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Karnataka becomes first state to have a startup policy

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Bengaluru: Karnataka has become the first Indian state to have a startup policy with the cabinet clearing it, state Information Technology and Bio-Technology minister S.R.Patil said on Friday.

“Karnataka is the first state in India to come up with a Startup Policy. It will have a time frame of five years from 2015-2020,” said Patil at the Bangalore ITE.biz 2015 curtain raiser, adding the cabinet approval was accorded on Thursday.

Principal Secretary, IT and BT, V. Manjula said that the policy entails setting up incubators in post graduate colleges, a collaboration between R & D institutions and industry and technical business incubators in higher learning institutions among others.

“The operational guidelines and the finer aspects of the Startup policy and the quantum of money for the Startup fund are yet to be made. They will be drafted soon,” he said, adding funds will be released to colleges which will be given a handholding for three years and there will also be a Startup Policy review committee headed by the chief secretary.

Establishment of a Startup cell in KBITS and funding promising early stage startups are also the features of the new policy.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government’s premier IT event Bangalore ITE.biz 2015 has severed its ties with CeBIT and is going independent from December 8-10 with the theme “Fuelling growth through disruptive innovation”.

“Bangalore ITE.biz 2015 is coming up with a renewed vigor this year… Last year in CeBIT 2014, we missed the Karnataka flavor,” said Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) director P.K. Das.

First started in 1998, the event will feature 100 plus exhibitors, 110 speakers, 1,000 delegates, 5,000 visitors and eight Young Entrepreneurs Startups in Soaring Spirits (YESS) presenters.

“Various government stakeholders will throw up challenges being faced by them in a hakathon to produce solutions in Bangalore ITE.biz 2015,” added Manjula.

Co-host STPI will confer IT export awards wherein big companies will be recognized as “Pride of Karnataka”, added Das.

Emphasizing Karnataka’s robust IT industry, Patil said: “In 2014-15, exports from Katanataka IT companies crossed Rs.2 lakh crore, and we aim to touch four lakh crore in 2020. The industry generates direct and indirect employment for 40 lakh people.”

Infosys co-founder and Karnataka IT Vision Committee head, Kris Gopalakrishnan said every Banaglore ITE.biz is different and should be relevant to the industry requirement and align with the evolving industry.

(IANS)

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Indians have Contributed in Creating Several Jobs in US through Startups, Still Face Accusations in the Country: Study

India faces accusations of taking away jobs from American people but have they only snatched and not given them opportunities through startups

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Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc. Wikimedia
  • Indians have contributed to growth of iconic business firms like Sun Microsystems, Hotmail and some of them have turned into biggest entrepreneurs and job creators
  • There are many Indian-origin leaders who have become household names today like Indra Nooyi (Pepsi), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Sundar Pichai (Google)
  • Hotmail.com founder Sabeer Bhatia, the company was founded in the year 1996

New Delhi, August 21, 2017: Indians are facing accusations from Americans that they are snatching away American jobs, but it’s not the case.  There is an Indian- American venture capital firm called Inventus Capital Partners which is trying to throw some light on the contributions Indians have made in the growth of Silicon Valley.

Indians are stereotypically viewed as a source of cheap labor in US Technology Industry but they are much more than that. Case in point is over the last 10-20 years, Indians have contributed to the growth of iconic business firms like Sun Microsystems, Hotmail and some of them have turned into biggest entrepreneurs and job creators instead of being just job seekers.

As per a report from July, Director of Inventus Capital Partners- Manu Rekhi, the company operates from Bengaluru and San Mateo, California, he observed how Indians have left a mark in the American entrepreneurial space.

There are many Indian-origin leaders who have become household names today like Indra Nooyi (Pepsi), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Sundar Pichai (Google). But these success stories were due to decades of hard work.

Also Read: Facebook backs Delhi-based tutor enablement platform ‘XPrep’ as part of its global programme FBStart, designed to help early-stage Mobile Startups

In the early 1980’s, arrived in the US the first generation of Indian entrepreneurs. According to Quartz report, Manu Rekhi said,  “Among these legends  was Kanwal Rekhi (my partner) along with Vinod Khosla, Naren Gupta, Prabhu Goel, Suhas Patil, and many others, who went on to finding notable companies like Sun Microsystems (acquired  by Oracle), Excelan, and Cirrus Logic.”

When the early entrepreneurs moved to America global exposure was very limited and also their understanding of consumer behavior of the people in the US was also limited. That is the reason they founded engineering- heavy systems and networking companies instead of going for consumer facing ones.

