techXchange: Empowering possibilities, expanding businesses

techXchange: Empowering possibilities, expanding businesses
techXchange: Empowering possibilities, expanding businesses

An industry expert gives us a lowdown on the rationale behind a techXchange programme aimed at empowering start-ups to grow through innovation. Start-up India is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to build a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and start-ups in the country that will drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities. The Government, through this initiative, aims to empower start-ups to grow through innovation and design. To meet the objectives of the initiative, the Government of India announced Start-up India Action Plan that addresses all aspects of the start-up ecosystem. With this background and to accelerate the start-up movement, techXchange was launched by the High Commissioner of India in the UK in June 2018 at the UK-India Week. A joint initiative by the High Commission of India to the UK and FICCI UK, the programme has grown since its launch. The programme aimed to promote, encourage and provide exposure to start-ups from India and begin the journey of globalisation. It also aimed to help incubators and start-ups ecosystem stakeholders from India to interact and learn from their counterparts in the UK. techXchange is a platform that facilitates Indian start-ups steer uncertainties, widen their perceptive of the start-up ecosystem around the world and help them accomplish their business on a global level, along with apprehending their transformative potential. Both the first edition in September 2018 and the second edition organised between 16-20 September 2019 received tremendous response from UK stakeholders. The second edition saw a delegation of 15 mature start-ups, selected from a pool of over hundred applications from all over India, taking part in the event to get access to market and money in the UK. The cohort selection was based on a rigorous three-part qualifying criteria: exclusivity of product or service, its UK-Europe use case and a minimum of Rs 10 million annual revenue. techXchange 2019 was a detailed five-day program divided into two parts. For the first part, the delegation networked with the UK government agencies that can help them set up in the UK; met relevant customers for their products/services; as well as networked with ecosystem stakeholders. For the second part of the programme, a one-day summit was organised on 19 September at the High Commission of India in London. One of the major highlights of the techXchange 2019 was a Fireside Chat with The Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL at the Houses of Lords. The session was moderated by Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI. Lord Bilimoria gave the cohort members insights into his entrepreneurial journey in the UK. He also shared a few candid instances of his journey to success. The techXchange summit organised on the fourth day at the High Commission of India saw a wide range of stakeholders joining in. The inaugural session witnessed the presence and address by dignitaries including Ruchi Ghanashyam, High commissioner of India to the UK, Manish Singh, Minister (Economic), High Commission of India, Sunil Parekh, Co-chair (India) for the techXchange programme, Shruti Singh, Director, DPIIT, Govt. of India, Andrew Masters, Senior Economic Adviser, Asia Region, DFID, Simon Spier, Head of International Trade, techUK, and Derek Goodwin, Head of Global Entrepreneur Programme, DIT. The summit also witnessed the launch of a report on 'Developing start-up ecosystem: Lessons from UK' by HCI, FICCI UK, BDO LLP; exchange of an MoU between GEP Programme, DIT & FICCI UK for techXchange programme. Along with this, the techXchange provided a platform for the launch of the 'UK India Start-up Launchpad' an initiative by DIPP and DFID. The final day started at the High Commission of India in the UK with Reverse pitching session with the cohort by different regions of the UK. The session had presentations from techUK, Manchester India Partnership, West Midlands Growth, Invest Wales, Scottish Development International and Ireland India Business Association. Each agency discussed what each region has to offer, the tech focus of the region and how they can help in setting up. The pitching ended Level 39 speaking about London's offerings and in specific Canary Wharf. The techXchange 2019 turned out to be an exceptionally triumphant event. It helped the cohort 2019 to understand the start-up ecosystem of the UK in depth. The start-ups saw success in terms of hiring for their UK base, cracking deals with major customers and laying out business plans for setting up operations in the UK with support from the agencies they met during the week. Going forward, HCI and FICCI UK would be taking techXchange to the next level by taking a reverse delegation of scale-ups from the UK to India. techXchange is a platform that will act as a bridge between the demand and supply of innovative technologies between India and the UK. The support of all the UK-based entities multiplies the growth opportunities and sustainability for the Indian start-ups trying to establish themselves in the UK. The success of techXchange 2018 acted as a milestone for the excellent accomplishment of techXchange 2019. Dr Param Shah is Director - UK, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

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