India is in the middle of a much-needed start-up revolution

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India now has 38,756 officially-recognised start-ups –– with 27 unicorns, eight of which achieved this status in 2020 –– and is the third-largest tech start-up hub globally.

Entrepreneurs today are utilising the unprecedented advances from technology, operating on the demands of our demography, and inadvertently steering citizen welfare.

Five years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Start-Up India initiative, we are witnessing a golden chapter in the history of Indian entrepreneurship.

India now has 38,756 officially-recognised start-ups –– with 27 unicorns, eight of which achieved this status in 2020 –– and is the third-largest tech start-up hub globally.

According to Praxis Global Alliance, start-ups are growing at an average rate of 12–15% annually. Start-ups have raised $63 billion between 2016–20 in funding, $20 billion of which was raised in 2019 over 1,854 deals. Investments in start-ups are growing incrementally each year ($12 billion, $25.2 billion, $26.3 billion, and $34 billion invested in the last four years, respectively), with $16.7 billion till May 2020. Start-Up India kickstarted an entrepreneurship revolution. Several policy interventions were since announced, giving the entrepreneurial ecosystem a much-needed launchpad. The overhaul of the digital payments ecosystem is being led by State innovation, with Aadhaar, Jan Dhan, UPI, and India Stack. The Atal Innovation Mission, Niti Aayog, has built an ecosystem of 8,800 tinkering labs, 4,000 mentors and over two-and-a-half million students, and acted as a conduit for over 3,500 innovations while supporting 1,500 start-ups.

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Indian Railways to soon introduce these 20 in-house Made-in-India innovations

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On the list is also a system to monitor real-time CCTV footage on board trains

The Western Railway has developed natural water coolers, with zero electric consumption, each at a cost of ₹1.25 lakh.

The North Central Railway has developed a vehicular system for ultrasonic flaw detection of rails.

The Railway Board has decided to implement 20 innovations by its employees to make train journeys safer and improve passenger comfort – such as a bell warning to alert travellers minutes before a train departs, real-time CCTV monitoring inside coaches, printing of unreserved tickets through mobile applications – on a mass scale.

While most of the 20 innovations are aimed at technical improvements to boost safety, some of the innovations are also directed at passenger comfort.

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Two-wheeler rental startups expect to ride high as public transport comes to a halt

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Self-drive scooter businesses like Bounce, Vogo, and Yulu expect to see an uptick in adoption, with public transportation utilization capped at less than 50% due to social distancing norms.

Self-drive scooter businesses like Bounce, Vogo, and Yulu expect to see an uptick in adoption, with public transportation utilization capped at less than 50% due to social distancing norms and disposable incomes taking a hit owing to salary cuts and lower earnings, these firms tell ET.

The nationwide lockdown has forced state governments to significantly cut public transportation services, restricting commute options for healthcare workers, civic authorities, and delivery executives.

Shared two-wheelers are more efficient and provide low-cost rider-friendly alternative to public transport. “With the movement of people being staggered out, self-drive shared scooters can help drive down the prices through economies of scale and pass on the benefits to the end consumer, in this case—commuters,” said Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO of Bounce.

These businesses, however, say that state governments and businesses need to jointly build newer ways of shared and public transport to cater to safer mobility solutions. “We need to ensure adequate preparedness of cities to cater to these new requirements in the most efficient manner possible,” Anand Ayyadurai, CEO at Vogo, said.

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Indians are waiting to dineout with family and friends post lockdown: Survey

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The report also revealed that most of India have been craving Pizza since the lockdown has been implemented, except Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata where their popular & indigenous Biryani recipes reign supreme.

As per the report, 77% respondents claimed that they are waiting to dine out with friends and family once the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.

As the world grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by restaurant tech platform, Dineout across 20 Indian cities has revealed that diners now rank safety assurance and premier hygiene as top factors when they choose a restaurant to dine out in a post-COVID world.

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Over 80% of India’s small businesses expect to scale down, shut shop, or sell off in six months

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The coronavirus outbreak has left India’s startups and small businesses jittery about their future.

As much as 61% startups and small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country are staring at the possibility of scaling down their business in the next six months. Only 13% are expecting their business to grow, according to a survey conducted between April 18 and 23 by LocalCircles, a community-led social media engagement platform.

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Jeff Bezos bullish on India, will invest $1 billion to digitize small businesses

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Amazon hopes to export goods worth $10 billion from India by 2025

 Jeff Bezos said Amazon will invest another $1 billion in India to help 10 million Indian small and medium businesses (SMBs) sell online amid nationwide protests by neighbourhood shopkeepers against his visit and the competition watchdog ordering a probe into ecommerce platforms.

