06 Jan How Banks nurture the start-up ecosystem in India
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs
India has slowly but steadily embraced the start-up culture. Though Indian start-up ecosystem is in its maturity stage, it still has a long way to go. Young individuals are taking risks to put their ideas into action – which is a good sign. But to run a business, one of the main ingredients is Finances. A vast majority of start-ups fail either due to Founder’s mismanagement or due to lack of finances at the right time. Though there are many channels to raise funds such as Private Equity, Venture Capital etc., dedicated support from Government was earlier lacking. This was also one of the many reasons that perhaps stopped many entrepreneurs from even daring to bring their ideas into action.
But the launch of Start-up India initiative by Government of India in 2016, marks an enthusiastic support from the Government to nurture the start-up network. Under this initiative, the Government has directed the Banks to implement certain schemes specially directed at start-up companies. Earlier, the existing CGTMSE scheme allowed the Banks to extend financial assistance upto INR 1 crore. But with the new directive from the Government, the loan amount is increased to upto INR 2 crores. The debt covered under CGTMSE is collateral free. Also, certain nationalized banks are also directed to extend the loan amount to INR 5.00 crores for start-ups and even under this scheme, collateral security is not mandatory. MUDRA scheme was also introduced to encourage MSME’s.
To encourage women and entrepreneurs from tribal background, Government has launched “One Branch, One Loan” program. Under this scheme, one branch has to provide at least one loan to tribal and women entrepreneurs.
In 2016, SBI also opened a dedicated branch for start-ups in Bangalore – InCube. InCube provides advice to start-ups in terms of compliance, remittances, foreign exchange etc. Not only this, InCube will also help start-ups register their companies, prepare paperwork/documents while raising funds from foreign investors, manage financial accounts for employees among others.
Private Banks are also taking proactive action in financing start-ups. With RBI at the helm, some of the initiatives launched by certain prominent private banks are- iStartup Garage by ICICI Bank, Thought Factory by Axis Bank, Federal Bank’s Launchpad, SmartUp by HDFC etc.
Start-ups are not just an outlet for entrepreneurs to bring their ideas into action, but they provide diverse exposure to the team while creating employment opportunities for people/families. This in-turn contributes towards GDP of the country.
Lastly, when the Government has taken a step forward to encourage innovation and skill development and with the Banks also trying to woo the start-ups- it is an opportunity every entrepreneur must make the best use of.
Anusha is a young entrepreneur from Bangalore. She holds an executive MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Though being an engineer, Anusha found her passion in Finance. She is the Founder of Polestar Corporate Advisors, a Financial Advisory firm based in Bangalore. (Polestar Website : www.polestarca.com).