Kolkata | 6th October 2021: The second day of the ICC India StartUp Week started with a pitching session for the startups. There were 20 Startups from across the country. It was a mixed bag of Startups from sectors such as finance, automation, AI, legal, eductech, agrotech and others.  

Shri Avneesh Pandey, Chief General Manager, Security & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) while addressing session on Innovation Sandbox said “There are three drivers of innovation – building ecosystem, innovation by design, and connecting applications.”

Talking about building securities market ecosystem he emphasized on Innovation Sandbox approach to promote innovation both in terms of new products and services as well as new ways of delivering existing products and services.

He talked about two Sandbox approaches – Innovation Sandbox for securities market related data and Regulatory Sandbox for the regulated entities.

The session was followed by a panel discussion on “Banks on Startups – Sharing the Mission and Vision”.

Mr. Anubhab Goel, Head, Digital Innovation, HDFC Ergo stated two important features of the insurance industry, these are highly manpower intensive and also highly data driven. He felt startups can provide solution to these features. He said, “Automation and innovation drive scale in operation in insurance industry.”

Also, addressing the session, Mr. Subhendu Dhara, Industrial Development Manager at Indian Bank said, “Startups have ideas and technologies but they need to have viable and marketable products and services.” He said that pitch decks should be able to address investors’ concern about the way money is used and the income generated. He stressed, “Special focus should be on liquidity and positive cash flow.”

On the difference between banks and Venture Capitalists (VCs), Mr Mohit Gulati, Chief Investment Officer, ITI VC stated banks have legacy issues while it is purely transactional for them. “Where banks stop taking risks we begin our business,” he said. “We invest in the riskiest of asset class which is startup equity,” he added. According to Mr. Gulati, VCs are ready to take bold steps with companies for the long term and are okay with companies not making profit in the short term.

Mr. Prasanna Lohar, Head, Innovation, DCB Bank said that one should not equate innovation with technology.“Technology will keep on changing but innovation should be provable, prevailing and sustainable.”Mr. S. Rengarajan, Member, ICC BFSI Committee moderated the panel discussion. This was followed by other sessions and presentations made by state governments of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.