Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu spoke on Tuesday to establish a close link between universities and industry to guide and support students with novel business ideas.
Addressing a global entrepreneurship summit via Visakhapatnam video conference, Naidu called on universities to establish incubation centers to harness and nurture entrepreneurial talent among young people. He also called on the business sector to come forward to finance and promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem on university campuses.
Noting that young people comprise about 65 percent of India’s population, Naidu emphasized that the vast energies of talented young people must be fully harnessed and their mindset must be shifted from being job seekers to job creators. The vice president also wanted a special campaign to be launched to promote entrepreneurship among women. There is huge potential to promote women entrepreneurs in the country, he said, according to an official statement. Describing India as home to the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, Naidu cited recent data from NASSCOM to say that around 50 percent of tech startups are confident of achieving pre-COVID-19 level revenue. “This is certainly optimistic news and I am confident that things will improve for all Indian startups in the near future,” he said.
Referring to various studies, he said that most of the world’s entrepreneurial countries are also the most prosperous and that entrepreneurship makes people happier and fulfilled.
Noting that entrepreneurship is not just about profit, Naidu said it is also about improving people’s lives through education, health care and basic human rights. “It’s about valuing both competence and compassion.” Speaking of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the vice president said this is the time to turn adversity into opportunity. Calling on young people to come up with innovative ideas to meet emerging challenges, he wanted to create an ecosystem that can allow many innovative ideas to be translated into promising startups.
Stating that entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in economic growth and job creation, the vice president thanked the government for creating an enabling environment through the India startup. Fostering entrepreneurship isn’t just about crafting the right economic policy or developing the best educational curricula, it’s about creating a whole climate in which innovation and ideas flourish, he said.
Noting that with more and more young people joining the job market, the world will need around 500 million new jobs by 2030, the vice president called on established business associations and chambers of commerce to serve as mentors to the next generation. They need to share the wisdom they gained, while universities must work through research and internships to nurture and develop students’ entrepreneurial skills before graduation, he said.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was among those who attended the virtual event.