Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today announced the signing of a MoU for setting up a Startup in STPI’s incubation centre in Mohali, where the state government has proposed India’s biggest government-supported Startup HubThe MoU has been signed between Department of Industries, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Indian School of Business (ISB) and Punjab Technology University (PTU). ISB and PTU will act as knowledge partners of the startup.Addressing a conclave on 'Mohali as next big IT hub in the North' , organised by the Times of India group, the Chief Minister also announced a Rs 100 crore fund in collaboration with PTU for the Mohali Startup Hub, to be spread over an area of 45000 sqft.The Startup Hub would be part of the State Government’s new Policy for Startup and Entrepreneurship.The Chief Minister also launched the Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion’s new Startup Portal for the facilitation of industry, which would connect all the stakeholders.Interacting with the audience, the Chief Minister said he would soon be meeting the Air Chief for permission to use their air fields for small aircraft (20-seaters) to promote air connectivity in Punjab. He said he would also discuss installation of CAT III landing with the Army Chief and the Union Aviation Minister.Listing the initiatives of his Government to boost the IT and ITES sectors, the Chief Minister said it had also been decided to set up an 'international desk' within the Punjab Startup Hub to facilitate the new investors and entrepreneurs from across the globe, who were keen to invest here.
Captain Amarinder further said that a special campaign had been launched to woo the Punjabi and Indian Diaspora for making huge investments in Punjab, especially in view of the positive business and trade environment created by his government through the investor-friendly new industrial policy, with its thrust on ease of doing business.The government wanted to engage with the diaspora and make them partners in the development of Punjab, said Captain Amarinder, stressing the need to move beyond showmanship and get down to business.Captain Amarinder thanked Times of India for partnering with the government in the development of Mohali as an IT hub, the idea of which came to him during his visit to Infosys in his earlier stint as CM in 2002. At that time he went to Hyderabad and Bangalore and went to the Infosys campus where he saw many young Punjabi students waiting for their interviews, which gave him the idea of tapping their potential for Punjab itself, he added.Asserting that he was looking at bringing more and more IT into Mohali and making it a technology hub, the Chief Minister pointed out that the state had 90 Lakh competent youth looking for jobs, for which the government was working to bring in more and more industry into Punjab. He underlined the need to improve the standard of education in government schools to empower the youngsters for the job market.Underlining the fact that jobs and employment was the only way out to engage youth, he said Mohali will act as a catalyst in tapping the fullest potential of the state’s youth. He added that he wanted to see Mohali grow as a major technological hub in north India and the city was being equipped with all the necessary facilities for the same.In the next five years, his government would ensure the development of Mohali as a continued process and lead the state towards technological growth, said Captain Amarinder.The Chief Minister, on the occasion, handed over a laptop and Rs 15,000 to a handicapped orphan girl, Jyotika Sharma, from Kharar. She had sought help from the government so that she could work from home.Earlier, TOI resident editor Robin David said Mohali could become the future of Punjab if it was successfully developed as a technology hub. Lauding the Chief Minister for his statesmanship, David said Captain Amarinder was amongst the very few politicians who never calls a journalist to complain of being misquoted.
Speaking on the occasion, Director GBP Group Anupam Gupta said Mohali had all the potential to be a world class technology hub with its air connectivity acting as a major boost to its prospects. Citing the recent real estate boom in and around Mohali, he said that it does more than Rs 500 Crores of business per month which is phenomenal.Sameer Goyal, Centre Development Head Infosys Mohali, said that the company was committed to the development of the region and its experience with the talent employed from the region had been great. The company has more than 7000 employees in its Chandigarh facility and the new set-up at Mohali already employs more than 1000 young engineers, he said, adding that they planned to more than double the strength in the next year or so.Onkar Rai, Director STPI Mohali, said their largest investment so far in any city had been in Mohali. For the first time, they had collaborated with various companies and academia and were providing an ecosystem to all budding start-ups in the field of technology, he said.Prominent among others who attended the event were Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, MLA Mohali Balbir Singh Sidhu, Secretary Industries and Commerce Rakesh Verma, besides Director General STPI Dr Omkar Rai, Head of Infosys Mohali, Dr. Sameer Goyal, National President of Cellular Association Pankaj Mohindroo, Director GBP Group Anupam Gupta.