Date of the webinar: 24th of March, 2020 | 5:00 PM

A panel webinar was organized with industry stalwarts to help Startups tackle the COVID-19 challenge. The panellists for the webinar included:

  • Mr. Anil Agrawal, Joint Secretary, DPIIT (Moderator)
  • Mr. Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India
  • Mr. Rajan Anandan, MD, Sequoia Capital
  • Mr. Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Vice Chairman,
  • Ms. Vani Kola, MD, Kalaari Capital
  • Mr. Yashish Dahiya, CEO,
  • Ms. Sairee Chahal, Founder & CEO, Sheroes

The webinar saw 2,758 registrations for an hour-long discussion ranging between the major sectors being impacted due to the pandemic, the prospective funding and support opportunities for Startups in the changed scenario, the sudden shift to ‘work from home’ model, ways in which Startups could step-up and address COVID-19 in their own personal capacities, and the role the Government can play in mitigating the crisis.


The session brought in some interesting deliberations and activities being undertaken by the ecosystem on a voluntary basis. Ms. Sairee Chahal shared how innovators and product managers have been working on the COVID-19 situation and how the government could collaborate with them. Mr. Yashish Dahiya suggested on the government allowing e-KYC for issuing loans. While Ms. Vani Kola requested for more transparency from the government with respect to their preparation for the unforeseen scenario, Mr. Sanjeev Bikhchandani enlisted various measures like statutory payments and filings by companies being shifted by at least a quarter and SEBI-registered AIFs investing in early-stage companies being given additional capital as ‘COVID Fund’. Mr. Rajan Anandan, though worried about the health scenario, was optimistic about businesses and mentioned certain sectors which might see an increase in demand, and how some of the best technology-based companies rose in times of financial crisis, like CISCO, Google, and PayPal. Mr. Deepak Bagla spoke about the newly launched ‘Business Immunity Platform’ – a platform to resolve issues being faced by businesses in their operations due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

Invest India is now working on all the regulatory suggestions made by the panellists as well as the actionable items. The organisation has already been working on collating demand for essential medical devices from the States and UTs, like masks, sanitizers, and ventilators, and matching them with the suppliers. It is now touching base with all the attendee Startups who reached out during the webinar to assist in easing the COVID-19 situation.