Kerala to usher in India’s first policy for start-ups
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The Kerala government is set to unveil the country's first-ever policy framed to encourage start-up companies. As part of the policy, reviewed by FE, Kerala will invite leading venture capitalists from Silicon Valley, Israel, Russia, China, etc, to partner the state in setting up angel investment funds.
The policy has also outlined handsome tax-breaks. The necessary orders regarding setting up these funds will be issued by December 31 this year and three such early-stage investment funds will be made operational by March 31, according to chief minister Oommen Chandy. The programme — Startup Kerala — will roll from January, 2013.
In an exclusive interaction with FE, Chandy said his government's ambition is to brand Kerala as one of the top five IT start-up destinations in the world by 2017. "Kerala's youngsters are no longer the rebellious kind seen in the '80 and '90s. They want to create value in the state and achieve. We want to support them, and hence this policy," he said.
The returns from the initial three rounds will be reinvested to start more such funds in the state. "This move is expected to attract the best of Indian start-ups to set up their base in Kerala. We are looking to create 3,000 IT product start-ups in Kerala by 2020," the CM said.
"I would like Kerala to be known as a state renowned for innovation and product start-ups," he added.
For too long, investors have stayed away from the state, thanks to militant trade unionism. "We want to change this image," Chandy said. "We are trying to ensure that our youngsters do not have to go overseas in search of jobs. For too long, Kerala had this mindset of going to the West Asia and others parts of the world to earn a living. Our new start-up policy will encourage youngsters to become job givers and not job seekers. This requires a big shift mindset and the youth of Kerala are ready for this image make-over."