Looking at developing entrepreneurship and future skilling

The concluding session of the 29th STPI Foundation Day looked at the areas of entrepreneurship and future skilling. Shailendra Tyagi, Director, STPI Bengaluru, said that the entrepreneurship and startups play a major role. India needs to pay more attention to skills.

Achyuta Samanta, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, said that STPI has been contributing a lot to the growth of India. It was the backbone of the Indian IT industry. STPI still has a long way to grow with software and hardware.
Odisha was not so developed in 1989 when STPI had set up in Bhubaneshwar.

Today, Bhubaneshwar has been attracting educational institutes and IT companies. We are providing them all the facilities. There will be good scope for the IT industry. Entrepreneurship is very close to my heart. We have shown how can one professional institute obtain the Institute of Eminence from the Government of India. We set up Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences. Both the organizations have been applauded by everyone.

Digitization galore
Rajiv Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT added that the entrepreneurship and future skilling have shown the importance of digital. Most of the good things that MeiTY and DoT did has been around digital. There was an uninterrupted flow of service throughout to our customers. Aadhar became the India stack. We have also come up with many such stacks, and many more are in the offing. We also have public digital platforms. They allow lot of digitalization that get seeped into our lives. There are UPI, GST, etc. We have also allowed entrepreneurship to ride on our platforms. India has emerged as a leading startup nation, with over 9,000 startups. Companies are able to sell via e-commerce, which is the highest in the world.

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We also have Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs — TIED 1.0 and TIED 2.0 for the startups. 20% of tech startups are located in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We have rolled out the first challenge on the STPI portal. There is also the MeiTY startup hub. There is a way by establishing CoEs. 25 are already operational. Eg., there is AR/VR in Bhubaneshwar, and fintech is in Chennai. The Government has also came out with National Software Product Policy last year. The product space is a great test for entrepreneurship. We need to catch up. Also, skilling remains a great area of concern. We started a future skills initiative with Nasscom. We hope we can use this initiative and promote entrepreneurship.

Accelerated digital transformation
Pradeep Gupta, Chairman and MD, CyberMedia, added that this is a historical day when the STPI was created. Dataquest has been featuring the development of the software industry since 1990. India has created the island where the software industry has definitely thrived. Entrepreneurship has been the new mantra for success.

STPI

Digital transformation has now been accelerated. The current pandemic has forced it upon us. WFH has become the mainstream. Within two days, most of our companies were up and running. The block is actually in our minds. Some of these blocks got completely shattered.

Today, AI is forced upon us. There are technologies such as AR/VR, AI, etc., that will completely change the situation in the future. Everything today, with the industry, is now on the table. The kind of innovation that came out of the second World War was immense. Today, the innovation that will happen, will be even much more faster.

That also brings all of the electronics also to the core. Eg, at the Electropreneur Park, there have been 40 startups so far, and 25 working prototypes are there, while 19 patents came out, etc. We recently did the hackathon in Bhubaneshwar. There were 546 entries. We are seeing a new world moving ahead. STPI has a major role to play in the major adoption of technology. Two of the companies at EP came out with solutions. Eg., Leap Aeronautics is talking about air taxis in order to ferry people. There are many more bridges to cross. There are many more accolades to come.

Continuously changing skills
K. Ganesh, Serial Entrepreneur, Promoter, BigBasket, Protea Medical, TutorVista, Homeland, Housejoy, said that we had raised the money from foreign investors showing the STPI Bangalore as our office. The world has been changing for some time now. The skills needed are continuously changing. Technology is already interfering into everyday life. All of this has greatly accelerated with Covid-19. Traditional education has undergone tremendous change. There are changing consumer behaviors. New entrants will have major advantage.

All of us are looking at ways to become lean and mean. We like to do things in full stack. We have only scratched the surface in e-commerce. Decision making of consumers have changed. There is huge opportunity in healthcare. We just need to stay focused on building the business.

Covid-19 a feature
Jasminder Singh Gulati, Co-Founder, NowFloats and Founder, Digital Desh, said that Covid-19 is more of a feature. The ability to understand that it is not going away is also there. The way we have worked in the last three months has been significant. Many opportunities were not existing before. You are also doing things that never really thought of. Everything will have to be rethought.

WFH is a huge watershed opportunity. The way everybody has got into the WFH situation, and still learn to work with everyone. Your remote team is your team. The new leader has to think of how do we make this work. We are going to see new opportunities. Things have become somewhat better. People who are driven, will take this opportunity, and succeed. The largest soft skills is to skill yourself. Self-skilling will happen.

Amit Aggarwal, Co-Architect FutureSkills and CEO IT/ITeS, SSC Nasscom, added that we are getting benefit as online platforms take off, we can provide skills. Now,1 we are building platforms. We are trying to do platforms in different languages. We are also giving full skilling. Individuals, who have solutions, can come to the site and get listed. We have to drive the culture of people investing in themselves. It is a unique public-private partnership. Everybody wants to go out of their way to make this a success. We have to try and build things faster. How do we invest in ourselves to learn?

Devesh Tyagi, STPI, said that we will not rest on our past laurels. Omkar Rai, STPI, added that we have been engaged since morning in discussions. We have received lot of affection and trust.

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