Mumbai, Jan 11: The much talked about Rs 100 crore innovation fund of the National Association for Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to promote innovative projects in the country began today with an initial seed money of Rs 20 crore.
Announcing the NASSCOM-ICICI Knowledge Park Fund (NIIF), NASSCOM President Kiran Karnik told newspersons here that Tata Consultancy Servies (TCS) has contributed Rs 10 crore with the ICICI Bank and Bharati Airtel chipping in with Rs five crore each. ICICI Bank Chairman N Vagul, who was also present, said that the close end Fund is aimed at helping innovative projects which suffer from want of seed investment.
The issue, which will close within two weeks, will look into a deal size in the range of Rs 1 crore to 10 crore.
Stating that such kind of investment in innovative projects need to be encouraged, he urged the Indian corporate sector to think beyond their interest. ''They can survive and grow only if India grows,'' he said adding ''such attitudies are still not percolating to many companies''.
Mr Karnik said NIIF, the first of its kind initiative by NASSCOM and the ICICI Knowledge park, has been created to promote intellectual property driven innovations in emerging technoligies.
It would also endeavour to encourage entrepreneurship and enable innovtive start ups to reach a stage of self sustenance and growth. Mr Vagul said that the Fund was a pure commercial venture aimed to bring returns to the promoters.
TCS Chairman S Ramadorai, who is also NASSCOM Chairman, said ideas and innovative projects should be nurtured and translated into realities. He said Innovation had been the central theme for NASSCOM when it envisioned India as a major IT super power by 2010.