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Modi to find answers to India's woes with 'Champions of change' CEOs

Modi and NITI officials are meeting 212 entrepreneurs tomorrow to elicit their views on initiatives

Karan Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

Narendra Modi

— the country’s think-tank that finds solutions to problems ranging from economic issues to how Indian athletes can get more Olympic medals — is now looking towards the start-up community to find answers to India’s woes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will meet 212 entrepreneurs on Thursday to get their views on almost everything under the sun — jobs, ease of doing business, climate change, tourism, health care, skilling. Ahead of this meeting, Modi met the entrepreneurs for a private chat over dinner on Wednesday. This is the second such event — after Prime Minister’s magnum opus event Startup India in January 2016 — where start-up bosses are being called by the PM en-masse. This would lead to a similar programme on August 21-22, where 180 young CEOs would deliberate on six subjects — New India 2022, Digital India, Emerging a Sustainable Tomorrow, Health and Nutrition, Education and Skill Development, and Soft Power. Under the 'Champions Of Change' programme, organised by NITI Aayog, young entrepreneurs have already begun deliberations on the six themes. “It is encouraging to see that our Prime Minister and the government have invited opinions from change agents such as new-age entrepreneurs in solving key problems. I am confident that this initiative will result in some concrete solutions, and also prove to be an enabler to thousands of budding start-ups,” Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who would be part of the event, said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met entrepreneurs at Wednesday’s event and ensured that efforts were being made to make the system efficient. “The system today is geared to drive change. Decision making, too, has become far more efficient,” Jaitley said. Law and Justice, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad; Railways and Communications Minister Manoj Sinha; Minister for Coal Power and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal; HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar; and Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya also interacted with the private sector on Wednesday. The entrepreneurs will now make a presentation to the PM on action points that could be incorporated in the 15-Year Vision Document, a senior NITI Aayog official said. “Entrepreneurs need to focus on job creation, moving away from capital-intensive or high-skill jobs,” Panagariya said.

Ease of doing business has been a constant demand of start-ups, who still find it hard to run a business in the country. The government has, in the past few months, come out with some policies to provide relief to Indian companies. Most recently, it notified provisions for fast-tracking resolution of insolvency proceedings. Under this part of the code, also applicable to small companies, insolvency proceedings would be completed in 90 days. According to industry data, 95 per cent of start-ups are unsuccessful ventures and wind down within two years. However, liquidation of the companies is a painful process that takes at least five years.

Points being discussed at 'Champions Of Change' event

  • Building a healthy and safe
  • India, enabling health care access to all with focus on rural health
  • Reducing dropout rates to building world-class universities
  • How India can become less-cash economy
  • How billions of data points can be used to help the country

First Published: Thu, August 17 2017. 02:09 IST