Thiruvananthapuram: India needs to improve on cleantech innovation, especially in creating successful commercial models, an expert in the field said on Thursday, emphasising that this is an area where great opportunities await the startups.

“The overall investment pouring into cleantech start-ups is increasing especially in Asia region. But India is yet to take a leap in this sector”, said Ananth Aravamudan, Senior Advisor and Energy Sector Lead, Villgro Innovations Foundation.

He was speaking on “environment” at one of the sessions at the ongoing Global Impact Challenge (GIC), jointly organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and the US-based Singularity University (SU), from July 2 to 7 at Technopark here.

“Evidence of emerging cleantech innovation in India is quite low, mainly because of  relatively low amount of early-stage venture capital investment,” Aravamudan noted.

The Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2017 by San Francisco-based Cleantech Group showed that there was scope for improvement in India’s cleantech sector. There, however, is a need for interventions to commercialise cleantech through a combination of late-stage private investment, cleantech exports, and creation of jobs in renewable energy, he said.

Addressing the participants at GIC drawn from various states, Aravamudan said it was necessary for start-ups to have a very good understanding of their market and customers.

“Mapping all the stakeholders will have an impact on your business. You should have innovative and flexible business models,” he said.

“The business insights of the innovators should be sharp even if the product or technology is at an early stage when an investor approaches them. An investor can give the money to develop your product but not your customer understanding. Ideally, one should be thorough with his or her entire business model canvas,” he added.

Speaking on the health sector, Chandrashekhar Reddy, Director, Next Gen Healthcare, noted “new Artificial Intelligence-driven analytic techniques and increasing volumes of data will power more precise clinical decision making.”

The India GIC aims at identifying inspiring startups trying to find solutions addressing global challenges in learning, healthcare and environment sectors.

The KSUM has selected 25 finalists belonging to different states from the applicants, which include 11 in healthcare, 8 in environment and 6 in education. The boot camp of the event was launched on the opening day and the finale is scheduled on July 7. The pitch day is on July 6.

On the final day, the best idea will be selected and taken for the SU Incubation programme that lasts for nine weeks.

By Manoj

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