Commit to growth of digital economy: Biocon chief to Congress

Bengaluru: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder Biocon, during the Congress’s manifesto consultation meeting on IT and BT Economy, suggested to the party to commit itself to the growth of digital economy in the country and include it in its 2019 Lok Sabha poll manifesto.

Kiran addressing the meeting, which was chaired by P Chidambaram, said that the Congress’ manifesto must focus on creating a digital economy that helps everyone. She said there are over 800 million people in India using mobile phones and so the party should be able to provide that connectivity and access to the market and capital. That is the kind of digital economy that must be created.

listed repeatedly by the Forbes as amongst the 100 most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

She also added that importance must be given to medical education and agritech to help farmers, she said. India produces almost 50,000 MBBS graduates every year but the ratio of specialists produced is minuscule. There are hardly 12,000 specialists every year.

GST exemption for drugs and devices and hospital services would allow India to start delivering a semblance of universal healthcare system, she added.

Kiran also urged the Congress leaders to to include a good startup policy with provisions for incentives to entrepreneurs to help the growth of startup economy in its manifesto. She said that she believed that it was something which will actually transform India in a big way.

Bengaluru has a huge job creation potential and in the last three years, it has created world’s third largest startup ecosystem with 11,000 start-ups set up. Nearly 800,000 jobs have been created said Mazumdar.

She also told the gathering that angel investors have surpassed venture capital funding in startup ecosystem and so it was important to focus on startups and startup policies.

Stressing the importance of science and technology to our country’s economic growth, she said India treading a very scary path as it is under-invested in the field. She stated that in order to catch up with other world economies, Congress manifesto should commit to double science and technology spends.

The Othmer Gold Medal winner said, “We have the scientists, we have the talent to actually develop this sector, but we are really doing a disservice to this sector. We are undervaluing it. I would be happy to provide you with greater inputs into what we should be doing to this end,” she said.

NT Bureau