India is home to the world’s third largest startup ecosystem, witnessing a consistent YoY growth of 12-15%. The government, along with various industry bodies, has been working relentlessly to create a business-friendly environment and streamline regulatory processes. While there are several organizations playing a crucial role in this endeavor, a few of them truly stand out. These prominent industry bodies are actively contributing to elevating India’s startup ecosystem through their advocacy, policy recommendations, and collaborative efforts.
Alliance for Digital India Foundation (ADIF)
The Alliance for Digital India Foundation (ADIF) is a prominent digital startup policy think tank with a clear mission. Their primary goal is to become the preferred platform for shaping startup policies and to position India as the top choice for startups globally. ADIF stands for several key principles, including “Vocal for local,” which advocates for the growth and support of Indian startups, and the establishment of a level-playing field. ADIF is committed to building an open, fair, neutral, and democratic digital ecosystem.
ADIF has achieved notable milestones, such as the successful Competition Commission of India (CCI) ruling against Google in the Google Lagaan case. The foundation has also been actively involved in various initiatives, including providing inputs to the CCI on bundled services in the Android OS case and presenting its views to the Committee set up by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs on the proposed Digital Competition Act. ADIF is addressing several pressing issues, including the decriminalization of frivolous complaints, resolving the keyword bidding issue, addressing angel tax concerns, and improving the treatment of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). The foundation is also focused on preventing startups from relocating their base by addressing taxation issues, and improving intellectual property rights (IPR) provisions.
Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)
ASSOCHAM, established in 1920, is one of India’s oldest industry associations. As non-governmental trade body, it serves as a platform for businesses to connect, collaborate, and advocate for policy reforms. The organization works closely with the government and policymakers to address issues faced by businesses and suggest necessary changes. ASSOCHAM actively engages in research, analysis, and dialogue to promote entrepreneurship. It conducts surveys and studies to identify bottlenecks and recommends reforms to improve the business environment. Through its constant efforts, ASSOCHAM has been instrumental in bridging the gap between the government and the industry.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
CII, another prominent industry body, has been a key driver of economic growth and development in India since its establishment in 1895. CII represents a vast network of Indian businesses, both large and small, across various sectors. The organization plays a vital role in promoting policy advocacy and creating an enabling business environment. CII actively collaborates with the government, industry experts, and international organizations to boost the startup ecosystem in India. It regularly organizes conferences, seminars, and workshops to facilitate dialogue and knowledge sharing. CII’s constructive engagement with policymakers has led to significant reforms in areas such as taxation, labor laws, and regulatory frameworks.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI)
PHDCCI, founded in 1905, is another influential organization dedicated to promoting industry and trade in India. It has been at the forefront of advocating pro-business policies and initiatives. PHDCCI actively engages with policymakers at the central and state levels to address the concerns of the business community. The organization conducts research, publishes reports, and organizes interactive sessions to discuss challenges faced by businesses. PHDCCI also focuses on skill development and capacity building to enhance competitiveness in the global market. Through its policy recommendations and continuous engagement with the government, PHDCCI has been instrumental in facilitating a more conducive environment for doing business in India.
These organizations have been working tirelessly to improve India’s startup ecosystem. Their efforts go beyond just advocacy; they actively engage with the government, conduct research, and provide practical recommendations for policy reforms. By fostering collaboration between the industry and policymakers, these organizations have played a significant role in addressing regulatory challenges and streamlining bureaucratic processes. The collective efforts of these industry bodies have contributed to several reforms that have positively impacted India’s business environment. These reforms include simplification of tax procedures, digitization of services, faster clearance of permits and licenses, and the introduction of investor-friendly policies. India’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the government and these industry bodies.