TheNFAPost Podcast

Ahmedabad, NFAPost: Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) – India’s first Smart City & International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and BIL Ryerson Technology Startups Incubator Foundation (BRTSIF), a joint venture between BSE Institute Mumbai and Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University, Canada, have signed an MoU to accelerate Fintech innovation.

Under the aegis of this collaboration, Zone Startups India, a part of BRTSIF will explore avenues for setting up and promoting a “Fintech Hub” in GIFT SEZ. It will further lay down the foundation to promote startups and support the government of India’s vision for entrepreneurship development and innovation culture at GIFT IFSC.

GIFT IFSC provides new business opportunities in the areas of trading in international products, offshore fund management, international bullion trading etc. GIFT IFSC is being promoted as the Fintech Hub of India at a global level.

This would require new skill-sets and training to attract the right talent. Further, GIFT City is emerging as a hub for Fintech activities. BIL – Ryerson Technology Startup Incubator Foundation (BRTSIF) would play an important role for promoting talent and developing ecosystem to attract start-ups in GIFT IFSC.

Speaking about this new collaboration, GIFT City MD & CEO Tapan Ray said Fintech and IFSC are emerging fields in India with immense potential.

“Their synergy is essential to develop a matured financial ecosystem in the country, given their dynamic traits. One of the objectives of GIFT City has been to provide a productive platform for fintech and related sectors to be globally competitive. It is an opportune time to engage with Zone Startups to develop a robust fintech base and nurture talent in this area.

Zone Startups will develop a programme to attract domestic as well as international fintech and fintech-enabled startups in areas such as digital banking, digital app-based lending, crowdfunding, various secured electronic payment services, IFSC related clearing mechanisms, insure-tech, prepaid payment instruments, and digital payments.

Zone Startups Managing Director Hemant Gupta said the world of banking and financial services is entering a phase of deeply transformative digitization.

“A new generation of digital consumers expects a modern and seamless customer experience and is demanding new ways of transacting business. Emerging trends in neo-banking, app-led payments, and digital currencies are all creating new opportunities and presenting new problems that need solutions. This is a space where India, courtesy its innovative startups, can build and sustain a global leadership position. I see the MoU with GIFT City as a crucial enabling step in making that happen,” said Hemant Gupta.

Hemant Gupta further added he is particularly excited about the many opportunities this will open up for India’s leading corporates from the BFSI sector to create powerful new partnerships with these innovative startups.

Zone Startups India, one of India’s leading incubators and accelerators, will tap its experience of over seven years of mentoring and nurturing startups and creating mutually transformative partnerships between corporates and startups, to create a rich environment for globally competitive fintech and financial services startups to become successful and sustainable businesses.

About GIFT City

GIFT City is a mega project by the Government of Gujarat to realize the vision of making Gujarat the centre of the Financial Services industry. GIFT City is designed to be a global financial and IT services hub, a first of its kind in India, designed to be at or above par with globally benchmarked business districts. It is supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure encompassing all basic urban infrastructure elements along with excellent external connectivity. Companies from Financial Services, Technology and all other services sector are occupants within the city. GIFT City is changing the economic face of Gujarat and would keep India on the global map as a Centre of Excellence in the Financial & IT/ITeS Services domain.


Zone Startups India (a part of BRTSIF) is one of India’s Leading Incubator and Accelerator. A few of the notable alumni are Citrus Pay (now PayU), Flexiloans, BabyChakra, VPhrase, Donatekart, and Nira. Apart from its flagship Zone Startups Incubator Program, it runs programs like empoWer (India’s first Tech Accelerator for Women Founders and currently the largest in the country) and Next BIG Idea (Indo-Canadian Bilateral Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program)and others. Zone Startups India has also executed various bespoke startup engagement programs with corporate partners to foster a culture of innovation, provide the corporate access to innovative ideas, engage key employees for mentoring startups, and enhance their brand presence. This program has worked with corporates like Abbott, Viacom18, Citibank, HDFC, Barclays, Sodexo and Lodha. BRTSIF also manages a Rs. 10 crore startup seed fund provided by the Government of India under NIDHI SSS and facilitates access to capital through BSE Startups exchange (India’s only platform for Startup IPO).

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