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Digital opportunities should spread to Tier 2 cities: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Digital opportunities should spread to Tier 2 cities: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

The minister, speaking at the IGF Forum in Bengaluru, affirmed that the mission of the central government has been to include youth from all parts of India into the growing phenomenon of entrepreneurship.

Chandrasekhar interacted with 30 unicorn founders and CEOs for a closed-door morning breakfast roundtable session. Chandrasekhar interacted with 30 unicorn founders and CEOs for a closed-door morning breakfast roundtable session.

Speaking at the IGF Forum in Bengaluru, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the next wave of digitisation needs to ensure that digital opportunities should further spread to Tier 2 cities. The minister affirmed that the mission of the central government has been to include youth from all parts of India into the growing phenomenon of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Reports suggest that in 2021, over 90 per cent of the total VC capital inflow went to start-ups based out of the Big 3 cities. However, many other cities were able to make their presence felt as well. In addition to Jaipur and Indore, which have been on the start-up scene as well as the VC radar for a while now, start-ups headquartered in cities like Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram were also able to capture interest and drive multi-million-dollar raises.

The minister interacted with 30 unicorn (or companies with over $1 billion valuation) founders and CEOs for a closed-door morning breakfast roundtable session. Some of the names from the start-up world who were present for the meeting included Kunal Shah of CRED, Suhail Sameer of BharatPe, and Amrish Rau of Pinelabs.
Chandresekhar emphasised on the need for projecting the India story at the global forums. 

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"There is a need to pitch India's story in the global arena as this is the inflection point in the Indian tech space and more and more global investors must know about New India's growth story," he said. 

Pitching how technology is being embedded in governance and lives of people at a rapid pace, the minister added, " Next 2-3 years shall witness deeper and wider expansion of innovation - unprecedented in the history of India."
He also addressed the concluding session by sharing an advice to the budding entrepreneurs:  "Try and discover the skills and abilities you have aside from the textbooks, it is necessary to develop that. There is no formula that works without determination and passion".

The Indian start-up ecosystem has seen exponential growth in past few years, especially between 2015 to 2021. Till FY 2016-17, approximately one unicorn was being added every year. Over the past four years (since FY 2017-18), this number has been increasing exponentially, with a whopping 66 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of additional unicorns being added every year. India is home to 88 unicorns with a total valuation of $295.99 billion. Out of the total number of unicorns, 44 unicorns, with a total valuation of $94.37 billion, were born in 2021 and 8 unicorns, with a total valuation of over $10 billion, were born in 2022.

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