startups in India, Sijo Kuruvila George, Digital India, Apple App Store, google play store, alliance of digital india foundation, India startup ecosystem, google play store fees

New Delhi: The Alliance of

Digital India

Foundation plans to rank India’s startup ecosystem among the Top 3 globally by 2030, with a focus on finding the right policy framework to drive growth, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The issues that startups face with Google Play store and Apple’s App store can be the point to start conversations with a lot of startups, and bring them on board to find out the path that suits both sides, ADIF’s executive director Sijo Kuruvila George said.

“We are now the third-largest startup market globally and are home to more than 50 unicorn startups, only behind the US (122) and China (92). While we are third largest in terms of size, the Indian startup ecosystem hovers around the twenties in terms of rankings, he said.

“If we are the third-largest in size, we should aim to be at least third in terms of ranking as well. Our mission is to transform the Indian startup ecosystem to be among the top three globally by 2030,” he added.

According to George, the ADIF will look at building a trust alliance of founders in the coming days where a lot of knowledge sharing can take place.

“At ADIF, we will compile this knowledge and take it to our young entrepreneurs and help fuel the next wave of entrepreneurs,” he said. “Furthermore, our ecosystem is still nascent, so it’s understandable that the policies haven’t fully caught up. ADIF will thus also focus on advocating for favourable policies, figuring out solutions that are in the best interest of everyone and driving them.”

Google has proposed to charge a fee of up to 30% on revenue earned by apps through its Play store, in line with Apple’s App store policy. But since most of the apps and startups in India don’t have high margins, therefore, there is a need for ADIF to discuss the matter with startups, George said.

He said that the State of Arizona in the US has come up with guidelines on app store fees, which is an early sign to start with. “Given the importance some of these issues have, I think it is a very interesting conversation to have. We completely acknowledge that it (30% cut on apps earning) is a problem. All of us need to figure out the right way to go forward. Either by regulation or by way of collaboration.”

He said that there are issues around angel investors, cross-border payments, etc., where ADIF will work to bring in improvements.


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