Aspirational population in Sikkim keen on innovation, digitisation: CM
Sikkim initiated the first day of the Startup 20 meeting as part of G20 events in Gangtok on Saturday.
Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Prakash attended the inaugural session alongside Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay.
Commerce and Industries MOS Som Prakash said there are more than 90,000 startups in India registered with DPIIT.
“It is an opportunity for youngsters, who have ideas and knowledge, to do something for the country. We help them to transform their ideas into reality. India has the third-largest startup initiative in the world. We have exchanges with startups from other countries. Utmost importance is given to startups,” he said.
Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay, in his address, said the population of Sikkim is aspirational towards startups.
He said, “We have a population that is aspirational. A population that wants to be a part of the narrative where innovation, digitization, technological disruptions, and bridging gaps through technological interventions have the potential to leapfrog the economy into greater heights. What we need is local entrepreneurship, their faith in their ideas and those being converted to entities, risk-taking, and finally becoming reasonably strong in absorbing risks. The government startup ecosystem would be best to do the role of initial mentorship, proposing these ventures to financial institutions with a part of funds being provided upfront as initial seed capital.”
Golay said, “There have been major hurdles despite the creation of a favourable ecosystem with only 9 start-ups registered with the Department of Industrial Policy and Internal trade. The people of Sikkim are in a way first generation entrepreneurs, lacking not only the ideas but abilities to take risks and find support infrastructure of finance and marketing and get themselves affiliated to the organic chain of value addition. It is important to overcome the setbacks by ensuring that our entrepreneurs are provided with the confidence and appropriate support from the government.”
The state is committed to building an agile and conducive environment where industry and businesses can support each other, Golay said, urging the delegates to smoothen, facilitate and handhold the State machinery for bringing in the infrastructure and enabling mechanisms needed to support innovation through our startups.
“We wish to be part of the narrative where our private sector has innovated, competed on a Global stage and also learn from the vast wealth of knowledge the nation’s Startup ecosystem has amassed,” he added.
He further said the state is committed to enabling the startups of today to be the future of conglomerates that will thrive under Sustainable Development Goals and bring “constant technological advancements in the field of health and nutrition, sustainable tourism and wellness, climate change mitigation, education, sanitation, organic farming and agriculture, gender equality and inclusivity among others”.
On scope for the aggregators, Golay said, “Sikkim has significant scope for aggregators in the field of developing an end-to-end chain of aggregation, branding, processing, and supply of organic farm and livestock products and medicinal plants. In tourism, there are ample opportunities like an end-to-end chain from transportation, homestays, sightseeing, trekking and overall holistic tour organisation”.
He said Sikkim was the first State to ban single-use plastic and to be declared the first Organic State in India in 2016.
He said, “Innovation has not been new to our small state, Sikkim was the first State to ban single-use plastic, the first State in the country that was declared the first Organic State in India in 2016. When the world was waking up to the concept of Organic farming. Where innovation through natural and indigenous processes have been applied and implemented in the conversion of our farmlands into organically thriving natural ecosystems.
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