Sat, 04 Feb 2023

Kathmandu [Nepal], January 24 (ANI): The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday organized India-Nepal Startup Connect to bring together the start-up ecosystems of the two countries in association with the Confederation of Nepalese Industries Young Entrepreneurs Forum (CNIYEF).

The event focused on fostering connections between India and Nepal's startup ecosystems. The event celebrated 75 years of India-Nepal diplomatic relations as well as 75 years of India's independence. The Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Maha Prasad Adhikari was the Chief Guest at the event.

Addressing the inaugural session, the Ambassador of India to Nepal, Naveen Srivastava highlighted India's G20 Presidency and Nepal's participation in the Finance Track of the G20 during India's presidency.

"This year is a special year for us, it's the 75th year of India's independence and also, the 75th year of the Nepal-India diplomatic relationship. This year is also important as India is also heading the G20 forum, as you know it is a group of the 20 largest economies of the world. Under G20 chairmanship, India has put a special emphasis on promoting digital public goods," Ambassador Srivastava said addressing the event. He also mentioned the importance of digital public goods like JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile Number) in enabling financial inclusion and startups.

At the event, Adhikari elaborated on the theme of Digital Nepal and spoke about the year 2023 being Nepal's Digital Payment Promotion Year. He called for greater collaboration on fin-tech between India and Nepal, identifying cross-border payments and QR payments as possible areas of cooperation.

"The focus area of this event, Startup connect is very much consistent with the vision of the Government of Nepal for having envisioned Digital Nepal which has been formulated "Digital Nepal 2020" with the goal of having an economically prosperous digital society. This is being contributed by with priority of Nepal Rastra Bank for having an emphasis on digital financial services and celebrating this year 2022-23 as digital payment promotion year," Governor Adhikari said.

Addressing the event Joint Secretary Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies Nepal, Babu Ram Gautam and assistant manager at Startup India Anubhav Kumar Das made a presentation on the Startup India Scheme.

The Startup India scheme was launched on January 16, 2016, and has supported more than 4200 startups in India through its Seed Fund. CEO of Paynearby Anand Bajaj gave an overview of how the fintech sector in India has evolved with support from the government, regulators and industry.

The first panel discussion focused on the opportunities in India-Nepal in the e-commerce and fintech sectors. The CEO of Sastodeal Amun Thapa spoke about their collaboration with Flipkart. The President, of F1 Soft, Biswas Dhakal talked about PonePay and eSewa payments services. The CEO of Tootle, Sixit Bhatta, demonstrated how e-commerce, logistics, and digital payments work together. Akshay Chaturvedi from LeverageEdu, an Indian Edtech company, explained their expansion to Nepal's market.

The second-panel discussion focused on funding opportunities for Nepali startups, in which CEO of Team Ventures Tenzin Gonsar, gave an overview of the Nepali funding ecosystem., Head of ProjectsStartups, Internet and Mobile Association of India, Sandeep Jhingran elaborated on their incubation program Mobile 10X. CEO of Hyderabad Angels, Rathnakar Samavedam who joined the session virtually, shared the unique Public Private Partnership model of THub. He identified similarities between Telangana and Nepal's startup ecosystems. Learnings from the Startup India scheme including the Seed Fund model for incubators were also shared at the event. (ANI)

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