Economic Democracy was the central theme of the India Today Conclave session 'Start Up Nation; Are serial entrepreneurs the politicians of economic democracy?' Session Chairperson and UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani spoke about India's potential to become one of the world's largest open market economies, with entrepreneurs creating more jobs and products.
TutorVista promoter Meena Ganesh spoke about the ecosystem for entrepreneurs and said it was constantly changing and evolving. Citing the example of Bangalore, she said it is buzzing with start-up energy with a host of incubators and mentors nurturing new businesses. "Indian entrepreneurs are working on finding solutions to ground level problems and many social impact solutions will soon be imported from India."
The session focused on the roles of venture capitalists (VC) and the government in giving a thrust to this ecosystem. Ganesh spoke about the inconsistency in tax structures for VCs and angel investors and said that they impact and squeeze out the energy from entrepreneurs and investors. Also, the imperative need of FDI in e-commerce remains to be addressed by the government. She cited the example of Singapore, pointing out that the government is providing an enabling environment to investors by allowing Angel investors to get tax concessions instead of being taxed, as in India. "The government needs to understand that there is no choice but to work with entrepreneurs."
Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, spoke about the need for consistent regulation and how it should keep pace with the fast evolving business ecosystem.
The panelists felt that government facilitation and easier access to capital are key to enabling entrepreneurship. Alok Kejriwal, co-founder of Games2Win, pointed out that an institute such as the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship could go a long way in guiding budding entrepreneurs.