may succeed or may not succeed,” the President said while explaining how more and more entrepreneurs in India are now willing to take the risk.

(With inputs from PTI)