Too much liquidity for startups in the US fuelled Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Kant

Startups in India are not just building for India but for the world, said Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa on Saturday. Speaking about the transformation of the country’s startup ecosystem since the foundation of Startup India in 2016, Kant said that our startup model is different from the model of America’s Big Tech and Europe’s GDPR.

“The big tech model grew because they were able to access citizens’ data. So, all innovations that have happened have happened in IoT Cloud, AI, ML. In sharp contrast to this, India built a very different model. India built a model of railroad tracks on which we went to the private sector to innovate and compete. We built up a model of open-source, open APIs, and interoperability. And therefore, India built a population scale model with low cost of acquisition’” he said at TiEcon, Delhi-NCR.

He gave the example of Reliance Jio roll out where they got 200 million people in India in 120 days.

“I mean, they could do it at $1 per customer. That was the acquisition costs. Prior to this, the cost of acquisition in India itself was $25. But the cost of acquisition in America today is about $200. So, we’ve made the cost of acquisition of customers fall from $200 to $1 in India,” he said.

Talking about government regulations around startups, he mentioned that Europe and America gave a huge package and so much of liquidity, which has now led to inflation and because of inflation, “They are tightening down, raising interest rates. Because of this, several banks, which have taken deposits from startups in Silicon Valley, and put their money in the US Treasury are facing issues. As interest rates rise, you are facing a challenge because there is an inverse relationship between interest rates and bonds. And therefore, these banks are suffering because of the rising inflation rates,” he said.

He added that in India, we did not give big packages, but instead ushered in radical reforms.

“You look at the goods and services tax which subsumed 32 different taxes. We introduced the insolvency bankruptcy code so that people could fail and get out and there should not be a price for a failure. All of us are bound to fail at some point or the other,” he said.He added that the Government redefined the MSMEs. Kant added that the corporate tax rates have been reduced which should see greater inflow of FDI. “These reforms are going to provide a massive impetus to the Indian economy as the world slows down and you feel this huge winter of discontent in many parts of the world. You will see an acceleration of growth in India,” he said.

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