With the government batting for startups with its Start Up India initiative, could banks have been far behind? India’s largest public sector bank, State Bank of India, has opened a branch that caters exclusively to the needs of startups. Called SBI InCube, the branch is quite appropriately situated in India’s throbbing startup hub of Bangalore.
Starting up a business in India can mean first understanding a bewildering array of regulations and government processes. SBI’s In Cube branch can ease a first time entrepreneur’s transition into statutory requirements, taxation, forex remittances and the like. “This is a place where entrepreneurs can come and discuss what are the requirements needed for setting up a company, get their current accounts opened, and help them understand concepts like a company’s articles of association,”, said SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya. Startup InCube, however, will not offer startups loans to setup a business as startups don’t qualify for commercial Bank loans.
The SBI InCube initiative was designed and conceptualized based on the feedback given by top technocrats and investors including Nandan Nilekani and Mohandas Pai. SBI expects to set up such dedicated InCube branches in other cities, such as Pune and the National Capital Region, where start-up are flourishing.
Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of India had set up a helpline to assist startups with forex issues.