BENGALURU: Only 10 percent of the capital in startups in the country now is Indian. We do not want to be a digital colony, said TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education addressing Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, at a post budget interaction held by Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Bengaluru on Sunday.
“Of 43 unicorns, 21 are outside India and have an Indian subsidiary. We do not want to be a subsidiary for an MNC outside India. Indian startups suffer lack of capital and regulations. Capital is the biggest handicap for startups in India,” Pai said in his speech.
He pointed out other challenges such as overseas companies not investing in India due to regulations and their need for ease of doing business. “There are 1200 agri tech startups of which 300 are funded. They all ensure that farmers earn 15 to 20 percent more by connecting farmers to the market. We want NABARD to create a fund to invest in the startups so business can go up from 5000 crores a month to 40,000 crores in 3 years. Farmers will thus get more income,” he proposed.
Speaking about children who have been left out of the digital revolution during the pandemic, Pai said that only 40 percent of school going kids had access to online education. He said that government action is needed on this and unfortunately, this has not featured in the budget.
He proposed that in two years for 10 crore children, government school children can be given tablets costing Rs 10,000 each, with preloaded software for education.
He suggested that it can be a centre state initiative costing 1 lakh crore. “Rs 40,000 crores to Rs 50,000 crores from universal service obligation fund we pay to telecom companies can be used. These children should not be left out of education,” Pai stated.