Saturday, February 25, 2017

Budget this

I hope this Budget will be an Entrepreneurial Budget.
I am firmly of the belief that the economic strength of this country rests on the Atlas-like shoulders of its start-up, small and medium size enterprises.
These are the people who today take maximum risk, get least support from the government and battle against all odds: poor quality staff, extortionists, horrible infrastructure, stifling bureaucracy, high debt, too many taxes, hurdles for expansion, un-supportive ecosystems. ...among others.
The big companies rarely innovate because they get their way by lobbying with the government. Socialistic policies that throw money at the poor rarely have a long term benefit. It also breeds laziness. Frankly we have to admit that one section of our society is not going to work and there's no point in throwing money on them.
Therefore my budget should:
1. Provide entrepreneurs with ease to set up and operate their business
2. Create avenues and forums to help provide money and managerial support for them
3. Remove infrastructural roadblocks and create high speed corridors to operate businesses
4. Set up platforms where they can collaborate and meet innovators for mutual benefit
5. Attract international talent to infuse a global perspective.
In my opinion by unlocking the potential of this segment, the government will unleash a wave of economic progress which will benefit all sections of society who will now have role models to emulate.
Economics is all about enterprise and not managing the books of account. Right now is the opportunity. Let's hope our hon. Finance Minister grabs it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Real innovation is happening outside the fake, fake world of tech startups & venture capitalists

There are two kinds of 'technology' startups in India. One that has little innovation, low usability, minimal technology and is often digital based. These are found inside the IIT campuses of this country. These are funded by 'Angel' investors, international PE and venture capitalists firms and their Indian clones, sitting in coffee shops outside these campuses who have no real understanding of technology. They care even less about the social implications of what they're putting their money (sorry, other money) into. They're only object is 5(?)X return. The esteemed pink paged newspapers are full of the stories of these people.
Then there are people across India who invent things because either they, or people they love suffer a problem which they can't bear to see. These could be uneducated, poorly educated faceless people in nameless villages. The parts they use to invent astonishing things are all around us. Their brilliance is in relentlessly putting it all together to make that thing that solves the problem of the ones they care for. And in the process they perhaps provide a link to solving a catastrophic problem the world's grappling with. They too have investors. Their fathers, mothers, relatives, neighbors who donate money (that won't equal the amount of money the PE firms spend in a month at the coffee shops) not expecting anything in return. Their innovations rarely are heard of in the mainline press.
The day we separate the wheat from the chaff, the day we understand and recognize true innovation. The day we look for social impact over return...that day... India will become a genuine value-based economic super-power.