Addressing cybersecurity risk remains top priority of the Union government to further attract global investments. Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the Centre was also trying to reduce the compliance and regulatory burden so that it becomes easier to operate, grow and exit, from businesses amid green shoots of investment coming back to India.
“There's been huge growth in manufacturing investment of late. I can see the green shoots of investment coming back to India in a big way, particularly private investment,” Goyal said at the Global Unicorn Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
While government investment has been ongoing, he said the increasing number of imports other than petroleum, is a “sure sign that domestic capex cycle will rekindle”.
“(We are) trying on our part to reduce the compliance and regulatory burden. Hoping it becomes easier to begin to operate, grow and if necessary, even exit, from businesses,” he said.
While highlighting various challenges for India in the digital space, Goyal said that, “one pressing issue as we explore other markets and grow within India in digital space, is going to be cyber security and data privacy.”
According to Goyal, India's consumer digital economy is expected to grow 8x from $100 billion today to $800 billion by 2030. “How do we ensure that the enormous data collected by all these Ubers, Swiggys, Zomato, Ola, Paytm and all the others involved in this digital ecosystem is protected and safeguarded and adhere to privacy concerns, is going to be a matter of great interest,” Goyal said, hoping the issue found serious consideration.
He said 95 unicorns have emerged in India in the last 4-5 years, but the speed is accelerating and that in the next eight years, 10X growth is something “very feasible”.
“1,000 unicorns that you are aspiring to nurture by 2030 is very much in the realm of possibility, very much doable,” Goyal said, adding that the National Startup Advisory Council is now taking shape.
While citing the example of electric vehicles which got a boost when petrol
prices rose, the minister said that with petroleum prices hitting the roof, Indian startups can come up with innovative solutions to reduce consumption of petroleum products and improve efficiency.
India to promote space technology
Goyal also said the government would like to promote space technology. Goyal urged venture capital firms to handhold startups and innovators and suggested the latter to look at remoter parts of India
“ (I) urge you to incorporate in India and list in India. Just for a few dollars more, please don't leave the nation's borders to tax havens and other countries,” Goyal said.
He asked VCs to protect the startups' IP, and help with capital infusion to ensure that IP remains within India. “License it to anywhere in the world but let India be the principal beneficiary,” Goyal said.
He also suggested help through domestic investment into the startups at various stages and the IPO level and insisted that founders need to get their real share in the growth story and must have something left for them as the company grows- whether a clawback mechanism or preferred equity.
“I hope Investors keep that in mind because very often in our ingrown domestic talent is not getting its due, what they deserve,” Goyal said, adding that there are mechanisms in Silicon Valley to protect the interests of the generator of the idea.