Amazon, which has invested more than $5 billion in India since 2013, said its latest programme will help SMBs participate in India’s rapidly growing ecommerce and that it hopes to export locally made goods worth $10 billion from the country by 2025.

“Our goal is, don’t forget, to make sure that more people can participate in the prosperity of India,” Bezos told the audience at an Amazon event in New Delhi.

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India mulls incentives to woo 324 firs as trade war simmers

 

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India Plans Incentives to Bring In Foreign Manufacturers From Tesla to Glaxo

Bloomberg) — India is planning to offer 324 companies including Tesla Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc incentives to set up factories in the South Asian nation in a bid to capitalize from the trade war between China and the U.S., according to a document seen Bloomberg.

The government proposes to provide the manufacturers land to set up a factory along with power, water and road access, according to draft of the document prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and Invest India. Other companies that officials will reach out to include Eli Lilly & Co., South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical Corp., and Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

While the trade war has benefited countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia, rigid land acquisition rules and labor laws have prompted investors to largely ignore India when looking for alternatives to China. The latest proposal may reduce red tape, and set the nation, which expanded at the slowest pace in six years last quarter, on a path to double its gross domestic product to $5 trillion by 2025 – a goal set Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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First long-distance heart surgery performed via robot

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In a feat of networking, engineering, and medicine, a doctor performed a heart procedure while standing 20 miles from his patient.

A doctor in India has performed a series of five percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures on patients who were 20 miles away from him. The feat was pulled off using a precision vascular robot developed by Corindus. The results of the surgeries, which were successful, have just been published in EClinicalMedicine, a spin-off of medical journal The Lancet.

The feat is an example of telemedicine, an emerging field that leverages advances in networking, robotics, mixed reality, and communications technologies to beam in medical experts to remote locations for everything from consultations to surgical procedures. Telemedicine, which could decentralize healthcare by distributing doctors into local communities virtually, could ease shortages of nurses and doctors and potentially cut healthcare costs. In France, people are already visiting Telehealth cabins for fast, convenient healthcare. During the recent Ebola crisis, the University of Virginia delivered care in parts of Africa via telemedicine.

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Chinese shadow growing longer over India’s electric-vehicle dream

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India’s dream of getting more and more middle-class families to use electric vehicles (EVs) seems to be hinging to Beijing, which controls the supply of some key battery components. And this might well become another flashpoint in the volatile relations between India and China.

With nations placing a strategic interest in controlling the supply chain, political interference in mining activities is increasingly making the availability of lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper scarce, EV major Tesla has warned. India might soon have to join a global struggle for Lithium, the most consequential of these minerals.

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Automakers run into collision with Centre’s electric vehicle plan

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Two- and three-wheeler manufacturers are stoutly resisting the government’s e-mobility plan. The government wants to ban internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered three- and two-wheelers (with an engine capacity of less than 150cc) by 2023 and 2025, respectively, and replace them with electric vehicles (EVs).

With the meeting between the NITI Aayog and auto industry executives ending in a stalemate on Friday, the two sides may continue to spar over the road map for e-mobility in one of the world’s most polluted countries..

Via Wap Business Standard

 

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Tata: Most valuable Indian brand in 2019

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It is not unusual for the Tata group to top brand valuation charts, as it has done several years in a row. But what has come as a surprise, in the 2019 study by UK-based Brand Finance of the nation’s leading 100 brands, is the sharp jump in brand valuation achieved by the salt-to-software business house.

The 2019 list, released exclusively to Business Standard, shows a 37 per cent jump in brand value for the Tata group, to $19.55 billion for 2019, the highest in the top 25. Last year, the group had achieved a brand value of $14.23 billion, which was a jump of nearly nine per cent over the previous year.

“The Tata group’s presence across sectors makes it a pioneering force to reckon with,” says David Haigh, chief executive officer, Brand Finance, about the conglomerate’s performance this year.

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India going cashless could be a model for the world

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India aims to curb cash – but this time it wants to do it properly.

A cashless society wasn’t the original goal of the country’s draconian currency ban in November 2016. But when an acute shortage of banknotes gave a fillip to digital wallets, that purpose was added as an afterthought to justify an act of farcical state overreach.

The real innovation in mobile payments in India began a few months prior to the cash ban. It’s called a unified payment interface, or UPI. The name is clunky, but the idea is simple. One smartphone owner who’s a customer of Bank A can request a payment from, or initiate a payment to, another owner who has an account with Bank B. Neither party needs to know anything more than each other’s mobile number or a virtual ID. They don’t even need to use the same mobile app to transact.

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