Monday, January 14, 2019

Estonia targeting Indian entrepreneurs - Telangana Today

Hyderabad: Europe’s most digital country (with 99 per cent digital penetration), the Republic of Estonia’s e-Residency programme is gaining popularity among Indian large business entrepreneurs, startups and freelancers.

Of the 50,000 e-Residents that Estonia has in 157 countries, there are over 2,200 e-Residents in India as of today who have created 275 companies. And this number is steadily increasing. Estonia has seen addition of over 200 e-Residents from India in 2018 alone. The bilateral trade between India and Estonia stood at $200 million last fiscal and is expected to grow consistently.

Sharing the trend, Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to India told Telangana Today, “From India we see a wide mix of e-Residents representing across verticals such as information technology solutions providers targeting Europe, e-commerce entrepreneurs and traditional businesses with export and import trade. Indian companies and entrepreneurs had been doing business with northern European nations and Russia. It is easy to run the company by having e-Residency status from Estonia. We are targeting technology companies in India as those are the companies that can significantly benefit.”

One can become an e-Resident by paying 100 Euros for a five-year period. One can establish their company in Estonia through e-Residency programme in just 20 minutes, which makes the programme attractive, competitive and unique. There are several startups and freelancers from India who are going for e-Residency programme. Keeping the potential of the startups in mind, Estonia offers special and convenient startup visas that give advantage to use the range of business services that the nation offers.

He added, “Globally, Finland, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are the top nations with number of e-Residents. Finland historically has been doing a lot of business in Estonia while entrepreneurs in Germany, Russia and Ukraine find registering companies in their respective countries cumbersome and are thus opting for e-Residency programme of Estonia.”

Estonia counts India’s Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Mukesh Ambani, Bill Gates and Pope Francis among its e-Residents, and they had received the status on honorary basis. Reliance Jio has created a subsidiary in Estonia and is testing its digital communication services in the nation.

State-level ties
Estonia which has signed a MoU with Telangana last year for co-operation in the areas of information and communication technology, cyber security and blockchain technology and Nagaland few years ago for e-governance is looking at more such ties with Indian States going forward.

He informed, “We are talking to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu is keen to work with Estonia in the area of e-governance. We want to have ties with progressive States that are run by governments which are keen on modernisation, using technology to provide digital services, and where there is energy and will, making them partners for future ties. We have seen Telangana as one of the most progressive States in India and will strengthen our ties with the State across verticals.”

Estonia has seen incoming interest from States earlier and now the nation is approaching States on its own where there are stronger synergies to work together.

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