In March 2020, a group of Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs got together to examine the present scenario and came up with the idea for the business. The effort, which began as a WhatsApp group named "Founders vs COVID," quickly grew to include 250 volunteers who took on various roles. In June 2020, a group of volunteers from several industries joined together to develop StepOne, a non-profit platform. "We are a group of creative volunteers, physicians, and technology entrepreneurs that got together under the tent of Startup versus COVID and have joined forces to supplement healthcare delivery infrastructure," according to their website. The platforms goal is to combine technology and human resources to give therapy to those who need it most while also avoiding overburdening our healthcare staff. The COVID-19 epidemic has presented Indias entrepreneurial sector with unprecedented obstacles. The Indian government has teamed up with a variety of partners to assist entrepreneurs. Were fighting the epidemic with entrepreneur-created solutions, hosting webinars to provide strategic mentorship to businesses, and assisting incubators in becoming virtual. In these uncertain times, this area provides information and tools to help businesses, incubators, investors, and mentors regain their footing. ACT has established an INR 100 crore award, funded by Indias start-up ecosystem, to give wings to ideas that can battle COVID-19 quickly. Were looking for capital-efficient, scalable solutions from NGOs and creative enterprises who require seed funding to stop the epidemic from spreading. The USISTEF (United States–India Science and Technology Endowment Fund) aims to support and foster joint applied research and development to generate public benefit through the commercialization of technology developed through long-term collaborations between American and Indian researchers and entrepreneurs. The present global crisis highlights the significance and relevance of USISTEFs work.
Prashant Tandon, a Delhi-based health IT entrepreneur, is preparing for combat as the COVID-19 vaccination cavalry prepares for deployment. He believes that fighting the pandemic will need the organisation, coordination, and delivery of a wide range of health-related services and goods. He claims that getting the logistics right is important not only for public health, but also for demonstrating that cross-industry, private-sector, and government collaborations yield positive outcomes for everybody. Other firms in the region, including 1mg, are reshaping themselves to meet a variety of COVID-19-related logistics demands. "This is the moment for logistics businesses in India and throughout South Asia to reexamine the traditional methods of doing business" to stay relevant, according to Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, a Senior Economist who follows the robustness of regional value chains in South Asia. "Some change drivers will be permanent, such as the digitization of logistics operations. Tandons firm, the digital health platform 1mg, an IFC investee, went into "mission mode" when the virus first hit India and the government imposed a stringent shutdown. Drivers and front-line employees delivered medications to clients doors and took samples for a variety of lab tests. As the epidemic proceeded, the firm expanded its telemedicine options to patients, worked with government regulatory bodies to clarify e-pharmacy requirements, and actively sought partners in locations where third-party logistics companies are not available. For COVID-19 vaccines, it is now establishing a statewide cold-chain infrastructure.
The value of investments in India is estimated to have dropped to $0.33 billion in March 2020 from $1.73 billion in March 2019, a drop of roughly 81.1 per cent. There has been a 50 per cent decrease in the number of companies sponsored, with 69 firms in March 2020 compared to 136 firms in March 20195. According to further reports, several investors withdrew from current financing rounds6 somewhere between mid-February and the end of March 2020. As a result, one of the primary obstacles for start-ups is currently obtaining funding, which has resulted in cash flow concerns for many. The lockdown has had an impact on not just everyday business operations, but it has also pushed several start-ups to prepare contingency plans to reduce personnel and employee compensation. Several startup founders have also made wage cutbacks to minimise their losses. Following recognition of the numerous financial and operational challenges faced by start-ups, the Small Industries Development Bank of India ("SIDBI"), which also serves as an implementing agency for the Fund of Funds for start-ups, has promulgated the COVID-19 Start-up Assistance Scheme, which is intended to assist certain eligible start-ups that have successfully demonstrated the ability to implement innovative measures to economise. In addition, the Ministry upped the threshold for initiating corporate insolvency from INR 1 crore to INR 1 crore in a notification dated March 24, 2020. (from INR 1 Lakh). The Reserve Bank of India ("RBI") has also drafted a "COVID-19 regulation package" aimed at relaxing working-capital requirements and decreasing debt-servicing burdens. Because new investors may now seek bargains or discounts in the value, start-ups are expected to face intense talks on deal values, which might cause delays in the deal execution and completion. Investors may take a more cautious approach to invest and demand rigorous due diligence (both commercial and legal) of the subject start-ups business prospects, including any/all contingency plans made during the COVID-19, to ensure the start-long-term ups viability.