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Startup 18 Jan 2016

Wellness industry beginners laud PM Modi’s Startup India, Standup India initiative

After announcing the ‘Startup India initiative’ on the 69th Independence Day of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled the historic initiative January 16, in span of only 5 months.

After making a buzz in media for announcing the ‘Startup India Initiative’ in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made dream come true by officially launching the much-anticipated programme on January 16, 2016.

What is ‘Start-up India’ initiative?

The Government through this initiative aims to empower Startups to grow through innovation and design. In order to meet the objectives of the initiative, Government of India is announcing this Action Plan that addresses all aspects of the Startup ecosystem.

A flagship initiative of the Government of India, it intended to build a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and start-ups in the country that will drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.

With this Action Plan the Government hopes to accelerate spreading of the Startup movement:

• From digital/ technology sector to a wide array of sectors including agriculture,manufacturing, social sector, healthcare, education, etc.; and

• From existing tier I cities to tier II and III cities including semi-urban and rural areas.

The Action Plan is divided across the following areas:

• Simplification and Handholding

• Funding Support and Incentives

• Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation

How wellness start-ups taking it?

In the Vigyan Bhawan auditorium, PM Modi announced the Startup Action Plan, which aims to allow a start-up to wind-down its operations in 90 days after it appoints a liquidator/insolvency professional and pays off all creditors and sells the assets.

Reacting over the initiative, Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo said, “With the Start Up Action plan, we will see more young entrepreneurs take the risk of starting their own venture and building innovative solutions to solve meaningful problems for Indian, as well as for the global audience. I think the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill that will allow start-ups to exit faster, within 90 days is a great step towards encouraging more people to take the plunge of starting a new venture, without fearing failure.”

The high-profile event took place in New Delhi and was attended by hundreds of investors and renowned entrepreneurs, like the founder of taxi-hailing app Uber, Travis Kalanick.

Leading eCommerce marketplaces Flipkart and Snapdeal, have highlighted the potential of home-grown technology successes in a country best known for capitalising on cheap engineering talent as the world's back office, says media reports.

The push by BJP government is the first time Indian policymakers have announced a set of policies directly aimed at promoting start-ups and entrepreneurship.

On Saturday our 15th PM of India had assured that start-up companies would benefit from cheaper and faster patent applications, enjoying 80 per cent rebates on the cost of patents and will be exempt from income tax for the first three years, in which they make a profit.

Meanwhile, India’s largest online doctor consultation platform, Lybrate’s Founder, Saurabh Arora noted, “Measures like single point contact, patent protection, creation of funds  and on top of all tax incentives will provide a huge boost to the entire start-up ecosystem and propel start-ups to the next level. The government is very supportive and believes in the tremendous potential of entrepreneurial ventures and how immensely they can contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country. The steps announced will further spur entrepreneurial mindset in India.”

He further added, “The government’s vision and our (Lybrate’s) goals are in sync with each other and we look forward to working with the government moving ahead.”

Significantly, in past couple of years, a pool of start-ups has emerged to spread awareness and quick availability of grooming and wellness services. With these embarking on journeys into the wellness space, the industry is expected to hit an inflection point of growth.

“A start-up is about 10 per cent idea, 20 per cent funding and 70 per cent team and execution. I am very positive about Government’s initiative to support start-ups, especially women entrepreneurs. It will change the face of Indian start-up eco-system and will bring India at forefront of innovation, while creating ample job opportunities and wealth for the country,” said Poonam Marwah, Co-Founder, Vyomo, a mobile marketplace for beauty & wellness services.

Similarly, Siddhartha Sengupta, Founder of Samskrt beauty product brand said, “Absolute welcome to PM Modi’s incentive for start-ups as it shows, how serious the Indian government is towards developing the country. As a wellness start-up, it would equip my brand Samskrt to be more competitive in the market by reducing the tax burden, as well as, by making it easier to get the patent registrations in way quicker with cheaper rate. This I believe is a brilliant move.”

Set-up after April 1, 2016, to promote, growth and profit of start-ups shall be exempted from income-tax for a period of three years. Exemptions shall be given in case Capital Gains are invested in the fund of funds recognised by the government.

Additionally, existing capital gain tax exemption for investment in newly formed MSMEs by individuals shall be extended to all start-ups.

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