“This is indeed a Mahakumbh in its truest form creating an unprecedented energy and vibe”
“Any Indian visiting the Start-up Mahakumbh will witness the unicorns and decacorns of the future”
“Startup has become a social culture and no one can stop a social culture”
“More than 45 percent start-ups in the country are women-led”
“I believe that Indian solutions for global applications will become a helping hand for many nations in the world”

My colleagues in the council of ministers, Shri Piyush Goyal ji, Anupriya Patel ji and Som Prakash ji, esteemed dignitaries, and all our friends from the start-up ecosystem across the country! I extend my heartfelt wishes to all of you for the Start-up Mahakumbh.

Many people launch start-ups and in politics it is even more so, and they have to be launched again and again. The difference between you and them is that you are innovative; if one launch doesn't work, you swiftly move on to the next. Now, it's time to catch up.

Friends,

When the nation is working on the roadmap for a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (Developed India) in 2047, I feel that this Start-up Mahakumbh holds great significance. Over the past decades, we have seen how Bharat has made its mark in the IT and software sectors. Now, we are witnessing a continuous rise in the trend of innovation and start-up culture in Bharat. Therefore, the participation of all of you in the world of start-ups in this Mahakumbh holds immense importance. As I was contemplating, I wondered about what makes start-ups successful, why they succeed, and what genius element lies within them that leads to their success. Then I had a thought: you all decide whether I am right or wrong. It's your team that has organized this. Because usually, any decision in the industrial or business world relates to the government. And when it relates to the government, there is usually a time frame of five years. Progress is slowly being made from this end. Hence, businessmen often think, "This year is an election year, let's wait. Once the elections are over, we'll see what happens with the new government." Isn't that so? Now elections have been declared. Despite that, you are organizing such a major event. This means you know what will happen in the next five years. And I believe that the genius element within you is what makes the start-up successful.

Here, we have investors, incubators, academicians, researchers, industry members—essentially, this is truly a Mahakumbh in the real sense. Here, we have both young entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs. And just as there is genius talent within you, there is within me as well. And I can recognize it; I can see the future entrepreneurs here. In such an environment, this energy, this vibe, is truly remarkable. When I was passing by pods and exhibition stalls, I could feel this vibe. And in the distance, some people were chanting slogans. Everyone was showcasing their innovations with great pride. While coming here, any Indian would feel that they are not just witnessing today's start-ups but also seeing the unicorns and decacorns of tomorrow.

Friends,

If Bharat today has emerged as a new hope, a new force in the global start-up space, it is backed by a well-thought-out vision. Bharat has taken the right decisions at the right time and initiated work on start-ups at the right moment. Now, you have organized this summit on a large scale. But when even the word "start-up" hadn't started, I had organized a summit. The auditorium in Vigyan Bhawan was barely half-filled. As the governments do, we also filled up the space. That's an internal matter; don't discuss it outside. I had made efforts towards launching initiatives like Start-up India, Stand-up India in the presence of the youth who had come from across the country. I wanted to create an attraction, a message for the youth, so some people who had taken initiatives were searched for all over the country. If someone is doing something in any part of the country, take a look. I had called upon 5-7 people and told them, "Give a speech there; nobody will listen to me." Now they listen to me, but I'm talking about that time. So, I vividly remember a daughter sharing her experience in that function. Perhaps she might be sitting here; I'm not sure. She originally hails from Bengal, and her parents have educated her quite well. She narrated her experience. She said, "Even my parents are educated. So, when I went home, my mother asked what I was doing?” She had returned home after her studies. So, she replied, "I'm going to launch a start-up." Then her mother, being Bengali, said, "That's disastrous, utter disaster!" Meaning, a start-up means utter disaster. And from there, this journey began, and we are seeing a sample of it here. The country provided a platform for innovative ideas under the Start-up India campaign, and connected them with funding sources. The campaign to establish incubators in educational institutes was also launched. Like a kindergarten, we launched Atal Tinkering Lab. We started it just like KG starts in education. From there, we progressed, and incubator centres started emerging. The facility to incubate ideas for the youth of tier-2, tier-3 cities also began. Today, the entire country can proudly say that our start-up ecosystem is not limited to just major metro cities. And this has been depicted even in a short film just now. It has reached more than 600 districts of the country. This means that a social culture has been established. And once a social culture is formed, there is no reason for it to stop. It continues to reach new heights. Today, the leadership of Bharat’s start-up revolution is being taken by the youth of small towns in the country. Some people think that our start-ups are limited only to the tech space. But I am glad to see that today start-ups have started in agriculture, textiles, medicine, transportation, space, and even yoga. Start-ups have begun in Ayurveda as well. And not just one or two; I take a little interest, I see them in numbers like 300- 400. And each one has something new. Sometimes I also wonder if the yoga I do is fine or that suggested by someone from the start-up world is good.

