Mr. Modi, the incumbent PM of India has decided to give a push to the economy of the country via an unconventional route called as Startup India.
I am glad, if not ecstatic. The talk of town “startups” is finally the talk of “Government”. The same Startups, which give immensely to our economy finally get the attention of our government.
I can very well go back and drop my first article Why not to start a startup?
With the incentives offered through startup India, we all can start a startup. I am no more a cynic. The country has now turned into a heaven (not haven 🙂 ) for startups.
Time to celebrate. Can we open the bubbly?
Alright. Hold your horses. The incentives announced by our PM still have to pass the “agni pariksha”. i.e, the bill is to pass through parliament.
Now that’s not an easy task. Considering the logjam parliament has witnessed for last decade or so, you can be sure of more drama.
Looking at the current scenario, it does not look like things will change on the ground. The opposition is giving the ruling party a taste of their own medicine.
There goes my bubbly down the drain 🙁
So looking at how the economy, country, we are at a standstill. Startup India, in reality, might never see the light of day if the current logjam persists.
Frankly speaking, this is one campaign which should help the Indian startup culture. My expectations from this glitzy campaign (mine and PM’s taste differ here. I like subtle. His party likes the other way) are simple and straightforward.
They are based on my experience as a startup “enthusiast” who has been a part of multiple startups. (more failures than successes).
Here is my list of expectations from Startup India:
- Easy Loans:
Finance is the biggest road block for any entrepreneur to start. Startup India can remove this roadblock by providing easy loans to entrepreneurs.
By Easy, I do not mean loans which startups cannot return. From what I have heard or read, these loans are reserved for the rich and mighty of this country.
The ones, who in cahoots with the banking and political structure are responsible for almost all the NPAs in public sector bank.
By easy loans, I meant loans available at attractive rates with a decent moratorium period. A process which involves less paperwork.
I have heard MUDRA is a loan aimed in this direction. I hope the loan is easy to avail and does not involve too many unnecessary “ifs and buts”.
- No Income tax for few years:
One of the attractive points in startup India campaign is the exemption for companies from paying income taxes for few years.
This is definitely a step in the right direction.
Most startups (especially the VC-less and dad-less ones) barely make enough to meet their expenses.
Imagine their joy, if the owners can take few pennies back home for their families. Or save few extra bucks to invest further in growing their business.
- Bribe less process:
I know this is too much to ask but let me explain why this is so important.
The day startups intend to start, they have to cross a bumpy road full of potholes. One of the prominent holes here is “the Bribe” culture in our country.
Starting from getting a firm/company registered in India to running it smoothly without a bribe is a pain.
You visit a government office or send your CA to get your firm registered with taxation, labor, PF, ESI and god knows how many departments. All you get to hear is, there are 100+ documents to fill or a bundle of currency required to simplify the process.
By the time your startup changes gear from neutral to 1st, you have visitors from taxation department knocking at your door at the oddest of time.
The expectations they have is stupidly unrealistic.
They expect you to get every single page of your company audited.
You got to look beyond the obvious to understand what this audit process involves.
All your compliance will turn zero, until and unless Mr. Auditor(s) from Government does not get to fill their pockets.
With me, they have always come when I am without money.
How I have managed to keep them smiling is a question the money lenders I borrowed money at exuberant rates can answer better. 🙂
Startups already have too many reasons to fail. Let bribe not be one of them.
- A simple taxation process:
India is a country of diversity. Language, food, culture. Everything changes when you move from one state to another. This is what they taught us in geography. I am sure this is what makes Incredible India a campaign to bet your money on.
Unfortunately, it’s just the other way around in Startup-ology. Here what changes from state to state is taxation structure.
There is no unity in diversity here.
GST, the promised land of simplifies taxes is still trying to find a way out of the slug-fest between political parties.
Till GST sees the light of day, can we please simplify taxation for startups?
- Affordable Infrastructure:
Now am I demanding too much? I guess I am.
Can we please have affordable office space with 24 X 7 electricity for startups? I have heard of a lot of states providing this facility to young entrepreneurs. If only the facility is extended to more locations, I am sure there is a huge scope of growth for startups.
To make sure the policy is not exploited by startups, Government can add few clauses.
For ex, you have to move out after 2 years of operations. This will ensure the new startups do not have to stand in a queue unnecessarily.
That’s it, sir/ma’am.
I know the campaign is a baby step to helping the startups of this country. I find solace in the fact, at least startups are finally on our government’s radar.
I am sure this will do the economy some good.