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STPI to set up Rs.100-cr fund of funds to support startups

As it launched its 2.0 version, the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is going to set up a ₹100-crore fund of funds to provide financial support to startups.

While the Government would put in ₹40 crore, the private sector participants would contribute the remaining amount to establish the fund.

“It could even be bigger. It will be launched in the next three months,” Omkar Rai, Director-General of STPI.

“The fund will exclusively invest in the startups that are selected in the nationwide Chunauti programme,” he said.

The programme is aimed at recruiting startup candidates for the incubators that are set up in 12 tier-ii and tier-iii cities. The cities include Agartala, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Guwahati, Mohali and Vijaywada.

“The young entrepreneurs in the tier-i cities can access quality infrastructure as they begin their entrepreneurial journey. But it is not the same case with those in tier-ii cities. They deserve better infrastructure,” Omkar Rai said.

According to him, the Chunauti programme has received a good response as over 1,800 people submitted their applications. “The startups can be from anywhere in the country, but they will be located in the 12 locations,” he said.

“We received 215 applications from Maharashtra, 113 from Tamil Nadu, 100 from Andhra Pradesh and 51 from Telangana,” he said.

IT exports
Meanwhile, the IT exports from the STPI registered units have zoomed past in the first half of this financial year to ₹2.49 lakh crore as against ₹1.68 lakh crore in the same period the previous year.

The exports in the second quarter ended September 30, 2020, are pegged at ₹1.21 lakh crore as against ₹72,181 crore in the same quarter previous year. In the second quarter, the STPI registered 359 new units.

WFH norms
Omkar Rai said the STPI has not changed the exemptions that it gave to the registered units, allowing them to let their staff work from home. “We are not going to force them. It is up to them how they will deploy their employees,” he said.

Asked whether clients are objecting IT firms from letting the work done from home, he said he didn’t see any problem there. The Indian firms had gained the confidence of its clients over some time, and they are convinced about the measures that the companies followed in protecting the privacy of data. The Hindu BusinessLine

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