With central government pushing for development in North East, the potential for startups in the eight north-east states which includes seven sister states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura, and the Himalayan state of Sikkim have significantly increased over the past few years. There has been a concerted effort to improve the connectivity and transport facility coupled with administrative focus, this has led to more young people exploring possibilities in the north-eastern states for entrepreneurship.
For instance, whereas in certain areas of Northeast, including states like Arunachal Pradesh, while almost 40% of the fruit goes waste on account of lack of adequate storage and transport facilities, the same can be used to produce and manufacture fresh and pure fruit juice at a much more cost-effective price. Startups can look into this area.
Also, during the peak season of tourism when there is no accommodation available, even mediocre hotels charge exorbitant fares which are sometimes equal to 5-star hotel fares in a metropolitan city. However, the ‘home tourism’ trend has picked up in recent past, several youngsters are now aiming to make fortune out of this hitherto unexplored avenue.
On infrastructure front, new airports are coming up at Pakyong in Sikkim, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Shillong in Meghalaya, which along with a time-bound plan to lay broad-gauge rail track, would bring in further ease of business and offer tremendous opportunity for the states.
Another sector of entrepreneurship which is fast emerging in Northeast is hospitals. There has been a trend for patients to shift outside the region, mostly to Kolkata or Vellore, which is by in large case most of the tier III cities, but the encouragement given to the private corporate sector has now resulted in the opening of new hospitals within the region itself and young entrepreneurs are taking the lead. Startups can bring innovative services on top of it.
While the women in northeast are already empowered and professionally more active as part of their tradition, but Self Help Groups are promoting household entrepreneurships, in which young Startups have also come forward and opted to work in the sector of handloom and textile. The Union Textile Ministry has also initiated some schemes and initiatives for North Eastern state which startups can explore for support.