As the entrepreneurial energies charged up the atmosphere at the StartAP fest, Dr. Nikhil Agarwal, CEO Innovation Society, Government of Andhra Pradesh, got talking to Yo! Vizag on what entrepreneurship and innovation is all about.
On Entrepreneurship and Innovation
‘Both entrepreneurship and innovation are often misunderstood. An entrepreneur need not always be someone who starts a business. In fact, it is someone who is willing to take a challenge, and is trying to do something different. Similarly, innovation is often misunderstood as invention. However, innovation is actually not a one-step process, but a series of steps. Another misnomer is that many think that both entrepreneurship and innovation have limited applications. However, they are prevalent in every aspect of life.’
‘When you translate the spirit of innovation into each and every aspect of life and living, you take the path towards becoming an innovative society. And because we’re aiming to become a smart city, we should innovate on aspects like garbage disposal, sanitation, water conservation and the like through the use of smart technology and appliances.’
It takes time, hard work and lots of risk taking capability to be an entrepreneur.
‘A smart city is that which is safe to live and commute in. It is one that has lesser amount of pollution and traffic jams, and all this is definitely possible with innovative technologies. For example, programmed traffic lights turn on and off at set timings. However, intelligent light systems, on the other hand, can judge where traffic is heavier and work to clear the area faster. In this regard, certain innovative projects have been started.’
‘When it comes to incentives for the start-ups in AP, Vizag is the jewel in the crown. Most of the IT activities are happening here, and the first Department of Innovation has come up in our state. The Sunrise Tower with 50,000 sqft of space is available for innovators and schemes are up in AU. With plenty of focus in this region, an R&D centre is in the pipeline too. New ideas are coming in, more entrepreneurs are being encouraged, innovative policies have been created and angel investors and mentors are focusing too. While good visibility has started to come, the government should regulate less and facilitate more. Also, Vizag is a fascinating place with the potential and environment to become the next Silicon city.’
‘I think that our Hon’ble Chief Minister, Sri Chandrababu Naidu has given a great vision for entrepreneurs, in fact it is best in the country. He envisions that there should be one entrepreneur from each family and AP should become the most innovative society. For this, the role of the government will be to facilitate innovation.’
‘For innovation to happen, we need to stop thinking like we did in the past 50 years. Students should have patience, a virtue many lose out on rather quickly. It takes time, hard work and lots of risk taking capability to be an entrepreneur. And while making money is a great goal to have, an entrepreneur who’s starting out should focus not on making money, but on solutions for an existing problem. Only then the money will follow, and not the other way round.’[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]