Jaipur Has Already Arrived On Startup Scene : Ajay Data
TIE has been playing an active role for boosting the startup ecosystem. What kind of role you see for your organization within the framework of the policy?
TIE has always played an active role to work with government and all other stakeholders. TIE plays the role of engaging in the intellectual discussion at all levels and creates awareness. TIE along with the active participation of the Rajasthan government did a very successful awareness event i.e. TIECON aimed at activating the ecosystem of startups. Senior government officials along with our chief minister appreciated the efforts and took very good initiatives. Now, it’s up to organizations to engage with the government and other stakeholders like RIICO, RVCF, Startup Oasis, TIE, RAIN, ISPIRT and other fellow mentors and talk to them as the need arises. TIE will continue fostering entrepreneurship, help startup ecosystem from validating ideas to funding, mentoring and getting the exits if required.
Jaipur is still not a preferred place for startups even though there has been some buzz about the city having a big potential to be a hub. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
This is wrong notion and people are not having any idea about what’s happening in the city. Jaipur is full of opportunities and has a very conducive atmosphere. I estimate that there would be 500 plus startups in this financial year itself and crores of rupees in investment will be made in these small firms.
Is our education system geared up to inculcate the entrepreneurial mindset among the students?
It’s not adequate but it’s changing very fast. Almost everyone has realized the need and they will adapt to change or they will perish.
How the Angel funds, PEs, and VCs look at Jaipur?
It’s building up. Lots of activities are happening and we have made an impactful beginning and we have a long way to go before we see people open their purse strings.
Do companies like yours and CarDekho have been able to influence opinion in favour of the city?
Yes, of course. But it’s not just Data Infosys or CarDeskho. We should not ignore those companies which are not spending on TV or advertisements but making a large impact in their respective fields. There are lots of startups in Jaipur, who have taken on global companies head-on and trying to disrupt them. To me these are the companies to watch out for.
What are the activities TiE-Rajasthan plans to do to promote the startups?
TIE continuously plays that role and has series of activities for startups i.e, Smashup, TIBPC, Mentoring Startups, TIECON, funding activities, workshops, events, TIE Talks (like TED Talks) etc.
What is your opinion as to the quality of innovative ideas that you come across from the young entrepreneurs in the city?
Today’s youth should consider themselves very fortunate because of number of reasons. Number one is the excellent sentiment for startups. Second is the global information access that one can do anytime from anywhere. Guidance and mentorship are not hard to find now-a-days as organisations like TIE, RAIN and Startup Oasis are always around to support. Most of them are leveraging these and trying their hands. Only one caution I want to flag, “Do not get trapped into the thoughts of becoming millionaire or billionaire over night.” The world is waiting for innovating ideas and will welcome with open arms whoever can make this world better. However, you need to prove it with time and effort and once accepted, there would be no looking back.
What are the chances for Jaipur to emerge as a compelling destination for startups?
We have the opportunity to become a number one destination for startups. We all should work together to achieve and make it possible. TIE alone or for that matter any one organization can’t do that. It’s very important to understand that we work as a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) and do not see other organizations working in startup area as competition. Hopefully, our government and all stakeholders will work towards making Rajasthan the most preferred destination for startups. TIE is fully committed to it and ready to play any small or big role to achieve our common goals. N