Friends,

In sectors like space, which we opened up only recently … Initially, there is a tendency within the government to put up barriers, and my entire effort goes into breaking those barriers. In the space sector, Indian start-ups are doing very well in more than 50 sectors. And already, our start-ups have started launching satellites in such a short time.

Friends,

The world is witnessing the potential of Bharat’s youth power today. With confidence in this potential, the country has taken several steps towards building a start-up ecosystem. In the beginning, there were very few people who believed in this effort, as I mentioned earlier. Here, the meaning of education was limited to jobs, and the meaning of jobs was solely government employment. It was only limited to this. I used to live in Baroda (Vadodara) before, and had more connections with Maharashtrian families. One among them is Gaekwad estate. There were some friends of ours who would jokingly say, "If a daughter grows up, the only discussion at home is about arranging her marriage. The son is very good and he also has a government job. So, the daughter was considered suitable for marriage.” Today, the entire mindset has changed. Earlier, when someone talked about starting a business, the concern used to be not about the idea, but about where to get the money from. The worry at the beginning was about the lack of money. The belief here was that only those who have money can start a business. This perception has now changed. The start-up ecosystem has shattered that psyche. And revolutions in the country come from such things.

The youth of the country have chosen the path of becoming job creators rather than job seekers. When the country launched the Start-up India campaign, the youth demonstrated what they are capable of. Today, Bharat boasts the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world. Where there were hardly 100 start-ups in 2014, today there are around 1.25 lakh registered start-ups in Bharat, directly engaging nearly 1.2 million young people. We have more than 110 unicorns, and our start-ups have filed nearly 12,000 patents. There are many start-ups who are yet to realize the importance of patents. Just now, I met someone, and my first question was, "Have you obtained a patent?" He said, "Not yet, it's in the process." My earnest request is to start that work alongside. Because the world is changing so rapidly today, you never know who might take the lead. Another example of how the country is hand holding them is the GeM portal. You can see it here as well. Today, these start-ups have done business of more than 20,000 crore rupees only through the GeM Portal. This means that the government created a platform where young people, aged 20-22 years, have been able to do business worth 20,000 crore rupees in such a short time. This is a remarkable achievement. You all are witnesses to the fact that today's youth, along with aspiring to become doctors and engineers, also dream of becoming innovators and starting their own start-ups. I understand that with the talent and training they possess, they are entering new fields through start-ups. Today, I see how young people are shining in different sectors with the help of their start-ups, and I firmly believe that there will be at least 1000 start-ups during the 2029 elections whose services will be sought after by political parties. They will bring such innovations, and it will also seem to them that yes, this is a good way to reach out, this is the easy path. In other words, what I mean to say is that in every sector, whether it's the service sector, communication sector, or any other field, young people are bringing new ideas. With minimal requirements, they start performing. And I believe this has greatly strengthened its power. I have seen today how traditional things in food and beverage are advancing, how medical equipment is being made in such a way that you can easily check your own health. Some are preparing to compete with the global giants of social media. These are the dreams, this is the spirit and this is the power, which is why people say, "I will do it." In a way, I can say that the start-up launched on the policy platform by the country a few years ago is touching new heights of success.

