Gujarat, Karnataka best states for startup ecosystem: DPIIT rankings – Economic Times

Karnataka, Gujarat, and Meghalaya have emerged as best performers among Indian states in the startup rankings 2021 released by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on Monday.

The ranking recognises the efforts of the states and union territories from October 2019 to July 2021, aiming at fostering competition among them.

The ranking has classified the states under two categories – category A and category B – based on their size. While Karnataka and Gujarat fall in the A category, Meghalaya is under the B category.

States such as Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Telangana in the A category, and J&K in the B category, have bagged the title of top performers. Meanwhile, eight states, including Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh, and three B category states have been named leaders.

Commerce & industry minister Piyush Goyal honoured the state representatives.

Speaking at the event, Goyal said the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) – the government’s initiative to create a freely accessible online system for traders and consumers, will spawn a lot of startups. ONDC is being touted as a nationwide player that can break the monopoly prevailing in the e-commerce sector.

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“The Unified Payment Interface (UPI), which democratised the payment system in India, has been a huge success. In the next five years, we will have ONDC democratise the e-commerce space in India. We will have a few thousand startups, maybe more, and a few hundred unicorns,” Goyal said.

He added: “Rather than three companies being $100 billion or $1 trillion in size, you will have a thousand companies each of a billion dollars. That is the power of ONDC.”

Emphasizing that the Indian e-commerce ecosystem could become the best in the world, Goyal suggested that neighbouring states align and learn from each other. He also asked the department to get more startups on the Government E-Marketplace (GeM).

Startup ecosystem in districts

The union minister suggested there was a need to focus on developing the startup ecosystems in districts with the startup-related schemes of the central and state governments. He emphasized the need to onboard and register more startups.

He added there was a great opportunity to democratise the startup ecosystem akin to how the Indian Premier League (IPL) democratised cricket.

“As we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav [75 years of India’s independence], we must look at a bright future for all Indians, with the startup ecosystem leading from the front,” Goyal said.

Karnataka IT/BT minister CN Ashwath Narayan said the Centre has recognised Karnataka’s initiatives. “To mention a few, this includes launching engineering research and development policy to attract sector-focussed incentives, creating regulatory sandboxes for startups to avail exemption from state and municipal laws, and developing modernistic policies to support innovation in disruptive sectors,” he said.

Startup Odisha executive chairman Omkar Rai expressed joy at his state being awarded as a top performer. “It’s in line with Odisha’s ever-growing overall performance,” he tweeted.

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