Singapore should put in place billion dollar funding arrangement for Indian start-ups: Experts

Gurdip Singh

Singapore, Nov 18 (PTI) Singapore should put in place a billion-dollar funding arrangement for investments in Indian start-ups that are poised for exponential growth, according to experts.

Technologist and venture capitalist Mohandas Pai sees good potential for Singapore-India partnership in building the start-up ecosystem.

He called for a billion-dollar fund of funds for investments in at least 1,000 start-ups in India, which has a spread of over 40,000 such entities with 5,000-6,000 start-ups joining the industry every year.

'By 2025, we will have 1,00,000 start-ups and create USD 500 billion of value and employ 3.25 million people,” Pai said on the sidelines of Singapore Fintech Festival 2019.

Echoing similar view, Girija Pande, Chairman of Apex Avalon Consulting, who currently mentors four Indian start-ups in deep technology from Singapore said 'we want much more investment in start-ups from Singapore.' The two IT stalwarts noted that Japan, constrained in developing domestic start-up ecosystem due to a small and stagnant economy, is working on a USD 200 million fund of funds for start-up investments in India.

According to Pai, India is expected to have 100 unicorns, up from 34 as of now, 18 of which are registered outside India for ease of raising funds from global markets.

Both Pande and Pai see the Indian IT industry growing from software services hub into a large base of manufacturing unique IT products for global markets.

Indian IT industry will remain competitive with a large number of engineers joining every year in a small domestic IT services economy.

India produces 800,000 engineers a year, with top 20 per cent becoming software engineers. Moreover, the average age of Indian software engineer is 27 and is trainable in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Pai said.

The US is the world's largest IT country with a mammoth economy and demand, but it is short on skilled engineers, Pai said adding that every two in six US-based engineers are from India.

'India clearly dominates this field and will keep dominating. There is no other country that can match India in software skill,' Pai said at the FinTech Festival that was attended by 43 Indian companies. PTI GS DRR