India laser-focused on helping startups tide over SVB crisis: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar


India is committed to helping startups get over the crisis triggered by the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar spoke to more than 450 startups, owned or co-owned by Indians, Venture Capitalists (VCs), Industry leaders, and other stakeholders on the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank through video conferencing from New Delhi on March 14.

Chandrashekhar assured the startup owners that the Indian government is laser-focused on helping them tide over this crisis. He also pointed them toward the Indian Banking system. “Indian banking system is the most stable and robust and you must explore it as part of your organizational framework. While startups have a natural incentive to use banks like SVB, we must figure out a way to use the Indian banking system without changing your business model.”

The online consultation was part of the Indian government’s approach to address the situation and offer any assistance to members of India’s innovation and startup ecosystem who had financial holdings in SVB. Startups like Zoth.Io, Hatica.Io, and VCs and financial service providers like Blume VC and Mirae Asset were part of the meeting.

Some of the startup owners aired their concerns during the interaction, they also asked whether their deposits can be transferred to India and to US-based branches of Indian banks. The minister assured them that the government would do everything possible to help them navigate the storm caused by SVB collapse. Chandrasekhar said, “We will share your suggestions with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and explore how best your concerns can be addressed. We will also explore how smoothly we can facilitate the transfer of your US dollar deposits to Indian banks, IFSC-centered foreign banks, or any other Indian bank which has a presence in the United States.”

“We will explore the option of whether any credit lines can be made available in US dollars or Indian rupees. We will also try to see if more credit products like in the US, can be made available to you and make it easier for them to move from SVB to any other Indian Bank in the US,” he added. Chandrasekhar assured the startups that they could approach the CEO of MeiTY Startup Hub for any problems that they were facing and that the government would do its best to help out.

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