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EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani's administration has no intention to interfere in the activities of Iranian startups or impose its will on the sector since authorities are of the opinion that deregulation along with providing younger generations with proper education are the key to boosting the sector, an official with the ICT Ministry told reporters.

The head of the ICT Ministry's Innovation Center Hamidreza Ahmadian says the decision-makers maintain that the government should refrain from over-regulating the startup ecosystem in a bid to provide the private sector with greater breathing space, local startup news blog Ecomotive reported.

On the sidelines of a recent meeting with members of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Ahmadian said the administration has no plans to regulate the startup ecosystem, although he pointed out that some fields of business are gradually getting saturated and soon the market will balance itself out.

 Overcrowding 

Ahmadian was talking in reference to the rapid increase of e-riding applications both in terms of usership and variety. There are over two dozen ride-hailing services in Iran with observers saying that the market is reaching saturation point, according to Financial Tribune.

Among the applications are major players such as Snapp, Tap30 and Carpino along with other less known taxi services like  iTaxi, Touchsi, Cheetax, Taxi-Ma, Qonqa, netC, Aac Taxi, Atlastaxi, Zod Taxi, U-Cab, Spin Taxi, Ride Net, Pingo Taxi, Itakk, Cab30, Carzinn, Savar, Foriro, Dash-Taxi, Carma, Shetab Taxi, Dinnng, Ajancy and Spintaxi.

Ahmadian acknowledged the issue of far too many businesses clustered in one sector, saying that "when startups multiply in one sector, the number of those who fail increases; but the issue is not something the government is willing to interfere with or explore."

According to him, one of the most important factors contributing to a business' sustainability is an estimation of Return on Investment, meaning a businessperson needs to be acquainted with market trends.

"Simply because one business has been successful in a certain field, it does not guarantee another company's success. We must keep in mind that the first business has already captured a part of the market, making it harder for future rivals to find their place among potential customers."

New startups entering an already-exhausted sector need to spend heavily on marketing and offer substantial discounts to penetrate the market.

Ahmadian also mentioned the online food-delivery services as an area with a wide range of complexities which demands arrangements much beyond just developing an application.  

In his opinion, no state body should intervene in the startup market and those who decide to enter the field have to adopt the right approach on their own.

 Deficient in Innovation 

On why so many Iranian startups are modeled on foreign examples, Ahmadian said the imitations are one of the problems which have got decision-makers to ponder how they can assist the sector.

He says, "Both in schools and universities, we have underperformed in teaching youngsters what entrepreneurship is; therefore, even if graduates possess a creative mind, they have not been educated to put their talents to good use."

Head of the Innovation Center sees poor training on developing creativity and entrepreneurship as one of the variables playing a part in the failure of domestic startups.

Ahmadian adds, "All throughout the world, concepts revolving around creativity and entrepreneurship are taught in schools. Some private schools across Iran have also started to educate students on the topic but the Ministry of Education needs to foster an entrepreneurial culture in public schools to prepare students for the outside world."

Ahmadian broke the good news that they are collaborating with the ministries of education and science to change school syllabuses and bring up a generation who have been exposed to innovative concepts in their formative years.

As part of efforts to stimulate innovation, the market has introduced toys and games which can encourage creativity and imagination in kids.

Ahmadian says they also have plans to expand Iran's toys and games market by offering homegrown products which can assist younger generations in enhancing their creativity.

Moreover, they will mobilize efforts to delve into entrepreneurship and boost teamwork spirit in school years so that when a student enters university, they will be at a point where they are able to form teams and apply their ideas to the real world.

 

Hassan Rouhani Iran government Iran startups