THE GREAT INDIAN STARTUP STORY
According to a recent survey done by an industry technology body NASSCOM, ed-tech is one of the booming sectors during the lockdown. 14% of the startups reported a boom in the ed-tech sector with an increase in revenue. Technology startups are another bright spot leveraging businesses to increase their visibility in the ecosystem. These companies are utilising different technologies including artificial intelligence, blockchain and IoT to enable various ways of survival. However, the report also highlighted that 70% of Indian startups have less than three months of cash left to survive due to the lockdown. The survey conducted by the body reported that nine in 10 startups have accounted for a decline in business revenues during the lockdown. The survey was conducted during the past two months through the participation of 250 startups across different startups in the country. Amongst the surveyed startups, 92% of them have acknowledged a fall in the revenues. Further, the report highlighted that 40% of the startups have either temporarily paused their business functions or are planning to permanently shut down. 70% of the respondents from the travel and tourism industry have witnessed a 40% decline in revenues. Moreover, startups in fintech and logistics sector have witnessed around 50% fall in the business. Debjani Ghosh, President of NASSCOM highlighted that coordinated support from key stakeholders is the need of the hour. Ghosh has also sent few recommendations to the government to ensure startup stability during the times of crisis including ease of the compliance, some sort of fiscal policy and funding support from the centre and access to working capital. However, NASSCOM to support businesses has launched courseware under its NASSCOM Futureskills initiative to help people upskill during the lockdown. In collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), this on-demand artificial intelligence course and various other deep learning tutorials will help companies thrive in the ecosystem.
Sources: WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC of the PRC, JHU CSSE, DXY, QQ, and various international media
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* Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters.