Entrepreneurial transformation: Kerala model


Entrepreneurial transformation: Kerala model

Few states, if at all, have taken such bold steps as Kerala has undertaken in the last few years to change the landscape for promoting innovations and entrepreneurship. There has been some impact of Startup Village also in this story.

key elements of this strategy has been:

On Jan4, state has offered budgetary support for the purpose. Earlier the State government had announced that one per cent of the budget will be spent on promoting entrepreneurship.

Students undertaking entrepreneurial ventures at government approved incubators will get 20% attendance and 4% grace marks in their exams.

Up to Rs 20 lacs investment to ten select entrepreneurs in each panchayat,

The state is setting up 21 fablabs based on the epxerience of MIT and also NIF.
in adition to the existing Startup Village which is one of the most successful public-private incubator in the country, 12 more incubators are being set up.

On 3rd December, when i gave the keynote address at an entreprenurship conference organised by Mr Oomen, cmd of KSIDC, My Mohal Lal, grassroots innovator, recipient of Presidential award through National Innovation Foundation got an agreement signed with MTSYAFED.

Shri B Mohanlal, 56, boat mechanic from Allepey in Kerala developed a Z-drive propeller and reversible reduction gear for marine diesel engines, for use on fishing boats. NIF received his innovation in 2004. NIF helped him for validation at CIFT, Cochin and filed the patent in his name in 2008. MVIF support of 15 lakh was also given to innovator in 2009 for the commercialization of his technology. He received National Award in NIF’s 5th Biennial award function in 2009. Shri Mohanlal, has won the Indian Merchants’ Chamber Inclusive Innovation Awards 2013 announced on November 14, 2013 at IMC, Mumbai. The award is in the form of financial support of Rs 20 lakh for his innovations. NIF pursued with Matsyafed – the Kerela state co-operative federation for fisheries development, and entered into agreement with it on 3rd Dec’2013 for commercialization of Z-Drive propeller and the reversible reduction gear for marine diesel engines. Subsequently through a letter dated 9th Dec’2013 Matsyafed raised a purchase order for 100 such systems. Shri B. Mohanlal has committed to supply this order in this financial year. The order value is of around INR 70 Lakh.

Kerala is a marching towards a small entrepreneurial revolution…

Selected news:

Kochi: Getting four lakh hits in Youtube is a remarkable achievement for any advertisement, but a government ad doing so can be sensational. But the 57-second ad the state government released in connection with the observation of first Entrepreneurship Day in state on Septemeber 12 did so and more.
As it turned out, the ad named ‘We Believe In Building A New Dream For A Great Future’ featuring the aspirations of the young in the changing world, got over four lakh hit in just one week.
Created by CAT Entertainments, a student venture being incubated at Startup Village, the viewership for the ad as on Tuesday stood at 4,59,783.Said IT principal secretary Mr P.H. Kurien: “We are greatly elated by the response the ad created. It shows the enthusiasm among the youth to become technology entrepreneurs. Kerala is blessed by a huge talent pool and the government is doing everything possible to promote startups.”
According to Amarnath Shankar, CEO of CAT Entertainments, the ad was shot without any celebrities and the response was a record of sorts for a government ad. CAT Entertainments was founded by Amarnath along with Chachu Jacob, Ebin Ephrem and Arun Nair in December 2012.
“We already have a list of good clients including BlackBerry India, MobMe, FWD life and Startup Village. In fact, we are the first company in Startup Village to make a turnover of Rs 10 lakh in first three months of the current fiscal,” he said.
CAT also has a complete cyber security research and development organization called CATCyberLAbs as a parallel project which is based in Hyderabad.


The dream project of Sri. K.M. Mani, Hon. Minister for Finance, Law and Housing, declared Budget Speech 2011-12 and accorded sanction through G.O.(Ms) 590/11/Fin. Dated 18.12.2011, the Mission aims at establishment of 10 micro enterprises in each local body in five years thereby giving encouragement to 50,000 entrepreneurs, about 50,000 more employment opportunities and much more indirect employment.

Kerala launches string of proposals to nurture young entrepreneurs
Radhika P Nair, ET Bureau Sep 28, 2012, 07.26AM IST

(The state is trying to move…)
All the jokes about finding a Malayali even on the moon mask an inherent truth-a large segment of the working-age population of Kerala now lives outside the state, in other Indian states, in the Gulf countries and in any part of the world where a paying job is available.
The Kerala government seems to be keen to change this reality and is attempting to make job-creators out of the youth of the state. The government has come up with a series of proposals and policies that incentivises entrepreneurship, especially among the youth.

