Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, has said that the state is creating infrastructure to attract start-ups and businesses back to the region. Speaking at the NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum 2023, Fadnavis admitted that the state had lost out to Bengaluru in attracting start-ups, but said that the government was now working on building infrastructure to bring businesses back. He highlighted that his government was creating world-class connectivity for businesses and that the Trans-Harbour link, a 22 km bridge, will be ready by early next year, which will link Mumbai to the hinterland and create new spaces.
Fadnavis also reiterated that Maharashtra is aiming to stay number one in the fintech start-up space. He noted that Maharashtra was among the first states to have its own fintech and start-up policy, which was launched in 2018, and that the policy was very forward-looking. The state started the fintech registry and its API sandbox, which saw almost 500 investors investing Rs 1,000 crore and about 8,000 fintech benefiting from government initiatives.
Although Maharashtra's fintech policy was launched in 2018, Karnataka came up with its start-up policy in 2015, which was updated in 2022. India is the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world after the US and China, with over 80,000 start-ups and over 100 unicorns. Of those 80,000, 15,000 registered start-ups are in Maharashtra, with about 25 unicorns located in the state.
Fadnavis called on the tech industry at NASSCOM to develop the best solutions in the healthcare and education space. He added that fibre has reached over 28,000 villages, and the government needs the best solutions in the healthcare and education space to take them to the farthest parts of Maharashtra. The deputy CM also believes that Maharashtra and Mumbai can be the hub of data centres for the country, with 65per cent of the country's data centres capacity being developed in the state.
In conclusion, Fadnavis highlighted the government's efforts in creating the necessary infrastructure to attract start-ups and businesses to Maharashtra, particularly in fintech, and called on the tech industry to help develop solutions in the healthcare and education space. With the state's focus on building world-class connectivity, the Trans-Harbour link, and its potential to become the hub of data centres for India, Maharashtra is set to become a key player in the Indian start-up ecosystem. We can be the data centre hub for the country,” added the deputy CM.