The Indian government is a big stakeholder in the startup ecosystem. We have seen an effort to shape startup friendly policy making and the development of grassroots initiatives for the same so we wanted to learn from the key players behind this. In this episode, we sat down with Chief Executive Officer, Innovation Society, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Nikhil Agarwal and we got key insights into:

  • The role of the government in pushing digital and entrepreneurial initiatives
  • How other players in the ecosystem assist the government in executing startup/digital initiatives
  • The myth of governments only working with big companies
  • The importance of startup focused policy making
  • How Andhra Pradesh is building for the future
  • The importance of networking in a startup environment

Nikhil Agarwal is currently serving as CEO, Innovation Society, Government of Andhra Pradesh. The role of the innovation society is to kickstart the innovation agenda and promote entrepreneurship in the sunrise state of India. Andhra Pradesh is now the leader in Innovation in India. www.apit.ap.gov.in

Dr Agarwal has founded businesses and advised firms on strategic matters in last 19 years of his career. He has worked with global multinationals like Cadbury’s and Zensar (RPG Group). He has lectured at leading global universities like Virginia Tech, University of Bradford, University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge in visiting capacity. His interviews and work have been extensively covered in international media including HBR, Forbes, CNN Money, BBC Radio, The New York Times to name a few.

He has served on many international think-tanks and holds leadership positions in global organisations. He has served as a high-level advisor to United Nations Global Alliance on ICT & Development (UNGAID) between 2008-12; board member at World-Entrepreneurship-Forum and Open Mind Foundation respectively. He was the first Asian to be elected as Co-Chair of prestigious Internet Society Advisory Council (ISOC-AC) for 2008-10. He founded EntrepreneurCafe.org one of the world’s largest entrepreneurship networks.

Dr Nikhil Agarwal is an alumnus of University of Cambridge and University of Edinburgh. He is currently based in Hyderabad, India.