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India startup engine needs leadership, could be best in world: Cisco Chairman


After investing in a speech analytics and virtual assistant firm Uniphore Software Systems, John Chambers chairman of Cisco said that India startup ecosystem needs leadership and can become best startup market in the world.

“I do think India has a chance to lead, as it produces 600,000 engineers every year. It requires leadership at the top and Prime Minister Narendra Modi really gets it. If I could bet on one start-up engine, where I put my energy, time and resources behind, it would be India,” said Chambers in an interview to Business Standard.

He thinks start-up culture growth in India is slow and it needs a kick at the back. Comparing with US, he said it is doing better but needs to take its growth to be around 50 percent from 10 percent at present.

He sees a huge opportunity in artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, security and drone technology.

“Let’s say I end up investing in three to four companies that does not change the total headcount but it does change how they scale. I am after a replicable model so the country can rescale,” he added.

He also thinks there should be dramatic increase in numbers of startups.

India startup numbers slump

The number of new start-ups launched this year has slumped to merely 800 in last 9 months in compare to 6000 in last year, according to data from Tracxn. In 2017, the start-ups have raised around $8 Billion, compared with $4.6 billion in 2016.

The volume of deals has also gone down, according to data from Tracxn. Start-ups have raised roughly $8 billion in the first nine months of the year, compared with $4.6 billion in all of 2016, data added.

As on August 31, 2017, Rs 623.50 crore has been committed to 17 number of Alternative Funds (AIFs). Disbursement of Rs 68.13 crore has been made by 10 AIFs. These AIFs have invested in 72 startups, revealed an RTI.


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