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HSL, Vizag port commit to encourage start-ups

Friday, 17 May 2019 | 00:00

Vizag’s two public sector majors Hindusthan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) and the Visakhapatnam port have promised to encourage start-ups and assist in creating the right ecosystem for promoting innovation here.

They made the commitment at an interactive session for local industries and start-ups, organised here on Wednesday by Vizag Industrial Scan, a local fortnightly magazine.

Stress on innovation
Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarat Babu, Chairman and Managing Director, HSL, said that in the ship-building sector, innovation would have to play a key role in reducing costs and making products competitive. “Scaling up the industry to meet the Industry 4.0 standards is also a key issue and in all these endeavours, start-ups would have to play an important role and we are always ready to tie up with them and encourage them. But they would have to come up with viable products and services. The HSL is not a cash-rich PSU. We cannot fund them,” he said.

Savings from innovation
He cited the example of a Hyderabad-based start-up that offered HSL a product, resulting in a saving of ₹50-60 lakh for the company. “It will be a win-win situation for both,” he added.

PL Harnadh, Deputy Chairman of the Vizag port, spoke of the opportunities opening up in the maritime sector for start-ups, in general, and in Visakhapatnam port, in particular, and said they would have to come up with innovative solutions for cargo-handling and cargo evacuation in ports. “We will be more than willing to support start-ups. A free trade zone is coming up in the Vizag port and it will further encourage them,” he said.

Software policy
Earlier, MS Rao, President and CEO of the National E-governance Division of the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT, spoke of the National Policy on Software Products – 2019, which “aims at nurturing as many as 10,000 tech start-ups including 1,000 in tier-two and tier-three cities. Establishment of 20 domain-specific Indian software product clusters, creating a talent pool for the software industry by up-skilling one million IT professionals and motivating one lakh school and college students and training 10,000 professional to provide leadership are the other objectives of the policy.”

Corpus fund
He said the government had decided to create a corpus of ₹1,000 crore for software product development, and ₹5,000 crore with the target of having 100 Indian software product companies with a turnover of ₹500 crore or employing at least 200 persons. A sum of ₹500 crore would be set apart for providing support to research and innovation in institutes of higher learning. He urged the start-ups in the city and Andhra Pradesh to make use of the schemes.

Bijay Kumar Sahu, Deputy Manager (IPR), of the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), and others spoke.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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