Europe’s biggest startup conference recognizes India as ‘country of the year’: Ashwini Vaishnaw – Economic Times

Paris: Europe’s biggest startup conference – Vivatech 2020 has recognized India as the “country of the year.”

“This is a great honour for India to be recognized as the country of the year for Vivatech 2020. This is due to the contribution of the Indian startups to the world. This is the recognition of Indian startups. We have embarked on this exciting journey,” said Union Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

“A journey of which if you combine a billion smartphones, bank accounts and billion-plus digital identities the solutions which are coming out of this combination are unique. Nowhere in the world will you find the scale that we have in India. Nowhere in the world will you find the energy level we have among the young minds in the country,” added Vaishnaw.

While inaugurating the India pavilion at the technology exhibition Vivatech, Vaishnaw said that the combination of billion of smartphones and billions of bank accounts with billion-plus digital identities in enabling the creation of unique use cases for technology development in India.

“One thing that you can you should take away from here (France) is the way of thinking. That way of thinking basically teaches how to prepare for failures. The French way of thinking is how to prepare for the failure cases. What can fail, what else can fail? If you learn that, then your products will be very robust,” Vaishnaw said.

He said that the scale that India offers is not available in any other part of the world.

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“Today, if you look at many of the government programs, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, many of the government programs are today born digital. The UPI is a very classic example. The next example which is going to come which can be as big as UPI or maybe even bigger is going to be the health mission,” Vaishnaw said.

He said that many start-ups have already started connecting with the National Health Mission.

Around 65 start-ups from India are participating in Vivatech 2022 with government support.

“Indian start-up ecosystem has been growing very fast. It has been innovating at a rapid pace and now we have over 100 unicorns which reflects the scale and recognition of Indian ecosystems. Our objective of participating in Vivatech is to showcase Indian start-ups are solving global problems and innovating for the world,” Atal Innovation Mission, Mission Director, Chintan Vaishnav said.

Maurice Levy, Chairman, Publicis Groupe said, “India is creating leaders like some people are creating yoghurt. The head of IBM, the head of Microsoft, and Adobe, name it, is an Indian. It shows that you have a system which is quite unique. You have a system of education in the country which is so big. India is not satisfied with an average level, India is producing top-level innovative and digital leaders and this is the most extraordinary achievement. In very few years India has created 100 unicorns. Europe has created 26 unicorns’ and we hope that we will soon grow but what India has achieved is absolutely unique. So it is a great honour to welcome India. It is a great honour to have India as a country of the year. India is surrounded by the great companies of the world and I am sure that everyone will take the example of what India has earned.”

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