Friends,

The start-ups have received significant assistance from the country's Digital India campaign, and I believe universities should do a case study on it. It is a great inspiration in itself. Our fintech start-ups have benefited greatly from UPI. Innovative products and services have been developed in Bharat, expanding digital facilities to every corner of the country. And my friends, you have no idea where we are, as we are living our daily lives and often remain unaware. But during the G-20 Summit, I saw that. We had set up a booth where your exhibition is now being held. There, we demonstrated how UPI works. We used to give them one thousand rupees for its trial. Every embassy urged its top leaders to visit our booth just once. There used to be long lines of top leaders wanting to know what UPI is and how it works, and it was a wonder for them. Even the vegetable vendor in our village can now accept payments with ease through UPI.

Friends,

This has strengthened financial inclusion and reduced the rural-urban divide in the country. Initially, there were concerns about it worldwide! When digital progress began, the theory of "haves and have-nots" became associated with it. The talk was about the social divide. Bharat has democratized technology, so the theory of "haves and have-nots" cannot thrive here. Here, everything is available for everyone. Today, whether it's agriculture, education, or health, new opportunities are emerging for start-ups. I am also pleased to note that more than 45 per cent of our start-ups are led by women – ‘Nari Shakti’ (women power). One cannot estimate the impact of the start-ups. It is an additional benefit for the country. Our daughters are leading the nation towards prosperity through cutting-edge innovation.

Friends,

The culture of innovation is not only essential for the development of a ‘Viksit Bharat’, but also for a better future for the entire world. And I say this with a great sense of responsibility, I am talking about the better future of the world, and I have faith in your capabilities, not just mine. Bharat clearly articulated its vision during its G-20 Presidency. The G-20 summit was held here only. All the world's leaders gathered to discuss where to take the world beyond COVID. And sitting in this forum is the young mind of my country, which is determining the path towards 2047. Under the Startup-20 initiative, Bharat has made efforts to bring together start-up ecosystems from around the world. In this same Bharat Mandapam, start-ups were not only included in the Delhi Declaration of the G20 but were also recognized as 'Natural Engines of Growth.' I would definitely urge you to look at this document of the G20. It shows what level we have reached. Now, we are in a new era connected with AI technology. And today, the world acknowledges that AI means India's upper hand. The world is acknowledging it. Now, our job is not to miss the opportunity. And I am getting a lot of help from AI nowadays. Because I know that I face language barriers during election campaigns, so I am using AI to convey my message in Tamil, Telugu, and Odia as well. So when young people like you do this work, my work also gets done. Earlier, I used to see someone used to ask for my autographs, then they gradually started asking for photographs, and now they ask for selfies. Now they demand all three - a selfie, an autograph, and a photograph. Now what to do? So I took the help of AI. I have set up a system on my NaMo app. If I am passing through here and even a glimpse of your face appears somewhere, then you can take that photograph with the help of AI that you are standing with Modi. If you guys go to the NaMo app, there is a photo booth and you will get your photo from there. Your photo must have come as I passed through here.

Friends,

Therefore, AI has brought countless new opportunities for young investors in Bharat and global investors alike. The National Quantum Mission, India AI Mission, and Semiconductor Mission; all these campaigns will open new doors of possibilities for the youth of Bharat. Just a few months ago, I was invited to address the US Congress, where I talked about AI. I said AI is becoming powerful enough to determine the future of the world. So, as much as they understood, accordingly, applause followed. Then I said, my definition of AI means America-India, and the entire audience stood up.

