Recently, I was at Bombay on invitation by VC Circle ( India’s largest investment magazine ). Wicfy was picked up as one of the 10 promising startups across the country to pitch to India’s leading VCs.
I heard the pain of a fellow entrepreneur. He said he was being harassed by his society for running a startup from an apartment. Doing a startup in a country where 990 out of 1000 fail in first year itself is no less daunting. Unwarranted torture by society members can just break the morale of any innovator trying to build an infant company. He said why should they harass us when we dont disturb any body and just silently work on our PCs/laptops. Indians unlike the Americans do not build garages from which Googles can take root.
I was surprised because I have always seen great support and encouragement in Edenn towers management the society in which we run our little startup. Fortunately, there was an experienced professional who was over hearing us. ”Running a IT company from residential area is perfectly legal “- he roared. Our heads turned and I was amazed by the firmness in his voice. I asked how can you substantiate it ? Is there any ruling ?
He blurted – “Section 18.104.22.168 page 7 of Maharashtra IT /ITES policy of 2009 makes it perfectly legal for IT companies to operate from residential areas ” He was delighted , his heart was thumping but he was not ready to believe it. He asked can you show me the ruling.
Quickly, the veteran opened the Maharastra govt ruling from the govt site
https://www.maharashtra.gov.in/Site/PDF/itpolicy.pdf * 16 Sep2013 -The file has been moved and the new url to access the policy document is : https://www.maharashtra.gov.in/PDF/itpolicy.pdf and opened up the page #7.
It clearly stated – “
9. IT-ITES units (except IT hardware and Telecom Hardware Manufacturing Units) will be allowed in any Zone (including residential and no-development zones, etc).
The entrepreneur was hugely relieved and small tears rolled in his weary eyes as he felt empowered against the undue harassment which was almost breaking him down. He was now more confident that he can build the world class company with full faith. The eternal question , ”How even Infosys was founded and operated in an apartment was answered.”. He thanked the veteran.
Before he could leave, the veteran patted entrepreneur’s shoulder and said “ Now go on and build a great company without hesitation and also remember. Power is temporary and is an intoxicant. When its given to the people who least deserve it, they turn arrogant. Arrogance when held for a prolonged period is a N-U-I-S-A-N-C-E. Always choose your representatives with utmost care.”
I hope this small anecdote and is useful to a lot of people thinking of starting up or in startup. A lot of thanks to Govt of Maharashtra for enacting this policy. This helps prevent a lot of harassment entrepreneurs face from overzealous members of societies in which they operate. Notwithstanding this, the fools will still DIE HARD.
PS : Majority of startups I have visited in Pune operate from apartments or residential areas. Please do let me know of the startups which have never or are not operating from residential areas ( Please exclude sons, daughters and son in laws of billionaires )