Indian Information Technology (IT) experts have expressed their desire that Singapore should set up a billion-dollar funding arrangement for investments in Indian start-ups that are poised for exponential growth.
Speaking at the sidelines of the recent Singapore FinTech Festival 2019 that took place from 11 to 15 Nov, Girija Pande and Mohandas Pai told the Press Trust of India – India’s largest news agency – that Singapore should invest a billion dollars in at least 1,000 start-ups in India.
Both Pande and Pai are described as “IT stalwarts”. Pande, the chairman of management consulting firm Apex Avalon Consulting, asserted: “We want much more investment in start-ups from Singapore.”
Pai, a technologist and venture capitalist, echoed Pande’s views and called on Singapore to join hands with India in building up the start-up ecosystem.
Noting that India produces 800,000 predominantly young engineers a year and that two out of every six US-based engineers are from India, Pai said: “India clearly dominates this field and will keep dominating. There is no other country that can match India in software skill.”
Pointing out that India has over 40,000 start-ups with 5,000-6,000 new entities joining the sector each year, he said: “By 2025, we will have 1,00,000 start-ups and create USD 500 billion of value and employ 3.25 million people.”
Both Pai and Pande also stated that Japan is working on a USD 200 million funding arrangement for start-up investments in India.
Investments in India is not an entirely foreign concept to the authorities in Singapore. Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC has invested considerable funds in India’s real estate and infrastructure sectors.
In June, we reported that GIC is reportedly planning to invest approximately S$1 billion in Indian infrastructure, specifically for buying operating toll and annuity road assets, in order to strengthen its presence in India.
Earlier this year, GIC co-invested 8,000 crores in the airports business of India’s GMR Group for a 15 per cent stake. GIC also co-invested 2,060 crores in Indian infrastructure investment trust IndiGrid and another S$495 million in India’s renewable energy firm Greenko Group.
The Singapore Government also made plans with the state of Andhra Pradesh to build a futuristic state capital called Amaravati City. Singapore firms suffered losses of a few million dollars when the new Andhra Pradesh administration scrapped the joint project once it came into power.
This November, the project was officially cancelled and is set to undergo voluntary liquidation. Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran explained that the new Andhra Pradesh government had “other priorities” for the state. -/TISG