KOLLAM: “If we can build a $1 billion company in Kerala, can we not help build 10 such companies here?” asked UST Global chief executive officer Sajan Pillai, adding that startups lack a good ecosystem and there are no venture capital activity in the state to promote potential ones.
The company has identified growth potential in healthcare, hospitality, retail, financial services and tourism, which can spawn valuable startups. Pillai said he was already in talks with some of the promoters. The advisory board will also mentor the selected startups. Pillai has one piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs. “Try to solve problems right under your nose rather than trying to figure out businesses in developed markets,” he said. All startups need not be a tech venture, but one can build a startup by applying technology to these verticals, he said.
Pillai said digital startups could make a change in society and yet become profitable by developing suitable technologies to tackle drug abuse and child trafficking, two major social issues in the state. He said UST Global, which has made more than half of its investments in digital, will take up more government projects - one of the company’s fastest growing verticals.