Nasscom, States mull data science centres
Plans include a centre of excellence for cybersecurity
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), in conjunction with State governments, plans to set up two centres of excellence in data sciences and another one for cybersecurity soon, K.S. Vishwanathan, vice president, Industry Initiatives, said in an interview on Wednesday.
“Along with the government of Karnataka and government of Telangana, we will be announcing two centres of excellence in data sciences,” Mr. Vishwanathan said. “The process of executing these centres is going on in both the states. Both are supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.”
“The Center of Excellence for IoT (Internet of Things) will be expanded to three other centres. The location will be decided by the Government. Another Center of Excellence will get established in Karnataka on cybersecurity,” he said. “We are also opening a centre in Gurugram soon.”
The Center of Excellence is an initiative started in 2013 to build up an ecosystem in India to connect various entities such as start-ups, enterprises, venture capitalists, Government and academia. It is supported by the federal and State governments.
“The main objective of the centre is to help Indian start-ups leverage latest technology to build marketready products.”
‘No. 3 in 4 years’
“Before we embarked on the programme, countries like Israel, China, Canada, Hong Kong and U.K — all of them had got the start-up momentum.,” Mr. Vishwanathan said. “U.S. is the largest with about 60,000 start-ups. Within a span of four years, we have emerged among the top three. We are close to number two with U.K. This year we should possibly overtake U.K.”
According to Nasscom, 27% of the start-ups are based in Bangalore and about 24% each in Northern region (NCR) and Western region (Mumbai, Pune). “The balance is scattered.”
In the initial phase, 60% of the start-ups were in the business-to-consumer and 40% in business-to-business category. In B2C, a bulk of them were in the e-commerce segment, mobility commerce, and Internet commerce, according to Nasscom.
“Now the equation has changed. Sixty percent is in B2B and 40% in B2C. B2B is also supported by technologies like IoT, AI, enterprise ready start-ups and blockchain,” he said.
India has about 6,000 startups and close to 140 accelerators and incubators. Both corporate, private and government accelerators put together have registered a 35% year-on-year growth last year and Nasscom expects the growth rate to be maintained this fiscal year too.
“In the country there are close to about 30,000-seats that got created in start-up acceleration activity. And venture capital investment has also drastically gone up. Government of India has come out with a start-up policy. Every state government has a start-up policy. On the whole..., we have impacted 3,000 start-ups against the goal of 10,000 in 10 years.
“Our estimate is that, last year, venture capitalist spend was $4.2 billion for start-ups in India. In the previous fiscal, it was $3.8 billion. Our programmes are also undergoing a change and we are reinventing ourselves for the next five years,” Mr. Vishwanathan said. India is on the verge of cashing in on “a big opportunity” in start-ups as the world is increasingly becoming “app-based.”
“We believe we have a unique position. If India’s own problems can be solved by apps or start-up solutions, say, in water-related or garbage-related or education-related areas, that solution can be used for every part of sub-Saharan Africa, where people cannot afford technology which Western countries can. The opportunity is huge,” according to Mr. Vishwanathan.
Starting to count: About 27% of start-ups are in Bengaluru and about 24% each in the northern and western regions.