Driving the economic development of states by organising state level Investment meets or summits and attracting investment is in the trend nowadays. Every state government aims to provide its best support in ease of doing business by providing plethora of benefits like sector specific tax breaks, simplification of regulatory procedures by relaxing compliances, single window facilitation centres and so on.
While designing and implementing these measures is one thing, significant efforts are also made to market the state’s natural resources and business friendly ecosystem including infrastructure and policies.
In these times, competition is not just restricted to corporate but is catching up with State Governments as well. When India is fighting globally to improve its ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking as published by the World Bank, state governments within the country too are competing on their respective ranks. One will often find full page newspaper advertisements in national dailies with details on how the state is rich in various natural resources and doing better on various parameters compared to other states.
In one of his speeches at Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Narendra Modi has used the term “Competitive federalism” truly indicative of this growing spirit among states to become the preferred investment destination.
The competition at state level in India is also important, because yet the state level politics is primarily dominated by state level issues. To encourage state level politics, the current NDA government has made provision where states can draft and pass their own laws for land acquisition and to boost industry.
Today’s startups as they say are tomorrow’s corporate and will be the engines of growth for future. And so, state governments are also quickly catching up to provide the necessary encouragement to startups.
Here are the different initiatives taken for startups by various state governments as part of their respective investments summits:
Gujarat hosts a mega biennial investment summit since the year 2003. This year Gujarat hosted its 8th edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit and there was an action oriented seminar on Innovation, Startups & Entrepreneurship. The seminar was very much unique in its nature. The seminar had about 100 participants consisting of various stakeholders of the startup ecosystem like incubator heads, start-ups, academic innovation centers, people from civil society, accelerators, startup experts and consultants wherein the government brainstormed with them for 3 hours with a mandate to develop a robust and improved startup policy.
The Summit also had a large exhibition spread over an area of 1,25,000sq.mt. where start-ups were offered structured display spaces at discounted rates.
As part of pre-summit event, Gujarat also hosted a mega event dedicated to startups for two days in October, 2016. The event had various competitions and challenges, a coffee table book highlighting prominent 50 startups of Gujarat, a large exhibition where 200 start-up exhibitors participated, expert speaker session and other similar sub-events.
State government has mega plans to nurture start-ups and is also expecting to seed 2500 ideas by 2020.
Rajasthan Government organises its version of the biennial summit – Resurgent Rajasthan which was last held in in November 2015. It was a two-day event in the Pink City of Jaipur. To encourage small size entrepreneurs and startups, state government had scheduled a dedicated conclave on MSMEs.
Also the new Micro, Small, and Medium, Enterprise Policy (MSME Policy) and Start-up policy of the state were announced with an aim of setting up 500 innovative startups by 2020.
West Bengal has organised its third investors’ summit in the third week of January 2017 by the name of “Bengal Global Business Summit”. Last year, in a similar event, the state government also announced the start-up policy for the state.
This year, a two-hour plenary session on Startups & Entrepreneurship has been scheduled on the first day of event, moderated by Mohandas Pai.
Karnataka State organised its fourth edition of Global Investors Meet named as “Invest Karnataka 2016,” for two days in the first week of February 2016. Startup Policy of the state was announced few days before the event. Along with IT & ITES ventures, government showed its special inclination toward manufacturing startups in the state.
A thematic session of one and half hour was schedule with the theme titled as “Promoting startup culture in manufacturing & other sectors” which engaged the government, academicians, investors and manufacturing enterprises as panelists.
Haryana government organised the event in name of “Happening Haryana: Global Investors Summit 2016,” in March 2016 at Gurgaon. With an intention to boost entrepreneurship spirit among youth of the state a program called “Start-up torch” was organised.
The program was structured in a manner where chief minister lit the torch three months before the event and which travelled across the state to 25 various universities and colleges encouraging the students to take up innovation and entrepreneurship.
At last, the torch reached the summit and 5 best ideas were awarded in the summit.
Punjab government hosted a two-day event – ‘Progressive Punjab Investors Summit’ in Mohali in October 2015. A business plan competition was organised before the event. Finalists of the competition were given opportunity to present in front of panelist in one of the sessions on the second day of summit.
Also, in the valedictory function of the event, state government announced a startup fund of INR 100 Cr for young entrepreneurs.
Madhya Pradesh government is organising its investment summit since 2007 in the name of “Invest Madhya Pradesh Global Investors Summit”. The last edition was organised in October 2016. A large exhibition is hosted where various start-ups and small businesses had participated to showcase their products. Few days before the summit, government also announced their start-up policy and a venture capital fund of INR 100 Cr.
Lot of money is pledged in these summits. Every next time the summits are becoming larger and larger. The response claimed by every state government is very good. Though for start-up ecosystem it’s too early to evaluate the impact.