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IE Singapore signs MOU to help Singapore tech and innovation companies plug into Indian ecosystem

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a leading Indian business association driving the country’s economic development, to facilitate business partnerships and knowledge exchange between Singapore and Indian technology and innovation companies.

The MOU was signed by Mr. Tan Soon Kim, Assistant CEO of IE Singapore and Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of CII at the Singapore-India Business Dialogue today. In conjunction with the 25th annual visit by the CII Core Group, IE Singapore, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and CII jointly organised the dialogue to discuss innovation in financial services and logistics in India.

The MOU is part of IE Singapore’s efforts to deepen in-market networks to ease initial challenges Singapore companies face when entering India. The MOU builds on IE Singapore’s Plug and Play Network, covering partnerships with 91springboard (provides co-working spaces for startups) and SKP Business Consulting (SKP) to reduce barriers to entry and help Singapore companies set up initial in-market presence in India. (The Plug and Play Network comprising partnerships formed by IE Singapore across China, India and southeast Asia eases initial challenges faced by SMEs when going into an unknown market.)

With over 5,000 technology startups in 2017, India has emerged as the world’s third largest startup base (following the United States and the United Kingdom). The press release talks about the strength of the Indian ecosystem in e-commerce, FinTech, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Indian government is actively developing the ecosystem. For example, the Startup India initiative was launched to ease incorporation processes, fast track patent applications and provide tax relief for startups in India, including foreign startups. S$2.1 billion has been set aside under Startup India in funds to support the development of startups.

The MOU will help Singapore companies in the technology and innovation sector to better understand India’s technology landscape and connect to partners in the technology ecosystem, through activities and programmes jointly organised by IE Singapore and CII.

Singapore companies will be able to pilot new innovations and technology solutions among the CII Indian business community, as well as learn best practices and share networks. Both organisations will also build engagement platforms to bring together next generation Indian and Singaporean business leaders in the technology and innovation sectors.

This year, IE Singapore will also be leading missions to Indian cities such as Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai to help Singapore companies in logistics, financial services, smart cities and digital economy to better understand the market landscape and formulate their business strategies.

Mr. Tan said, “Technological developments are reshaping industries, disrupting business models, and changing the way companies operate. India’s technology and innovation ecosystem is now ranked amongst the top in the world. To stay relevant, Singapore companies must be nimble and quick to adopt new technologies. IE Singapore’s partnership with CII will facilitate the exchange of ideas between industries and governments of both countries, and enable Singapore companies to pilot or co-develop innovative solutions in India. This will help Singapore companies, both new entrants and those looking to expand further in-market, establish a strong track record and scale up across India.”

Singapore tech startups such as Anchanto (an e-commerce solutions provider), Shopmatic (an e-marketplace service provider) and ViSenze (offers intelligent image recognition solutions for retailers and publishers) saw the opportunities in India and entered the market.

Mr. Anurag Avula, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shopmatic, said, "The partnership between CII and IE Singapore is extremely valuable to companies such as Shopmatic as it allows us to harness the technology innovation synergies that exist within India and Singapore. The possible business partnerships that could arise from this MOU make it all the more exciting for companies who have a presence in both markets and will allow Singapore companies to partner with Indian organisations to expand their coverage in India. The crosslearning opportunities to enhance innovation in tech will further deepen the relationship between Singapore and Indian companies."

Last year IE Singapore entered into several partnerships to facilitate access to the Chinese technology and innovation ecosystem for Singapore companies. In November, the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) (Beijing) was launched in Beijing, China. In October, IE Singapore entered into partnerships with AIRMaker (accelerator), NTUitive (enterprise arm of Nanyang Technological University) and 36Kr (top Chinese media platform) with the aim to provide support to startups, through accelerator programmes customised to help tech companies understand the market, test-bed their products, as well as partner with Chinese companies to implement solutions. NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore and NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute (NUSRI) launched BLOCK71 Suzhou.

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