Friends,

But I said that in a political context there, but today I firmly believe that the capability of AI, its leadership will remain and should remain in the hands of Bharat. I have full faith that the concept of Indian Solutions for Global Applications will be of great help. The youth innovators of Bharat, who will find solutions to problems, will help many countries around the world. I keep experimenting these days. I organize hackathons for children from our country with many countries around the world. For thirty to forty hours, these children participate online, form mixed teams, like if there's a Singapore-India team then children from Singapore and India solve problems together. I have seen that there is a great attraction worldwide to participate in hackathons with Indian children. Then I tell them, “You won't gel with them”. They say, “Even if we don’t gel with them, we will learn something.” Actually, whatever innovation is tried and tested in Bharat will be successful in every geography and demography in the world because we have all types of situations here. You'll find deserts here, areas affected by floods, areas with medium rainfall, meaning every kind of thing is available to you in one place. And that's why what succeeds here can succeed anywhere in the world.

Friends,

The culture of innovation is not only essential for the development of a ‘Viksit Bharat’, but also for a better future for the entire world. And I say this with a great sense of responsibility, I am talking about the better future of the world, and I have faith in your capabilities, not just mine. Bharat clearly articulated its vision during its G-20 Presidency. The G-20 summit was held here only. All the world's leaders gathered to discuss where to take the world beyond COVID. And sitting in this forum is the young mind of my country, which is determining the path towards 2047. Under the Startup-20 initiative, Bharat has made efforts to bring together start-up ecosystems from around the world. In this same Bharat Mandapam, start-ups were not only included in the Delhi Declaration of the G20 but were also recognized as 'Natural Engines of Growth.' I would definitely urge you to look at this document of the G20. It shows what level we have reached. Now, we are in a new era connected with AI technology. And today, the world acknowledges that AI means India's upper hand. The world is acknowledging it. Now, our job is not to miss the opportunity. And I am getting a lot of help from AI nowadays. Because I know that I face language barriers during election campaigns, so I am using AI to convey my message in Tamil, Telugu, and Odia as well. So when young people like you do this work, my work also gets done. Earlier, I used to see someone used to ask for my autographs, then they gradually started asking for photographs, and now they ask for selfies. Now they demand all three - a selfie, an autograph, and a photograph. Now what to do? So I took the help of AI. I have set up a system on my NaMo app. If I am passing through here and even a glimpse of your face appears somewhere, then you can take that photograph with the help of AI that you are standing with Modi. If you guys go to the NaMo app, there is a photo booth and you will get your photo from there. Your photo must have come as I passed through here.

Friends,

Therefore, AI has brought countless new opportunities for young investors in Bharat and global investors alike. The National Quantum Mission, India AI Mission, and Semiconductor Mission; all these campaigns will open new doors of possibilities for the youth of Bharat. Just a few months ago, I was invited to address the US Congress, where I talked about AI. I said AI is becoming powerful enough to determine the future of the world. So, as much as they understood, accordingly, applause followed. Then I said, my definition of AI means America-India, and the entire audience stood up.

Friends,

But I said that in a political context there, but today I firmly believe that the capability of AI, its leadership will remain and should remain in the hands of Bharat. I have full faith that the concept of Indian Solutions for Global Applications will be of great help. The youth innovators of Bharat, who will find solutions to problems, will help many countries around the world. I keep experimenting these days. I organize hackathons for children from our country with many countries around the world. For thirty to forty hours, these children participate online, form mixed teams, like if there's a Singapore-India team then children from Singapore and India solve problems together. I have seen that there is a great attraction worldwide to participate in hackathons with Indian children. Then I tell them, “You won't gel with them”. They say, “Even if we don’t gel with them, we will learn something.” Actually, whatever innovation is tried and tested in Bharat will be successful in every geography and demography in the world because we have all types of situations here. You'll find deserts here, areas affected by floods, areas with medium rainfall, meaning every kind of thing is available to you in one place. And that's why what succeeds here can succeed anywhere in the world.

Bharat has been transformed from the 11th largest economy to the 5th, and the youth of my country has played a significant role in this. Now, I have assured Bharat, and I have assured the world, that in my third term, I will make Bharat the third largest economy in the world. And in this jump, start-ups will play a significant role, I can see that.

Friends,

I liked chatting with all of you. Your enthusiasm and energy fill me with a new vigour too.

Best wishes to all of you!

Thank you very much.

 

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