•      Fri Feb 3 2023
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Indian and Nepali startup ecosystem important for growth



Nepal-India startup ecosystem seminar in Kathmandu. (Photo: newspolar.com)

Kathmandu: Embassy of India, Kathmandu organized Nepal-India Startup Connect, an event to bring together the start up ecosystems of the two countries, today in association with the Confederation of Nepalese Industries Young Entrepreneurs Forum (CNIYEF).

The event focused on fostering a connect between Indian and Nepali startup ecosystems. The event celebrated 75 years of India-Nepal diplomatic relations as well as 75 years of India’s independence.

Addressing the inaugural session, Naveen Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Nepal, highlighted India’s G20 Presidency and Nepal’s participation in the Finance Track of the G20 during India’s presidency. He also mentioned the importance of digital public goods like JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile Number) in enabling financial inclusion and startups.

Governor Adhikari Delivering his speech in the program. Photo credit by RSS.

Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Maha Prasad Adhikari elaborated on the theme of Digital Nepal and spoke about year 2023 being Nepal’s Digital Payment Promotion Year. He called for greater collaboration on fintech between India and Nepal, identifying cross border payments and QR payments as possible areas of cooperation.

Joint Secretary at Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Mr Babu Ram Gautam delivered a presentation on “Startup Opportunities in Nepal”. Mr Anubhav Kumar Das from Startup India made a presentation on the Startup India Scheme. The Startup India scheme was launched on 16 January 2016 and has supported more than 4200 startups in India through its Fund of Funds and Seed Fund. CEO, Paynearby, Anand Bajaj gave an overview of how the fintech sector in India has evolved with support from the government, regulators and industry.

The first panel discussion focused on the opportunities in India-Nepal in the e-commerce and fintech sectors. Mr. Amun Thapa, CEO, Sastodeal spoke about their collaboration with Flipkart. Mr. Biswas Dhakal, President, F1 Soft, talked about FonePay and eSewa payments services. Mr Sixit Bhatta, CEO, Tootle, demontstrated how e-commerce, logistics and digital payments work together. Mr Akshay Chaturvedi from LeverageEdu, an Indian fintech company, explained about their expansion to the Nepali market.

The second panel discussion focused on funding opportunities for Nepali startups, in which Mr. Tenzin Gonsar, CEO Team Ventures gave an overview of the Nepali funding ecosystem. Mr Sandeep Jhingran, Head, Projects & Startups, Internet and Mobile Association of India, elaborated on their incubation programme Mobile 10X. Mr. Rathnakar Samavedam, CEO of Hyderabad Angels, who joined the session virtually, shared the unique PPP model of THub. He identified similarities between Telangana and Nepal’s startup ecosystems. Learnings from the Startup India scheme including Seed Fund model for incubators were also shared.

Ambassador Srivastava Delivering his speech in the program. Photo credit by RSS.

Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said that it will continue to encourage activities to promote India-Nepal Startup Connect. “We encourage all stakeholders in Nepal, including academic institutions, startups and investors to reach out to Indian startups and incubators through Startup India,” the Indian embassy said in a statement.