Jobs, Entrepreneurship, Skill development, innovation: New Scheme by Government of Karnataka aimed to enhance state’s IT sector. Rajiv Gandhi Entrepreneurship Scheme mooted by Ministry of Technology.

Bengaluru,12th March, 2018 : It is widely acknowledged that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi ushered in the IT revolution in India, when he set up the first National Informatics Centre. His proactive policies and support for the IT industry saw the country becoming one of the most important IT hubs, exporting software, IT services, and in the last few years – one of the most exciting Startup centres in the world.

Bengaluru in particular, and Karnataka in general, is leading the country in terms of its IT power. The city boasts of the biggest software and IT firms, is the centre of the IT-enabled startup culture, and is home to global giants.

To build on this momentum, and to honour the man who ushered in the IT revolution, the Government of Karnataka, under the auspices of the Department of Innovation & Technology , introduced a new scheme to enhance the IT sector and create new entrepreneurs and innovators.

Called the Rajiv Gandhi Entrepreneurship scheme, it has three main objectives: to encourage graduating students or professionals with experience to pursue entrepreneurship related to a technology business idea by providing initial fellowship support for risk mitigation; to make pursuing entrepreneurship in the field of technology a more lucrative and attractive career option; to foster innovation in Karnataka in order to keep up the state’s positive momentum in science, and technology.

The RGES scheme’s main focus is to build an innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem, and bring positive change to the state. Job creation and wealth creation are the most important ways in which socio-economic development can happen, and the RGES scheme is designed to do that by encouraging entrepreneurs from across the state.

The scheme is targeted at new and potential entrepreneurs, namely, students passing out of colleges, and working professionals who have considerable experience in industry and wish to test their entrepreneurial skills.

Launching the programme, Shri Priyank Kharge, Minister for Technology, Govt of Karnataka said, “The state government of Karnataka is about people first policies. It is about enhancing Karnataka’s strength: its people and its productive citizens. The RGEES scheme is another such policy, designed for nurturing ideas and innovations, supporting our young graduates and dynamic professionals, and turning ideas and ambition into successful start-ups.”

Under the scheme, young graduates who have turned down a placement or job offer to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, and professionals who have given up regular employment to build their startups, will be supported with a monthly grant of Rs. 30,000. The programme will also offer mentorship and support to the startups, with the aim of converting at least 30 % of the support recipient’s ideas into start-up business products, and growing and elevating at least 10% of such supported business products to raising funds or investment for his or her company within 12 months of RGEES support.

Shri Priyank Kharge said, “It is not important just to have exciting startups. It is more important to grow a startup into an organisation that can generate jobs, create wealth, and support the development of all its employees and society at large. The RGEES scheme will help with capacity building and organisational development, and will ensure job creation happens at a sustainable rate.”

The RGES scheme will undertake due diligence to ensure that entrepreneurs applying for the grant are eligible to do so. The principle deciding criterion is that entrepreneurs are working solely on their startup and not pursuing full time employment at other organisations. Additionally, startups must be qualified to be registered in Karnataka Startup Cell and demonstrate their ability to build a scalable business model.

The scheme will be implemented by the modal agency: Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS), through the Startup Karnataka special cell.

The Rajiv Gandhi Entrepreneur Scheme is another powerhouse of a policy decision from a state government that is looking to support its citizens dreams and aspirations, and create all-around development through innovative, sustainable, people-first policies. The RGEES scheme will create entrepreneurs, enhance value, and create jobs and wealth for the state.