India's Deeptech Revolution: Policy Nears Finalization

India's startup landscape gears up for transformation as Deeptech policy nears finalization. Emphasizing commercialization and IPR development, officials envision a supportive environment for high-tech startups. Read for updates from Startup Mahakumbh.

Swati Dayal
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Deeptech Policy

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In a significant update on the trajectory of India's startup ecosystem, RK Singh, Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), announced at the Startup Mahakumbh event that the Deeptech startup policy is in its concluding phase of inter-ministerial consultations. The three-day event, kickstarted today in New Delhi, marks a crucial juncture for the startup industry.

Singh underscored the pivotal role of commercialization and the development of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the startup landscape.

He emphasized, "What really matters in startups is its ability to commercialize and develop intellectual property rights (IPR). It's not enough to only innovate, you should be able to convert it into IPR which is of long-term benefit to the country and to yourself. Deeptech and extensive research and development would be the answer to that."

Focus on Deeptech Innovation

The forthcoming policy is poised to provide robust support to startups operating in high-end technology domains, including artificial intelligence, internet of things, space technology, and machine learning. Singh hinted at the prospect of a separate window dedicated to deeptech startups, which could potentially streamline processes and enhance support mechanisms for such ventures.

Debjani Ghosh, President of Nasscom, likened deeptech to a key unlocking India's accelerated growth potential. Ghosh affirmed, "Think of deeptech as the key required to unlock the accelerated growth potential of India. The ecosystem which is going to unlock that key is the startup economy."

Call for Deeptech Fund of Funds

Highlighting the necessity for substantial financial backing, Amitabh Kant, India's G20 sherpa, advocated for a significant deeptech fund of funds.

Kant proposed directing resources into alternate investment funds (AIFs), citing the pivotal role played by such funds in propelling the success stories within the startup ecosystem. 

“We will need a big deeptech fund of funds, which will deploy resources into alternate investment funds (AIFs), because much of the startup movement's success story has been because we were able to create the fund of funds," he said.

Government's Commitment to Deeptech

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in the Budget 2024, had announced plans for a new scheme aimed at fortifying deep-tech technologies for defense purposes, aligning with the overarching goal of fostering self-reliance or 'Atmanirbharta'. This move signifies the government's proactive stance towards nurturing indigenous innovation and technological prowess.

Unicorn Presence at Startup Mahakumbh

The Startup Mahakumbh event anticipates participation from more than 40 unicorn startups, showcasing burgeoning strength of India's startup ecosystem. Founders from illustrious companies such as Lenskart, Boat, Dream11, Oyo, Razorpay, Zerodha, Acko, Moglix, Urban Company, and Nykaa are slated to grace the event.

Organized in collaboration with industry bodies including Assocham, Nasscom, Bootstrap Incubation and Advisory Foundation, TiE, and Indian Venture and Alternate Capital Association (IVCA), the event aims at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. With the backing of DPIIT, MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), and Invest India, the event is poised to catalyze the growth trajectory of the startup ecosystem.

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