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Narendra Modi to meet 200 start-up entrepreneurs today

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-08-2017 Sahib Sharma

New Delhi: More than 200 start-up entrepreneurs and chief executives who have set up successful businesses from scratch will interact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday on a range of issues including job creation, income growth and innovation at a session organized by federal policy think tank NITI Aayog.

Modi’s interaction with these ‘champions of change’ is aimed at forging a partnership between the government and young entrepreneurs from across key sectors of the economy to drive growth, a NITI Aayog official said on condition of anonymity.

The prime minister is expected to spend two-and-a-half hours with the entrepreneurs and chief executives, listening to their ideas and suggestions on subjects such as digital economy, health and nutrition, travel and tourism, hospitality, financial sector reforms, sustainable growth, education and skill development.

During an interaction with NITI Aayog officials and secretaries of various government departments on Wednesday evening, the entrepreneurs discussed a number of issues including ways of making the economy less dependent on cash.

Six groups of 35-40 have been formed among the entrepreneurs based on the core ideas on which they will work.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive of online payments firm Paytm, said it was encouraging to see that the views of change agents such as new-age entrepreneurs were being sought in solving key problems facing the country.

“I am confident that this initiative will result in some concrete solutions, and also prove to be an enabler to thousands of budding start-ups,” said Sharma, who is expected to attend the event.

Aashish Dhawan, founder and chairman of Central Square Foundation; Ananth Narayanan, chief executive of Myntra; Hari Menon, founder and chief executive of Bigbasket; Deepak Garg, chief executive of Rivigo; Naveen Tiwari, chief executive of Inmobi; Alok Bansal, co-founder and chief financial officer of Policy Bazaar; and Ritesh Agarwal, founder and chief executive at OYO Rooms are among those expected to attend the event, according to people with knowledge about the event.

“It’s a fantastic initiative. As an online brand, we would really like to streamline digital payments for consumers so that adoption to digital payment modes is faster and even becomes the economically preferred payment method,” said Ashish Goel, founder and chief executive of Urban Ladder, an online furniture retailer. Goel is expected to attend the event on Thursday.

“The effort is to increase jobs in private sector given the limitation of government to absorb more people. The Prime Minister has been trying to increase innovations at the ground level where we have seen a major lacuna for past few years,” said N.R. Bhanumurthy, professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP).

“Demand for credit by startups is not as high as corporate entities, while they are more labour intensive. Nurturing these start-ups helps in their growth into larger industrial houses,” added Bhanumurthy.

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