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CM Opens KSUM Infinity Centre in Dubai; Startups to Give 20,000 Jobs in FY’24

In Business
June 19, 2023

Kerala’s startups will generate 20,000 jobs during the current financial year with the opening of a first-ever Infinity Centre here today, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. More such facilities, conceived as a one-stop destination to strengthen the state’s ecosystem for nascent companies, will be set in the USA, Australia and Europe during the first phase, he said in the UAE city, marking the start of a series of such launch-pads in association with Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).

With Startup Middle East selected as the Infinity Centre’s partner in the UAE, a pact to this effect was signed between the Dubai-headquartered platform’s founder Sibi Sudhakaran and KSUM Chief Executive Officer Anoop Ambika.

The Chief Minister, noting that a “startup culture” in Kerala is changing the attitude of the state’s youth from job-seekers to job-givers, said the trend has been strengthening the ecosystem of up-and-coming firms. The government’s IT Department is engaged in finding ways to make best use the changed attitude among the new generation, he added at the function in Taj, Burj Khalifa.

The UAE provides “considerable” support to Kerala’s efforts to link with other economies through the Infinity Centres that aim to explore foreign markets for the state’s startups by helping non-resident Indians become entrepreneurs through KSUM, Vijayan said. Also, the presence of senior Malayali executives in companies abroad has been boosting Kerala’s strides in the IT sector.

The Chief Minister said the international laurels Kerala has won in the startup sector can translate into cooperation from NRIs to further strengthen the state’s ecosystem. This will enable them to run companies through a plug-and-play collaboration with KSUM’s Infinity Centres. All the same, these launch-pads can enable the state’s startups to receive investments from abroad and widen their domain.

Simultaneously, Kerala is taking certain measures to improve the state’s IT sector. The government is in the process of setting up IT corridors in stretches such as Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam in the south, Alappuzha-Ernakulam and Ernakulam-Koratty in the centre, and Kozhikode-Kannur up north. Land acquisition is on for these projects. Besides IT, the sectors that can woo startups will be agriculture and culture, he added.

Chief Secretary V.P. Joy, chairing the ceremony, said Kerala was surging towards becoming a knowledge economy amid the government’s measures to make its offices paperless. “Startups have a key role in strengthening the state’s industry and economy,” he noted. “Our aim is to take the number of startups to 15,000 from the present 4,400 in the next three years.”

KSUM CEO Anoop Ambika said the new Infinity Centre will be a success if only the infrastructure is put to use. “We need have to have a meaningful intervention. In that, the role of the Indian Diaspora is very important,” he pointed out, while welcoming the gathering.

Other speakers were Indian Ambassador to UAE Sunjay Sudhir, Consul General of India (Dubai) Dr Aman Puri, Lulu Group International CMD M.A. Yusaf Ali, Aster DM HealthCare MD Azad Moopen, IBS Executive Chairman V.K. Mathews, Norka Roots Vice Chairman P. Sreeramakrishnan and IT & Electronics Secretary Dr Rathan U. Kelkar.

The proposal for Infinity Centres sprang up in the context of NRIs totalling 3.2 crore, topping India in the global list of hosting the largest number of migrant citizens. Adding about $78 billion in remittance to the Indian economy, they play a huge role in the development of India. This launch-pad will act as a global desk in select countries where the NRI community can engage, co-create and set up businesses — either in their resident country or in India. The Infinity Centres will support to register their company in their resident country or in Kerala.

KSUM, in its bid to institutionalize the success of these foreign delegations, plans to start the Infinity centres in locations across the world as a pilot. They will subsequently be expanded to other locations based on the lessons from the initial engagement. They aim to be a one-stop destination for NRIs to get themselves into the entrepreneurship bandwagon through various collaboration opportunities with Kerala-based startups and KSUM. These centers will be set up in association with a global partner who will be selected through a transparent process. The partner will be responsible for providing us with the necessary infrastructure and a 12-month engagement plan.

KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.