In Singapore, the investment firms and startup funds are heavily driven by government backing as compared to the US, where there is little or no government funding at all. “I think a very strong government funding creates the feeling of a big safety net. So it discourages risk taking. It discourages the desire to shoot for the moon, to be a Mark Zuckerberg or a Bill Gates,” said Ashok.
And that is why he does not see a Zuckerberg-scale entrepreneur coming out of Singapore yet. However, he believes that India is capable of producing one. ” So many people have come up in India because they have done it in spite of the government,” he said, adding that he believes that a less supportive government may instill a stronger entrepreneurial drive in the community.
Anil shared similar sentiments. “Entrepreneurship and governments don’t go together,” Anil said, adding that government assistance is essential but only until a point. Although he values the support that the Singaporean government is pouring into the community, Anil cautions against making sure that the method employed is the correct one.
“It [government assistance] can take out a lot of obstacles but don’t be in play of telling entrepreneurs what to do and how to do it. Let entrepreneurs figure out how to be successful,” Anil said.