Slowly, with time more Indian tried their hands at launching new ventures and also US doors opened for foreign students, thus Indian entrepreneurs turned their focus from enterprise to consumer- oriented companies. One prime example of this is Hotmail.com founder Sabeer Bhatia, the company was founded in the year 1996. Sabeer Bhatia is a BITS Pilani graduate, did masters from Stanford University and has worked for Apple before launching his maiden email service.

The 1990s was also the year in which the Indian-origin leaders were also mentors in the Silicon Valley.  Case in point is BV Jagadeesh who is a Serial Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist. Jagdeesh helped to raise the seed money for Netscaler, a San Jose based company. He later went on to become its President and also CEO by the year 2000. Currently, Jagadeesh is a managing partner at KAAJ Ventures, it makes early stage investments in startups, and he is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University, takes classes on early-stage startups and valuation. Ram Shriram is a Venture Capitalist, a founding board member and is one of the first investors in Google. His stake in the company was $ 1.3 billion in the mid-2000, he also mentors budding startups.

Also Read: 4 Startups which changed the face of Food and Beverage Industry in India

Rekhi said that later companies of Indian entrepreneurs shifted towards technologies which were more advanced.For example, Jyoti Bansal started App Dynamics, a management and operations analytics firm, which was later acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion on 22 March 2017. Dheeraj Pandey, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur alumni owns Nutanix, a cloud-computing software company. In 2016, it had a multi- billion dollar initial public offering. Manish Chandra who is the CEO, Poshmark, which is the social fashion marketplace. Chandra created a product which would be “unheard of 20 years ago,” Rekhi said.

For example, Jyoti Bansal started App Dynamics, a management and operations analytics firm, which was later acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion on 22 March 2017. Dheeraj Pandey, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur alumni owns Nutanix, a cloud-computing software company. In 2016, it had a multi- billion-dollar initial public offering. Manish Chandra who is the CEO, Poshmark, which is the social fashion marketplace. Chandra created a product which would be “unheard of 20 years ago,” Rekhi said.

Indians are less than 1% in the total US population, but still by 2012 they founded 8% of all the American tech & engineering startups. The group has started one-third of the immigrant-founded startups in the US. The firms which they have founded also provide great acquisition opportunities and also made high-value public debuts, Rekhi said, mentions Quartz report.

The first Indian-American founder led company- Nasdaq IPO (Initial Public Offering) opened its doors in 1987 with Excelan going public, but the pickup in big-value exists came only in recent times.

In the last 5 years, the software and services sector, which has 17 companies, tops the list of IPOs owned by Indian founders and co-founders and has a combined market Capital of amount $26.2 billion. The second in the list were Pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences in terms of the number of IPOs (six). But, the retail industry saw a much larger market Capital of as much as $6.67 billion, in comparison to Pharmaceuticals, it was $397 million. 10 of these 34 companies that make approximately 29% were acquired following their stock-market debut.

Also Read: Amazon Launchpad’ comes to India; will support Indian Startups

According to Quartz report, Rekhi said: “Even before the turn of the millennium, companies like IBM and Intel had been making acquisitions, but mostly of outsourcing services companies where you’re basically buying manpower.”

But between 2012 and 2017, more than 25 companies by Indian-origin entrepreneurs saw mergers and acquisitions worth- $500 million and more, Rekhi found.

Rekhi noted, “Topping that list is Western Digital’s acquisition of SanDisk, worth a whopping $19 billion, followed by several acquisitions from Cisco, HPE, and SAP.”

Today, 14 of the 261 unicorns are headed by Indian-origin founders (private companies valued at over $1 billion) in the US. These 14 startups, when taken together have a combined value of $35.17 billion and funding of $81.8 billion, with the IT industry taking the lead, according to Rekhi.


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Wedding Business: Extravagant Indian Weddings lead to expansion of the Sector in Canada

Indian weddings remain the extravagant affair they are even in Canada and cost an average of $100,000

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Traditional Indian Wedding. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • The business of weddings has not even been affected by recession and the average cost remains a whopping $100,000
  • Everyone wants a piece of the industry and there have been many budding startups and one such notable venture, by Dave Singh, taps into by providing wedding attire
  • There are also hotels who have tapped into the business by holding crash courses for staff on South Asian wedding traditions

Indian weddings are a huge industry in Canada. A documentary “Little India Big Business” was aired on July 23, exploring the booming business sector in Vancouver. The documentary, by CBC journalist Bal Brach, takes into account how extravagant the affair has become.

“I was stunned to hear the average cost of an Indian wedding is $100,000 and most of the time, its hard working immigrant parents footing the bill for week-long celebrations,” Brach was quoted as saying before the documentary aired.

