Ankita Anand is a 2015 batch IAS Officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram & Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre and currently holds the position of Director, Department of Information & Technology, Govt. of Goa and is also the CEO of the Goa Start-up Promotion Cell (SPC). Ankita, in conversation with INCUBEES shared her vision and her experiences as the CEO of Goa Start up Promotional Cell (SPC).
Talking of her vision for start-ups and innovation for the state of Goa, Ms. Anand said that innovation is the key driver for growth as well as development. And for Goa we need to integrate all kinds of ecosystem to boost our start up ecosystem. She stated that currently she is focusing on integrating all the departments that we have in Goa and make it connected to all the academic institutions in the state of Goa as well as at the Government of India level. So, all our start-ups can the required support to boosting the ecosystem.
With this vision when she took over as the Director Information Technology and CEO Start-up Promotional Cell Goa in November 2019. Before her, the ENY looked into the SPC. They left in July 2019. There was a huge void until she took charge. She says, this made it little difficult to reach out to those whose certification process and registration process was underway during that time. And most of the people she reached out to were not responsive enough to respond to her. This could be due to the general belief that government schemes are nothing but a mere delusion.
Ankita has been aggressively working toward promoting the start-ups in Goa ever since she took charge of SPC. She personally looks into the development and growth of all the start-ups certified by the SPC. Also, she constantly stays in contact with the youngsters trying to get their start-ups certified by the Goa Start-up Promotional Cell.
She initiated the activation of the SPC social media handle so that it would facilitate the process of reaching out to those aspiring to have a start-up of their own and are in need of support and guidance. She also motivates the certified start-ups to participate in national level competitions organized by the Govt. of India to showcase the potential and talent that youth in Goa has. Ankita was also instrumental in bringing the approval for start-ups from ministerial level to secretary level. She is now working towards integrating all the government departments in Goa to boost the start-up ecosystem.
Ankita implemented various strategies to bridge the gap between the SPC and those aspiring to have a start-up of their own. She asked the department to set up help desk at all the incubation centres in Goa so that people had a place to go and get their misconceptions and doubts cleared. And also, so that those aspiring to have a start-up of their own can be informed about the 14 set schemes that Govt. of India has for the start-ups.
Ankita faced some hurdles while trying to motivate the upcoming start-ups to get it certified by the SPC. She says that people have a lot of misconceptions about the government schemes. They are usually reluctant to take the first step of reaching out to SPC. She says, it is an uphill task to make people understand the simplicity of the procedures. She tries various means of reaching out to people and attempt to clear their misconceptions but she has not received considerable response yet.
Currently, in the state of Goa we have 100 start-ups that are certified by the Start-up Promotional Cell. These start-ups she says have immense potential to make it big in the near future.
When asked about Goa being a hub for start-ups, Ankita said that Goa has a perfect ambience of being a start-up hub. The serene location, the weather, and the people make a perfect ambience for nurturing of start-ups. She said that her aim that more people should come up to them with their start-up ideas and make their start up a reality. Ankita aims at making the system easier for the people. She says she wants to make systematic changes that will stay in the system forever.