Settling For Less- India’s Tryst with Startups

Is the government helping you enough to start a start-up?

By Udayjot Singh | Senior Correspondent | November 5, 2018

Indians have always been known for their creative ideas, their entrepreneurial brains and their will to work hard to turn their dreams into reality. Many of such Indians were so excited about the “Start-up India” scheme which was launched by the present NDA government. With excitement came big expectations and with expectations came a lot of disappointment. As good as the efforts of the government seemed to be, the result was not even close. So, an established fact is that the government is failing in its idea to promote entrepreneurship among the young Indian brains. But the question that still remains is “Why are they failing to do so?” Even when they dedicated a whole new scheme to it. Is it because of some external factors which are beyond the control of the government? Well, as shocking as it may seem, the truth is that the government is failing to do so because of their own policies.

Let us understand the situation while taking into consideration the recent takeover of Flipkart by Walmart. We were so happy about the success of Sachin and Binny Bansal who were the brains behind the whole idea of Flipkart, as they were offered quite an amount for the deal. Now, the point here is that was it their first choice to sell of the business? The answer is no. What actually happened was a completely different scenario than what was portrayed by the media and the government. Back when Flipkart started its business and had started to receive investments, there appeared a big hurdle. The hurdle was nothing else but an outdated policy of Indian Government which banned FDI in online retail in India. Sachin and Binny had a clear picture in mind that if they kept the ownership of the company restricted to India they won’t be able to make much out of it. So, “The Great Indian Policies”, which should have been in the favour of their most promising start-up in the field of E-Commerce ended up being against them. Owing to this the company flipped their ownership to a newly established company in Singapore named Flipkart Pvt. Ltd. Flipkart, which had to run and flourish in India could now no longer be owned by the Indian Capital itself. How worse could it get than this? Well, there is more, they even dragged Flipkart to court for alleged circumvention of FDI rules. Not only Flipkart around 20 more e-commerce companies were investigated. A single outdated policy costed India its most promising online retail business. The boys had no choice than to sell it. Yes, they settled for quite less. Just imagine, if there had been a different approach by not outlawing them from India. What if they were given special ownership rights over their company? What if they were not threatened with prosecution for doing a tremendous job? The answer to this is that India would have set a global benchmark in the e-commerce business and Flipkart would have emerged as one of the leading online retail stores in the world. It is time we question the government about these policies. Whether they are actually helping in starting a start-up or just forcing them to settle for less?

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