Union Minister Suresh Prabhu Encourages Startup Culture In A Facebook Live Session


The Indian startup ecosystem has been proliferating at a fast rate and has now become the home of billionaire entrepreneurs and unicorns. Thus, the Indian government has been making efforts to create an environment that would be beneficial to the young entrepreneurs.

However, this is easier said than done as there still are tight regulations, and crucial issues demanding attention from the ecosystem to flourish further.

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Amidst all of this, Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu took to Facebook on 16 May to address entrepreneurs’ concerns through the hashtag #AskPrabhu. The minister also highlighted the support that they can seek from Startup India.

#AskPrabhu – Startup India

Live session: Answering Questions on Startup India #AskPrabhu

Geplaatst door Suresh Prabhu op woensdag 16 mei 2018

Mr. Prabhu congratulated all entrepreneurs and emphasising that the government and startup community should work together to redefine India’s economy. 

About the session

  • Mentoring is considered as a significant driver when it comes to startup growth and success. While responding to a query on mentorship, Mr. Suresh Prabhu said that finding a good mentor is more important than just seeking mentorship. He added that entrepreneurs need more self-confidence to build and scale their startup, rather than just mentoring, and reiterated that mentoring is important but is not the only prerequisite for startups to succeed.
  • He highlighted three key issues that aspiring entrepreneurs often face – the idea of starting up, converting an idea into a business solution, and then taking it through several hurdles like regulations, talent, and others.
  • The commerce minister also talked of the mental block that exists in terms of starting up or doing business. He stressed there is a social stigma around the risk-taking ability of doing a business, and that needs to be changed. Prabhu is confident that successful businessmen and billionaire entrepreneurs would become role models and change this mindset.

“Mindset change is very important. Earlier, people used to think I have taken a lot of risk, and I don’t want my son to take that much risk and suffer by doing a business. The scenario will change by creating real-life heroes. I am sure people will soon realise that business is good, it’s a matter of time,”

he said.

  • Suresh Prabhu also touched upon other key issues – tax exemption and regulations – for startups. He highlighted the tax holiday provisions which allows startups with revenues less than Rs 25 crore a year, and incorporated between April 1, 2016, and April 1, 2021, to claim tax deductions for three consecutive assessment years out of seven years. The minister also urged entrepreneurs to visit Startup India hub for more details and regular updates about the ecosystem.
  • Talking about regulations, Suresh Prabhu explained that regulations are framed based on working of the market and the prevalent system. But, he added that a startup is different from the old system and therefore regulations might undergo necessary changes in the future.
  • He also responded to queries on fund schemes, and agro-based export start-ups, and assured that the government is exploring avenues to enhance the mobility of perishable goods.
  • Shedding light on the importance of women entrepreneurship, Suresh Prabhu said there is a lack of active participation of women entrepreneurs in the ecosystem, and assured that the government is working on initiatives to boost women startups.

Before ending the Facebook live, Suresh Prabhu said,

“One can’t weigh business ethics over profitability and vice versa.”

While responding to a query on ‘business ethics versus profitability’, the minister said entrepreneurs need to balance both, and one cannot exist without the other.

The minister said he is a strong believer in the power of social media.

In order to spread awareness about the startup ecosystem, the commerce minister said that the government is organising several initiatives to create more awareness including Startup Yatra. He believes that creating awareness through participation is important, and the first Facebook live startup session was also an effort in this direction. 

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