India has accumulated valuable expertise in navigating complex markets, which can be shared to help startups in SCO countries.
The Indian startup ecosystem exemplifies the quest for innovation and disruption, fueled by a talented workforce hailing from diverse backgrounds, has much to offer to SCO member countries, especially the Central Asian Republics (CARs).
India’s AYUSH exports to these countries were worth US$16 million in 2022. Startups can deliver pure AYUSH goods to Central Asia without encountering usual challenges like fake medicines and cross-border payments.The pharmaceuticals and health tech sector has emerged as another focal point of innovations in India. In 2021, there were 3,548 active startups that had secured funding of US$2.2 billion. This is estimated to reach US$21.3 billion by 2025, thereby showcasing the transformative potential of startups in reshaping healthcare accessibility and delivery. In 2022, India’s pharmaceutical exports to Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan were US$ 597.8, 128.16, 72.6, 27, 25.4, and 16.15 million, respectively. The Indian startups can form joint ventures with Central Asian countries for quality control, digitisation and delivery of pharmaceuticals. Central Asian countries are also increasingly importing AYUSH goods—traditional and homoeopathic medicines—from India. India’s AYUSH exports to these countries were worth US$16 million in 2022. Startups can deliver pure AYUSH goods to Central Asia without encountering usual challenges like fake medicines and cross-border payments. In 2022, Eurasian countries started the promotion of digitisation for regional integration under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC). CAREC programme aims to integrate digital technologies for widening access to education, and healthcare and create better opportunities in trade, finance and tourism for Central Asia and beyond. Similarly, the CAREC digital strategy 2030 seeks to promote paperless information via e-logistic platforms, improving cross-border cargo movement through automated payment systems. It will also strive toward regional digital literacy and scale-up digital technology for sustainable development. The Indian startup ecosystem can potentially offer valuable assistance to other nations in their pursuit of fostering entrepreneurial landscapes. The Indian startup ecosystem can contribute through knowledge sharing, technology transfer, market expansion, collaboration, investment, policy advocacy, and social impact initiatives. Indian institutions like iCreate, Dev IT and NTPC are cooperating with their counterparts in Uzbekistan to promote startup culture, DPI, and other innovations, through bilateral agreements. The CAREC programme has opened more and more converging opportunities between India and SCO member countries to exchange knowledge and innovations through startup ecosystems.
The Indian startup ecosystem can potentially offer valuable assistance to other nations in their pursuit of fostering entrepreneurial landscapes.India has accumulated valuable expertise in navigating complex markets, which can be shared to help startups in SCO countries. Innovative solutions tailored to the Indian market can be transferred to address the needs of these nations. By forging partnerships, the Indian startup ecosystem can provide funding, mentorship, and access to a wider network of investors to support startups abroad. Additionally, Indian startups can advocate for favourable policy changes and guide other countries in developing supportive ecosystems. DPI has enabled India to strengthen the delivery system of public goods and services and also provided data-driven insights for the redressal of grievances. The use of DPI can also help some of the SCO countries, especially in Central Asia, to expand social and financial assistance to the downtrodden sections of society. The Indian startup ecosystem has the potential to foster a global network of innovation and entrepreneurship, creating a mutually beneficial environment for startups across borders.
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Ayjaz Wani (Phd) is a Fellow in the Strategic Studies Programme at ORF. Based out of Mumbai, he tracks China’s relations with Central Asia, Pakistan and ...Read More +
Sauradeep Bag is Associate Fellow at ORF. Sauradeep has worked in several roles in the startup ecosystem and in international development with the United Nations Capital ...Read More +