Shot from Little India Big Business. Image Source: CanIndia
Shot from Little India Big Business. Image Source: CanIndia

The business of weddings have not even been affected by the recession and the average cost remains a whopping $100,000. “Most of the time, it’s hard-working immigrant parents footing the bill for week-long celebrations,” Brach added.

Everyone wants a piece of the industry and there have been many budding startups. One such notable venture, by Dave Singh, taps into by providing wedding attire. Dave, who immigrated to Canada sometime in 2008, started with 12 clients in a business run in his basement, mentioned indiandiaspora.com.

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Now, 8 years later, he has 400 brides from all over the world who are set to buy his clothes. He has even opened stores in California and Toronto to keep up with his global clientele. His success has earned him the title of ‘Sabyasachi of Surrey’, Brach says, in reference to the renowned Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

According to by indiandiaspora.com, even hotels have tapped into the business by holding crash courses for staff on South Asian wedding traditions. Kevin Siegrest, director of catering at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, told media sources, “We’re working hand in hand with these event planners to really understand the traditions and intricacies.”

The Vice President for Multi-Cultural Markets and Alliances for Marriott International, Apoorva Gandhi too said, “As we see the rise in that population and the spending power, it’s something you can’t ignore.”

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Social media has also added to the buzz and has allowed the wedding vendors to make a global impact. Most hair and make-up studios are booked up to 3 years in advance and the artists travel around the globe to provide their services to brides. Brach was quoted as saying, “It’s an incredibly lucrative business if you have the energy to compete.”

– prepared by Varsha Gupta of NewsGram. Twitter: @VarshaGupta94

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Medical online startups attracting foreign patients to India

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startups
Image source: keweenawhealth.com

New Delhi: India, ‘the pharmacy of the developing world’, sees foreign patients flocking to the country due to its specialised and cost-effective medical care. This has resulted in the mushrooming of online startups that help foreign nationals find the best treatment in the country.

One such medical tourism start-up, PlanMyMedicalTrip.com, which was started nine years back, is now serving as a one-stop solution provider for foreign medical tourists.

“We have patients coming in from all over the world. However, Africa, GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) regions contribute towards the sector by as much as 30 percent of the total inflow,” said Anurav Rane, CEO, PlanMyMedicalTrip.com.

“There are a lot of different medical and surgical options for medical tourists coming to India. Primarily, medical tourists get elective procedures done such as cosmetic surgery, hip and knee replacements, dental procedures and infertility treatments,” he told reporters.

According to a white paper by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Grant Thornton, the Indian medical tourism market is set to touch $8 billion by 2020, up from the current $3 billion.

Saed Saber from Egypt recently came to India for knee replacement. “I wanted to get my knee replacement done but was confused as to how I should go about it. Since options in my country are limited with a high price tag for treatment, I started exploring for options, that is when I came to know about PlanMyMedicalTrip.com,” he said.

Saber visited PlanMyMedicalTrip.com to get his queries answered. “I got to know several options for hospitals across India and also got all the necessary procedures sorted for me in no time,” he told reporters.

IndiaHealthCareTourism.com, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is an initiative by the government to boost healthcare tourism. It is a web portal that helps and guides the patients who are looking for treatment options in India. It lists 93 topmost medical centres, 30 Ayurveda and wellness centres and one special category centre.

Another online venture, Medi Connect India, deals with the latest technologies like IVF (infertility), robotics surgeries, stem cell therapies, etc.

“The main reason behind India becoming a hub for medical tourism for foreigners is cost-effectiveness. Here in metro cities, you would get world-class treatment under the best doctors in a much cheaper way than what they would end up paying in their respective countries,” Shalini, assistant team lead, Medi Connect India, told reporters.

“In countries like Africa, a lot of modern treatments and good doctors are not available and hence they find India a good destination for medical reasons. Here, the best treatments are available with no waiting time in the company of highly-qualified doctors,” she added.

Medi Connect India has won the “National Tourism Award” for two consecutive years for excellence in medical tourism.

To serve foreign nationals better, most of the top-rated hospitals in India have also hired language translators to make patients, especially from Balkan and African countries, feel comfortable and help facilitate their treatment.

According to the CII-Grant Thornton white paper, Chennai, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi-NCR are the most favoured medical tourism destinations for foreigners who avail treatments in India.

Cost is a major driver for nearly 80 percent of medical tourists across the globe, it added.

The cost factor and availability of accredited facilities have led to the emergence of several global medical tourism corridors like Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica- and India appears to have taken a lead. (Vivek Singh Chauhan, IANS)