Some of the biggest Indian startups, led by Flipkart and Ola, have come together to create their own lobby, where patriotism and nationalism are the keywords which are binding these startups together.
This, despite the fact that majority of these startups are funded by foreign firms, and the leader of this lobby, Flipkart, is actually headquartered in Singapore.
Are these Indian startups, or rather startups founded by Indians seeking protection from foreign firms, using nationalism as a shield?
Indian Startups’ Lobby: IndiaTech.org
Biggest Indian startups: Flipkart and Ola, along with MakeMyTrip have created a lobby for Indian startups, called IndiaTech.org.
Their objective is to ‘protect’ the interests of the local, Indian startups in the Internet and Digital space, and influence policy makers to create ‘Indian startups friendly’ rules and regulations.
As per reports coming in, Sachin Bansal would be leading this lobby, and a retired IAS Officer would be appointed as the CEO.
Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal and Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal are the first among the modern day, nationalist entrepreneurs who pushed for the creation of such lobby.
One of the sources said, “The main thrust of the lobby group will be to persuade the government that homegrown startups should dominate the local Internet ecosystem.”
Interestingly, Govt. has shown little interest in endorsing or supporting such ‘nationalist’ lobby.
In March this year, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion secretary Ramesh Abhishek had said, “I wish that those who are advocating for this should tell us exactly what policy measures can help them. These people have also met me, but the problem is they are not being specific. Just citing China’s example is not enough,”
The New Lobby Will Be ‘Nasscom For Startups’
As per incoming reports, this new lobby formed by Indian entrepreneurs want to become the Nasscom for Indian startups.
Legendary nationalist terms like ‘level playing fields’ and opposition to ‘predatory pricing’ would be the foundation, based on which this lobby will work.
Some of the facts and figures which this lobby would propagate in the coming days include: India will lose $10 billion of FDI and $1 billion in tax collection, if Indian startups are not ‘protected’.
Powerful lobbies are existing in the startups space: Nasscom, which already has an Internet, Mobile and Ecommerce Council (NIMEC), besides IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) for Internet and Digital startups.
However, ‘foreign’ firms like Facebook and Google has considerable clout in these lobbies and associations, and now, Flipkart-Ola-MakeMyTrip has decided to form a purely Indian lobby.
As per the reports, this lobby will invite ‘foreign’ investors like SoftBank from Japan, Tiger Global Management from USA, Steadview Capital from Hong Kong to join the forum, as they are the biggest investors in these startups (ironical!)
Do you think that such a lobby for ‘protecting’ Indian startups makes sense? Do let us know by commenting right here.