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The Union government's efforts to boost the start-up eco-system with its 'Start-up India' campaign has made the pharma and biotechnology sectors more confident to steer innovation backed by technology and intellectual property. Companies view the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill allowing start-ups to exit faster, within 90 days, without the fear of failure as the pick of the bunch among the slew of announcements.
The 19-point action plan under the Start-up India campaign provides not just tax waivers but encourages public private partnership model for 35 new incubators, 31 innovation centres at national institutes and 7 research parks, and 5 new bio-clusters. These along with tax waiver for three years, no inspection for 3 years of start-up businesses, 80 per cent rebate in patient costs, introduction of self-certification and a mega fund of Rs.2,500 crore and alter to Rs.10,000 crore are seen to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs.

The Start-up initiatives, once implemented, could prove to be a game changer in terms of promoting innovation based entrepreneurship biotechnology/lifesciences/healthcare. Some of the key features which stand out are the ‘fund of funds’ for nearly Rs.10,000 crore, portal for easy registration and exit, bio-clusters, rebate for IP filing and income tax relief upto 3-5 years. We are considering a workshop to discuss and create an awareness among start-ups about this, said Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed, director and COO, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms.

According to Jatish N Sheth, member Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and director, Srushti Pharmaceuticals, a road map to boost entrepreneurship is laid out. However, there should be no humps and speed breakers to these initiatives from the The sector already is home to several start-ups like for Forus Health, MapMyGenome by Anuradha Acharya, Coeo Labs, Practo, along with home healthcare initiatives like Medwell Ventures, Care 24 and Portea. C-CAMP too houses many a bio-science research and entrepreneurship venture.

With the Start-up action plan, we will see more young entrepreneurs take the risk of starting their own venture and building innovative solutions to solve meaningful problems for Indian and global markets. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill that will allow start-ups to exit faster, within 90 days, is a great step as more people will take the plunge to start a new venture, without the fear of failure. We believe that acquisitions are the way to grow faster, and with this bill, we hope to see more start-ups collaborate and solve the problems faster, with a solution that is scalable for a larger audience, said Shashank ND, founder & CEO, Practo. The relaxation of the financial and labour norms will make things simpler for young start-ups so they can focus on innovation without getting entangled into these rules which are more applicable to larger entities. The Atal Innovation Mission will help foster innovation among students, which in turn encourages more youngsters to enter the field of entrepreneurship to create some ground breaking products for India and global markets, said the Practo chief.

"The PM's speech was like an icing on the cake. Policies like no capital gain, no taxes for 3 years and most importantly the Start-up Fest will allow us to build a healthy collaborative environment with an aim to grow in this competitive world," said Anurav Rane, CEO, PlanMyMedicalTrip.com

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