In its most recent announcement the government has said that students who are undertaking entrepreneurial activities and are attached to government approved incubators will get 20% attendance and 4% grace marks in their exams.
This policy is aimed at students like Vivek Mohan, 20, a final year B Tech student at Kochi’s Cochin University of Science & Technology, who is working on a mobile application that can translate regional languages to English.
“I was worried until the policy was announced,” said Mohan, who spends a few hours every week at Kochi’s Startup Village, a telecom incubator. “While working on the product, I will lose attendance and my marks also might get affected.”
This sudden spotlight on students is a result of the success of startups like MobME, started in 2006 by students of Thiruvananthapuram’s College of Engineering, and Innoz Technologies, launched by students of Kasargod’s Lal Bahadur Shastri College in 2008. MobME, a mobile value-added services venture, has clients like Kerala Tourism and the National Investigation Agency. Innoz, also focused on mobile solutions, raised $3 million from early stage venture investor Seed Fund in April.
Unlike other states where entrepreneurship has been industry or academy led, in Kerala the government is playing an active role in creating an ecosystem and removing many of the risks.
The state has an entrepreneurial culture, but it is restricted to a handful of sectors like tourism. The aim now is to replicate this success in other sectors like technology, high-tech agriculture and high-tech manufacturing. This new thinking stems from a consensus that dependence on remittances by nonresident Keralites (NRKs) is unsustainable. NRKs constitute around 7% of Kerala’s population, which is a little over 33 million. But the 2.28 million NRKs, 90% of whom reside in the Gulf countries, contributed 31.2% to the state GDP in 2011, according to the recently released Kerala Migration Survey by Centre for Development Studies.
State Chief Minister Oomen Chandy, in an interview with ET during the Emerging Kerala investors meet earlier this month, said the government wants to change the trend of Malayalis leaving the state in search of jobs. “We want our current generation to start thinking about entrepreneurship. We will give all support for this,” said the chief minister, whose government is now preparing a Student Entrepreneurship Policy, which will be announced in a month’s time.
But some schemes have already been announced and not all are technology related. In February, the government launched a panchayat-level scheme, Kerala State Self Entrepreneur Development Mission, which will provide training to 10 entrepreneurs in each panchayat and give soft loans of up to Rs 20 lakh to start an enterprise. The project is aimed at educated but unemployed youth. Already, 276 enterprises started by 674 entrepreneurs have been selected, according to Kerala Financial Corporation, the nodal agency for implementing the scheme. Of these, 70 have already received financial assistance. The state is also providing subsidies to farmers to set up greenhouses, up to three in each panchayat, in a bid to promote high-tech agriculture. The government will bear 75% of the cost.

Kerala govt to set up 21 fabrication labs
TNN Dec 15, 2013, 03.58AM IST

KOCHI: Kerala government will set up 21 fabrication laboratories (Fab Labs) next year in the state, said PH Kurian, principal secretary for IT, on Friday during the inaugural session of entrepreneurs’ meet TiECon Kerala 2013. Chief minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the meet, organized by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), at Le Meridien Convention Centre, Kochi.
Fab Labs are places where people with minimal training can design and manufacture any product using advanced manufacturing machines linked to a computer. These Labs will follow the specifications and directions of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US where this concept was originally started. Currently, there are five Fab Labs in India.

“We will establish the Fab Labs at Thiruvnanthapuram Technopark, the Technology Innovation Zone in Kochi and in 19 engineering colleges in 2014. Typically, a Fab Lab could cost between Rs 1 crore and Rs 5 crore, depending on the number of tools they have,” said Kurian. While the Labs being set up at Technopark and the Technology Innovation Zone will use funds from the IT department, those being set at government engineering colleges will be funded by the World Bank programme, he noted.
At the Kochi Technology Innovation Zone, the government will set up 12 incubators in different areas like biotechnology, telecom, nano-technology and high-tech agriculture. “We have acquired 15 acres of land and will spend Rs 150 crore for infrastructure development of which Rs 75 crore will come from the Central government,” said Kurian and added that Javad K Hassan, chairman of Nest Group, has been asked to support the incubator for electronics companies.
The government also plans to distribute 10,000 units of educational computer Raspberry Pi among students. “Each one will cost around Rs 3,000 and the students interested in computers will be selected by the IT@school project,” said Kurian.
While inaugurating the meet, Chandy said: “It was only in March 15, 2012 that I announced in New Delhi that we are going to launch Startup Village, the first public-private partnership model incubator in the country. Today, there are over 1,400 product startups, the highest in the country for any incubator.”
Bernard A Harris Jr, former Nasa astronaut and currently president and CEO of Vesalius Ventures, is also attending the two-day conference, which has attracted more than 100 speakers.


Visiting Faculty, IIM Ahmedabad & IIT Bombay and an independent thinker, activist for the cause of creative communities and individuals at grassroots, tech institutions and any other walk of life committed to make this world a more creative, compassionate and collaborative place