Global investor confidence in city startups on the rise: Ashwath Narayan


‘Many global investors we interacted with at Dubai Expo want to open offices in city’

The international investor community has an increased interest in startups in India in general and those in Bengaluru in particular, said C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Minister for Information Technology, Biotechnology, Higher Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Private equity and venture capital firms, other investors and family investors were keen on participating in not just ‘A’ series of funds, but also in ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ and other series of funding too in Bengaluru firms, said the Minister on Saturday.

“I am impressed to see the growing confidence of global investors in our startups. They are willing to invest in advanced series of funding and expand their participation,” he said, speaking to The Hindu. The State, at Dubai Expo 2020, had received excellent responses from most top global investors including PE and VC firms, other investors and family-run investors, he said.

“Money is flowing towards diverse segments including technology, innovation, hospitality and wellness. Many global investors we interacted with at Dubai Expo want to open their offices in our city,” he added. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth fund, has plans to set up an office in Bengaluru in some time, the Minister said.

“Indian firms are able to mobilise what American firms are not able to get and Bengaluru is capturing 50% of it. Also, existing players from the Middle East including Lulu, Aster DM Healthcare and others want to scale up their India presence,” he added.

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‘Beyond Bengaluru’

Mr. Narayan said the State Government was in touch with GSSs (Global Capability Centres) of all MNCs and many have evinced interest to expand their operations beyond Bengaluru, in response to the Government’s recent call.

“We have already seen some 10 companies expanding to smaller cities in the State, also IBM recently. We have several large companies in the pipeline currently and they would be announcing their Beyond-Bengaluru decisions,” he added.

The Centre of Excellence, the government set-up for cyber security in Mysuru, big data and analytics and artificial intelligence firms in Hubballi and fintech in Mangaluru would offer supportive infrastructure for firms that are wanting to go beyond Bengaluru, he said.

Honing tech talent

According to Mr. Narayan, the State Government is collaborating with industry, institutions and apex bodies like Nasscom to improve quality of talent and deep-tech capabilities.

As part of this, a 30-week paid internship would be offered to STEM and non-STEM graduates. A special curriculum has been developed which would include IoT, cyber security, data analytics and artificial intelligence.

“We have the mandate to train 5 lakh students under this programme every year. We have tied up with Springboard to train students at Infosys training facility in Mysuru. We will also train 2,000 teachers offline and 10,000 teachers online in a year through our Dharward training centre,” Mr. Narayan further added.



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Sagar Biswas

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