Flipkart says markets not yet ready for large internet listing

New Delhi, Jan. 16 (ANI): The co-founder of Flipkart Sachin Bansal on Saturday said that the country’s stock markets were not yet ready for a large Internet listing.

Bansal’s comments at a start-up India conference in New Delhi came days after a rejig in the top management that was viewed by some as a step toward a stock market listing.

“I think right now, I think India’s market need to be upgraded quite a bit to be able to attract, to be able to raise large amount of funds. I think apart from that, absolutely I think we would love to raise funds in India,” Bansal said.

But Minister of State for finance Jayant Sinha said that listing of Internet stocks on Indian markets would be a big boost for the economy.

India’s market regulator has eased some rules to make it easier for home grown start ups to list their shares on local bourses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a number of initiatives to support the country’s start-ups, including a Rs. 100 billion fund and a string of tax breaks for both the companies and their investors.

India, which already has a handful of new generation success stories, is seeking to encourage more cutting edge technology and other start-ups – supporting new businesses in a country which badly needs to accelerate a still sluggish economic recovery and create millions of jobs as the workforce expands.

PM Modi’s high-profile event in the national capital – attended by hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs, including the founder of taxi-hailing app Uber, Travis Kalanick – promised a shot in the arm for the sector, with exemptions from tax and compliance inspections for three years.

Chief Executive officer of Japanese telecom and media group SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, said India will overtake the Unite States’ economy in the next 25 years.

“Twenty five-thirty years from now I have a feeling this country may surpass all of the other countries (and) become number one in the world,” said Son at the start-up event in New Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Son said Softbank would accelerate investments in India.

Softbank had previously said it would invest $10 billion in India over 10 years.

The push by Modi’s government is the first time Indian policymakers have announced a set of policies directly aimed at promoting start-ups and entrepreneurship.

Prime Minister Modi said start-up companies would benefit from cheaper and faster patent applications, enjoying 80 percent rebates on the cost of patents. A mobile app would allow companies to be set up within a day, he promised.

Moreover, they will be exempt from income tax for the first three years in which they make a profit. Their investors could also benefit: recognised funds of funds could see exemptions from capital gains tax, Modi said.

The announcements, at a government-organised conference on start-ups in New Delhi, comes months after Modi made a whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley, meeting the chief executives of Facebook Inc, Google Inc and Apple Inc.

India, with a rapidly expanding population of Internet users, is seen as one of the world’s fastest growing start-up hotspots. Venture capital funds including Sequoia and Tiger Global have raised multi-billion dollar funds for their Indian investments in recent years.

The National Association of Software and Services Companies estimates the number of new companies launched in India grew by 40 percent in the last year. (ANI)

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