The chaos unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much affected every business sector in India. Startups, who are somehow working out ways amid several challenges to survive the crisis, are now reaching out with their cries for help.
In a video conference with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday, many representatives of startups and tech companies including Zomato, Curefitm, Naukri and MakeMyTrip and other stakeholders raised issues that they are facing like a liquidity crunch, cash flow and revenue and non-availability of workers in running their ventures due to the lockdown.
While several solutions for the issues faced by startups were offered during the meet, some issues were segregated for detailed consideration.
After listening to the problems, Goyal hailed the spirit shown by startups and called for everyone’s cooperation to deal with the issues faced.
“It is the positive spirit of the startup entrepreneurs that are making them rise to the occasion and trying to find solutions to various problems linked to COVID-19,” Goyal said in a statement.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many startups in recent weeks have been forced to take severe measures like reducing their team size and cutting the salary of their employees.
Last week, several tech firms including Bounce, cloud communication platform Exotel, Makemytrip, Cleartrip and Ixigo have also announced salary cuts. While many others including Drivezy, Acko, Fareportal and Udaan had laid-off employees to survive the slowdown.
Besides, the minister also praised the launch of the Action COVID-19 Team, which promises to provide seed fund to over 50 initiatives through grants via a Rs 100-crore fund.
“Many of the ventures are in the final stage of launch and others will require some more time to take shape. These ventures will require access, funding, validation, scaling-up, and support. A joint committee from various Government departments and industry associations are evaluating these initiatives,” the minister added.
The minister also hailed a startup venture which is trying to help the Kirana (small retail shops) stores in tier-II and tier-III towns overcome the issues of supply chain and scarcity of resources.
The conference was also attended by various officials representing government departments like the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, SEBI, CBDT, CBIC, NITI Aayog, and SIDBI.