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Create platforms to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation: Nilekani

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The central government needs to create platforms for entrepreneurs and innovation to flourish in the country, Nandan Nilekani, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India, said Friday.

He was speaking at a workshop on "Indo-US Startup Accelerator" organised by FICCI in partnership with the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum and Department of Science and Technology.

Nilekani said the UID platform was created after looking at the two successful innovations that took place in the US, namely internet and GPS, and both became platforms for numerous entrepreneurs and startups.

Citing the example of the Aadhaar card, he said platforms lead to expansion.

"Aadhaar cards have led to creation of an infrastructure of unique identity of people, digital authentication of a person, electronic KYC (Know Your Customer) and capability of creating a financial address," he said.

The workshop signifies the joint commitment of all partners to create an enabling ecosystem for the young and dynamic startups from to make the big leap.

T. Ramasami, secretary, Department of Science and Technology, identified financial support, access to market, material and technology as the challenges that the entrepreneurs and startups face.

"It is often seen that funds are easily available to already established entrepreneurs. However, startups find it difficult to acquire seed funding," said Ramasami.

He said the government and entrepreneurs should learn and gain from each other's experiences.

"Startups have the advantage of being sensitive to the needs of the place and can be a part of the development process. They already enjoy economies of scope but need to expand economies of scale," he added.

Nancy J. Powell, US Ambassador to India, said the startup ecosystem should allow for failures and not result in dire consequences such as drying up of funding sources.

"Entrepreneurs are by nature risk takers and sometimes their ventures fail. Many successful entrepreneurs achieved success on third or fourth attempt to start a viable business," she said.

First Published: Fri, November 22 2013. 21:02 IST