As industry veterans across a spectrum of domains continue to launch their own startup funds in India, ONGC is the latest to join that line-up. The Government oil and gas major is floating a $15 Million startup fund, to focus on startups specifically bringing disruption to the oil and gas sector.
The domain — oil and gas — is pretty unusual, and we have hardly seen startups coming up in this particular segment. That however I personally feel, might not be because of a lack of talent. Startups not coming up in this domain could largely be attributed to the complexity of this domain, the massive research required to develop a product and the even massive capital that might be needed for the research part itself.
However, talking to us via an angel investor perspective, prominent Angel investor Mahavir Pratap Sharma had slightly different views. He says,
It is a big corporate and a largely Government controlled sector. Moreover, I think oil and gas in not the future. New and alternate energy sources undoubtedly is. Hence, no entrepreneur or innovative person wants to invest its knowledge and resources with the corporate, govt. or the non renewable resources.
ONGC on its end, is coming up to help entrepreneurs with both the money and the resources.
As part of this initiative, ONGC will provide the entire support chain for start-ups including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring market linkage and follow-ups. The aim of ‘ONGC Start-up’ is to increase the contribution of fresh implementable ideas in the oil and gas sector. ONGC is setting up a dedicated website to take this initiative forward.
And has been the case with the launch of such funds, entrepreneurs will now get attracted to this domain, since they now get access to capital to pursue research and development for their products.
After launching this initiative on 14 August 2016 at Dehradun, ONGC CMD Mr. Dinesh K Sarraf, said that this initiative will promote entrepreneurship among the younger Indians by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of Start-ups in the oil & gas sector, which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas.
He added that the Oil & Gas sector is contributing enormously to the growth of economy. Currently, the sector faces various critical challenges and new ideas are required to mitigate those challenges.
To encourage its own employees to innovate, ONGC is also giving away awards to its three young officers for their innovative ideas. Rajendra Bhambhu and Deepak Naik have developed an innovative Safety Device for rigs that facilitates setting up of emergency brake to augment safety mechanism on drilling rigs.
Prajesh Chopra has innovated a unique Dual SIM Cellular Router System that provides Data Connectivity at Work-over Rigs. This system curtails the hassle of frequent dismantling and reinstallation during rig transportation, thus saving time and money.