Indian Startups Take on Big Tech, Join Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation

Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation

In view of the stagnant businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian startups have joined hands to form Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation (ADIF), hoping for a better business environment. It has been expected that the indigenous startup association would act as a body representing the Indian technology firms, ensuring their growth and overall development to the country’s digital economy.

Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic pause brought huge pressure on the Indian startup ecosystem that also faced compulsions from Google and Apple to abide by their rules. In the absence of a proper policy framework for the tech firms in the country, the forced move by the key players acted as a disadvantage for the Indian startups. The ADIF, being the new industry body is now expected to bring forward the views of Indian startups and new-age tech firms.

As per Zauba Corp – India’s leading provider of commercial information and insight on businesses, the Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation was incorporated in Delhi in September 2020, after Google introduced its controversial Play Billing policy, last year. As per the policy, Indian developers using Google Play had to pay a 30 percent commission for every in-app purchase. The policy led to a huge debate in the Indian tech ecosystem as the founders of various startups accused Google of abusing its market dominance.

Google later postponed the enforcement of its new Play Store billing rule in India till April 2022. At present, the change in Whatsapp’s privacy policy has become another of the major concerns of Indian startups. The app’s recent update in terms of service that would include sharing data with the parent company, Facebook has brought a surge in other similar apps downloads. The Indian users have switched to messaging apps such as Signal and Telegram.

Over time, such changes in policies have clearly indicated how big tech companies have been abusing their market dominance. The ADIF was hence formed to bring developmental changes in the Indian startup ecosystem.

Zauba Corp stated that Amit Sinha and Ritesh Malik were listed as the directors of ADIF. Today, the industry body has members that are basically founders of startups. Murugavel Janakiraman (, Amit Sinha (Unnati), Snehil Khanor (TrulyMadly), Dr. Ritesh Mallik, (Innov8 Coworking), Sairee Chahal (SHEROES), and Ajay Data, MD, Data Group of Industries are some of the members of ADIF. The industry is expecting to have more than 1,000 members by March.

In the months ahead, ADIF plans to open in 25 cities. The aim is to expand membership in Tier-2 and 3 cities. This would overall encourage wide participation. Explaining the objective, Ajay Data, who is also the Secretary-General of ADIF, said that the industry would represent and help the Indian tech companies to build a sustainable and conducive business environment.

“We hope that through ADIF the Indian tech ecosystem will achieve unparalleled growth and recognise its true potential as the world leader,” added Data.

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