Startups solving education and health problems for 1 bn people in India and worldwide: Amitabh Kant

Hyderabad, January 28: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant on Saturday said startups of today are solving problems of education, health, agricultural productivity, etc., for 1 billion people in India and also for the world.

Speaking at the inaugural session of G20’s first inception meet in Hyderabad, the G20 Sherpa said, “Earlier, opening a bank a/c in India took 8-9 months whereas today, it’s possible within a minute using biometrics. Since last four years, we do more fast payments compared to US, Europe and China.”

Kant said when he was an officer in Kerala two decades ago, it took 8-9 months to open an account. He said, “It was a nightmare doing Know-Your-Customer then. Today in India, biometrics allows us to open a bank account in less than a minute. So, I have seen this transformation from nine months to one minute.”

“Today, I have not been to a physical bank for long. I do not use debit or credit cards or ATMs. My mobile is my bank. My mobile is my debit/credit card. I do all transactions from here,” he said.

He said every Indian, having a mobile, does digital transactions now. “Everyone in tier I, tier II and rural areas does a digital transaction,” he added.

“What we are going to witness today (during the conference) is an exchange between startups, innovators and investors from across the world,” G20 Sherpa said.

“Startups grow and mature; there are many challenges,” Amitabh Kant said, adding, “Today there will be a challenge on finance. Tomorrow there will be a challenge of corporate governance.”

He said when these Indian startups solve these challenges, they are not doing it for India alone; they are also solving the whole world’s problem.

A new Engagement Group — Startup20 — has been established as part of the G20 India Presidency. Startup20 aims to develop a global narrative for supporting startups and facilitating synergies among startups, corporations, investors, innovation agencies, and other key ecosystem stakeholders, according to an official release of Startup20 PRO.

The primary objective is to harmonise the global startup ecosystem through a collaborative and forward-looking approach.

As per the official statement, the purpose of this group is to provide a common platform for startups from G20 member countries to come together to develop actionable guidance in the form of the building of enabler’s capacities, identification of funding gaps, enhancement of employment opportunities, achievement of sustainable development goals (SDG) targets and climate resilience, and growth of an inclusive ecosystem.

The Startup20 activities will span over five events.

The Inception Meet of Startup20 is being held in Hyderabad on Saturday and Sunday. The summit event will happen in July 2023 in Gurugram, with three intervening events that have been planned in different parts of India.