Neil Armstrong gave pep talk to telecom executives in the mid-1990s: Minister

Startup entrepreneurs should not get discouraged by detractors and should focus on their mission, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

He was speaking at the National Conference: Development of Space Startup Ecosystem in India organized by Astronautical Society of India, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) and Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) ), in Bengaluru on Friday.

Recalling his own experience while setting up the mobile telecom company BPL Mobile in the mid-1990s Chandrasekhar said at that time many were skeptical on his venture and told him, he was not a Tata / Birla / Ambani to venture into the telecom sector in which government’s regulation and policy plays a major role.

“I was then a 28-year-old startup building India’s largest cellular network at that time,” he recalled.

Chandrasekhar was then building an all India team with people drawn from defense, telecom department and others.

In order to motivate his team and himself, Chandrasekhar hunted down Neil Armstrong, the first man to set his foot on the moon.

Chandrasekhar flew Armstrong to Mumbai and got him to talk about his journey as an astronaut and also about risk taking, complex engineering and how multiple independently designed equipment worked together.

Recalling the various steps taken by the Central government like the $ 10 billion incentive scheme for the semiconductor sector Chandrasekhar said space, semiconductor, artificial intelligence, and machine learning offers immense innovation opportunities for India to the world.

On his part, the Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO S. Somanath said the country’s space agency is getting bulk of its work from the private sector.

He said 85 per cent of ISRO’s finances were for the industries that build components for its rockets and satellites.

Somanath said ISRO gets its rocket engines from a private industry.

Pawan Kumar Goenka, Chairman, In-SPACe said there is a need for partnership between the private sector in India and the Indian private sector with overseas organizations.

Goenka said In-SPACe will work on that.


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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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