Indian Startups Rejoice! Narayana Murthy To Head SEBI’s Alternate Investment Funds Panel For Startups
Entrepreneurship and Start-up culture in India received a major boost yesterday, when SEBI roped in Narayana Murthy to head an 18 member panel which will oversee the implementation of ‘Alternate Investment Funds’ program.
Named as ‘The Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee ‘ or AIPAC, this team represents high profile members from the industry, private equity firms and start-ups, besides Government officials and regulatory members.
Some of the members of this team, which will be led by IT czar, and Infosys founder Narayana Murthy are: Sanjay Nayar (Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Chairman and KKR India CEO), Saurabh Srivastava (Indian Angel Network), Ajay Piramal (Piramal Group), Devinjit Singh (Carlyle Group), Manish Chokhani (TPG Growth India), Gautam Mehra (PwC India), Akshay Mansukhani (Malabar Investments), Mani Iyer (Incube Ventures), Abid Hassan (Startup Village Fund), K E C Rajakumar (Ascent Capital Advisors), Sudhir Sethi (IDG Ventures India and iSPIRT Foundation), Sunil Godhwani (Religare Enterprises) and Gopal Srinivasan (TVS Capital Funds), Ananta Barua (SEBI’s Executive Director), Barnali Mukherjee (SEBI’s General Manager), N S Vishwanathan (RBI’s Executive Director), Nikhil Varma (Finance Ministry Deputy Secretary)
What Is Alternate Funding Platform?
We had reported earlier that SEBI is working on a new platform for fund raising, meant for startups and SMEs which cannot opt for the IPO route. Venture Capital firms, High Net Individuals and Financial Corporations can use this platform to fund promising startups.
Considering that majority of the tech enabled startups are not clearly understood by traditional investors and share holders, this alternate investment platform will act like a stock exchange for these early stage companies working on new technology and new domains.
What Will AIPAC Do?
Some of the major tasks which this panel has been assigned to work on includes:
- This high profile team will send recommendations to SEBI on developing startup ecosystem in India, and help them identify then hurdles which are stopping it’s growth
- They will provide SEBI with crucial inputs and suggestions which can be adapted by the Govt. to make informed decision related with growth and development of SMEs and startups in India, especially in sectors such as technology, finance and services.
- Understanding the needs and requirements of Indian startups in contemporary global environment of competition and suggest ways which can make India a hub of technological innovations.
- Devise strategies using which startups can get in touch with leading financial institutions in order to get funded, without following the strict IPO route which demands following of several rules and regulations.
Why Narayana Murthy?
Narayana Murthy is considered as India’s one of the most influential and respected entrepreneurs. If anyone can be described as a torch-bearer of the Indian startup ecosystem, then it will be Narayana Murthy.
He, along with other co-founders established Infosys after leaving Patni Computers in 1981, and developed Infosys into Rs 65,000 crore IT behemoth with more than 1.5 lakh employees. He is a legend, a thought leader and a shining example of what Indian startups can achieve despite obstacles and strict Govt. regulations.
Moreover, he has a clean image, and has not been associated with any controversy during his last 33 years of entrepreneurship stint. Although he represents the old world of hardcore IT services niche, he is not too far from the current wave of ecommerce and technology enabled startup wave in India.
Last year, he joined forces with Amazon to launch an ecommerce portal and had earlier invested in Yebhi. He is already the Chief Mentor-IT for the West Bengal Government and has assisted the Indian Govt. for forming IT policies and regulations in the past.
No wonder Infosys is regarded as India’s most trusted company, with employee satisfaction hovering above average at any given point of time.
In the year 2000, he was awarded with Padma Shri by the Indian Govt. and in 2008, he received Padma Vibhushan.
SEBI and the Indian Govt. has chosen the right person for the right job here. Indian startups will definitely receive a major boost via Alternate Investment Funds Platform, and Narayana Murthy can be the catalyst of this change.