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How IT Startups Can grow their business in Punjab?

The growth of a state’s economy greatly depends on modernization and entrepreneurship. The State of Punjab has a reputation of being the leader with swift steps in all-round wealth and enlargement. The State has done extremely well in different sectors across the continuum like Industry, Agriculture, Education, Health, Literature, Sports, Arts and Culture and information technology. Punjab has been blessed with top infrastructure, human capital, enterprising and progressive people who strive to transform every potential prospect into a thriving success. Moreover, the State has recognized that Startup and Entrepreneurship as the important pillar for economic growth, job creation, competitiveness, and assets creation. The vision of the Startup and Entrepreneurship Development Policy is to develop the State of Punjab as a leading global hub for Startups and Innovation in order to accelerate the economic growth within the State and to offer large scale entrepreneurial and job opportunities in Punjab.

The Mission
  1. To develop a conducive ecosystem by addressing the challenges in areas such as Market, Enterprise, Knowledge,Product, Ideas and Culture.
  2. To create the environment and infrastructure that is necessary to promote entrepreneurial activities.
  3. To foster Industry Academy linkages in growing an entrepreneurial culture.
  4. To create an environment that is Startup friendly by streamlining rules and regulations along with laws.

The State Of Startups In Punjab: Despite great potential, the growth of the Punjab startup ecosystem has been gradual in comparison to other states. In 2019, a mere four startups that were funded in Punjab, including startups in Chandigarh. Punjab’s educational institutions are providing great momentum to innovation through incubators, mentoring.

The state of Punjab has long held a significant place in India, thanks to its central role in the green revolution, which catalyzed Indian agriculture tremendously. In the past decade, it has earned notoriety for a number of nasty reasons. Having overcome these, it’s also growing a reputation for being the land of entrepreneurs. A testament to this is the DPIIT’s state-wise startup rankings for 2018, which called Punjab an emerging state for startups.

That’s thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit among people in Punjab who are always on the hunt for a new business idea. Even so, the growth of the state’s startup ecosystem has been slow and gradual. So what’s plaguing the Punjab startup ecosystem, and how have the state and central government’s policies and efforts helped boost innovation at the ground level? While answering these questions, we will also look to answer the question of how Punjab’s startups are earning recognition despite the slow investment and development.

Govt Policy Turns To Startups: The role of startups and technology in the modern-day economy cannot be understated. Not only is it crucial for jobs and wealth creation, but it also helps broaden India’s footprint on the global tech industry, which is the fastest-growing economic contributor. It’s no wonder then that state governments have taken such a keen interest in promoting and encouraging tech startups.

Among the initiatives and efforts in Punjab, the state’s Startup And Entrepreneurship Development Policy of 2017 has been a major step. Building strong linkages with all the major institutions Additionally, the state government has provided seed funding and incentives for startups, as well as events and opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to network and connect.

Punjab’s Startup Enablers: With the enabling organisations in Chandigarh and the major cities of Punjab such as Ludhiana and Amritsar, the state’s startup ecosystem is preparing to compete with other emerging startup hubs. Organisations such as TiE have brought startups the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs, investors from across the country. Besides TiE, incubators and coworking spaces are also doing their bit to help the state’s startup get the right exposure and platform for growth. However, the state lacks when it comes to accelerators, which can be explained by the fact that it’s still growing and accelerators usually come up when a city has at least a few growth-stage startups.

Incubators, Coworking Spaces: Punjab’s educational institutions play a vital role in promoting its startup ecosystem and this cannot be overlooked. Most of the state’s incubators are run by those who have come through its colleges and universities. These incubators not only support the startups in the seed stage but also young innovators who have the right idea but need help in firming up a vision.

The most prominent names among these include the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) at IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research) Mohali, the TBI at IIT Ropar, The TBI CEED at Chitkara University, ISB Mohali, LPU (Lovely Professional University) Startup School and more. Apart from the educational institutions running incubators, there are other prominent names that are not only acting as incubators but also offer co working spaces, helping startups in the state find the right work environment to succeed. Some of the prominent incubators and co working spaces are:

  • STPI Mohali: STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) is known to provide infrastructure and statutory support to bolster the growth of IT in the country. Recently, STPI launched the Startup Punjab Hub initiative where the startups in Punjab and beyond will have access to great infrastructure and support by the state.
  • Starthub Nation: Apart from providing startups with an environment and space to work, Start hub Nation also gives them access to global startup events, mentors and more.
Punjab’s Startup Hubs: Where Is The Innovation Coming From ?

The Punjab startup ecosystem has produced some great ideas, but due to the lack of any major growth-stage startup, the state does not get enough attention. Cities such as Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula (the Tricity) are emerging as the regional startup hubs in the country. Being part of this Tricity area gives startups the attention of many investors in the state, as well as other entrepreneurs and incubators.

Thanks to the presence of many prominent research institutions, Mohali, in particular, has easy access to massive talent pool from the state. And as a part of the few planned cities in India, Chandigarh and Mohali have great infrastructure and offer terrific living standards of top tech talent. The conditions are ideal, and it serves as an inspiration to innovation in other smaller cities. Other upcoming startup hubs from Punjab include the cities of Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. Here too, educational institutions, colleges and universities are driving various initiatives to create a thriving startup ecosystem that Punjab can be truly proud of.

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