Business

Deal smoothens path for S’pore start-ups in India

Singapore tech start-ups will have a much easier ride in India, thanks to an agreement signed yesterday.

The deal will let Singaporean firms pilot innovations in India and acquire best practices from tech companies in what has become a thriving innovation centre.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) aims to facilitate business partnerships and knowledge exchange between firms in the tech sector.

Singapore companies will be able to participate in programmes co-organised by IE Singapore and CII to better understand India's tech landscape and connect to partners in the ecosystem.

Both organisations will also build platforms to bring together next-generation Indian and Singaporean tech business leaders.

IE Singapore said India is emerging as the world's third-largest start-up base, with over 5,000 new tech firms last year, among them unicorns - those valued at over US$1 billion (S$1.33 billion) - such as Flipkart and Paytm.

"The Indian government is actively developing the ecosystem," IE Singapore noted.

"For example, they set up Startup India, an initiative to ease incorporation processes, fast track patent applications and provide tax relief for start-ups in India, including foreign start-ups."

Startup India has set aside $2.1 billion to support start-ups - the strongest of which are in the e-commerce, fintech, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) sectors.

Singapore start-ups, such as logistics firm Anchanto, e-commerce service provider Shopmatic and AI firm ViSenze, have set up shop in India.

Shopmatic chief executive Anurag Avula said: "The cross-learning opportunities to enhance innovation in tech will further deepen the relationship between Singapore and Indian companies."

The MOU is part of IE Singapore's efforts to deepen in-market networks to ease initial challenges Singapore companies face when entering India.

The agency will lead missions to Indian cities this year to support Singapore companies in the logistics, financial services, smart cities and digital economy sectors.

BUSINESS & FINANCE