A virtual workshop on ‘Supporting Startups in Infrastructure’ was organised by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, and Invest India today. This workshop was an effort towards mainstream participation of startups in infrastructure, for sustainably and efficiently scaling up public infrastructure delivery. The workshop was chaired by Secretary DEA, Shri Ajay Seth, and with opening remarks from Additional Secretary, DEA, Shri K. Rajaraman. Special addressees included Additional Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Anil Agrawal and MD & CEO, Invest India, Shri Deepak Bagla.
The workshop addressed experiences and success stories of sourcing or having sourced solutions from startups, as well as benefits and challenges of onboarding startups. In this regard, presentations were made by Shri Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission, Shri Roshan Popli, Chief Information Officer, Airports Authority of India, and Dr Neeru Bhooshan, CEO, Pusa Krishi.
Key infrastructure players from the private sector, including startups, also shared experiences of working with innovative solutions in public infrastructure delivery, including within the government. Startup India also presented a framework for enabling ministries and departments to launch their own startup challenges. The workshop was attended by more than 150+ officials from all infrastructure ministries, key PSUs, and senior representatives of private startups.
Shri Seth, Secretary, DEA, in his address emphasised the importance of not to build more but to build smart with smart design to improve ease of access. He said that mainstreaming technology and leveraging analytics in core infrastructure activities such as construction, asset management and mobility, etc., are some of the critical areas where startups and governments can begin to collaborate.
The workshop also saw the launch of a report ‘Driving Innovations in Infrastructure: The Startup Way’, which aims to highlight the importance of accelerating growth in the infrastructure sector by leveraging home grown technologies and solutions. The report is available for public circulation on the Invest India and India Investment Grid websites.
The workshop concluded with an address by Joint Secretary, DEA, Shri. Baldeo Purushartha, reiterating the importance of Infratech and urging ministries and departments to leverage innovations and startups for efficient infrastructure and smart service delivery.
This workshop, organised as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) under DEA, was a precursor for an actionable way forward, wherein ministries and departments will work towards launching their own startup challenges in partnership with DEA and Invest India.