1 What is e-Residency?
E-Residency is a government-issued digital identity that gives you the freedom to run a global, EU-company online from anywhere in the world. As an e-Resident, you not only join a global network of entrepreneurs, but also gain access to the e-services that have helped to power the e-governance platform of the Republic of Estonia for decades.
The government of Estonia has launched this initiative in December 2014 and has so far attracted more than 45,000 e-residents from 160 countries.
2 Why should Indian entrepreneurs look forward to taking e-Residency?
India is an entrepreneurial country. Companies, especially those in software development & technology can leverage from Estonia since we pioneer in ICT technologies, especially in e-governance. e-Residency can provide Indian entrepreneurs with the opportunity to open and run a global EU company fully online while being in India and gain access to the European market of 500 million people. Indian entrepreneurs can now grow their micro-businesses with ‘Make in India & Sell in Europe.
India also has the world’s largest freelance workforce. We are also inviting the freelancer community to build their businesses and prosper through the e-Residency programme. Europe is one of the key markets for them owing to its huge demand. By bringing the freelancers under the e-Residency umbrella, we aim to provide them with a platform whereby they can further flourish their businesses.
3 Will Estonia help Indian entrepreneurs with access to capital?
E-Residency can definitely be an avenue for e-residents to explore opportunities to access capital in Estonia and across the European Union member states. As businesses grow, they can also physically grow their presence in Estonia, hire or contract local experts and move towards finding investors. Indian startups like Velmenni have successfully achieved this in the past while remaining remote across the world and in India. In fact, we have realized that once a business starts to globalize using e-Residency, the opportunities for them to access capital even back home in India rise significantly.
4 How many Indian e-residents do you have currently?
We have over 1,910 e-residents from India and 227 of them have created a company registered in Estonia thanks to e-Residency.
5 Which industries have better prospects?
The European Union is a huge potential market for startups working in e-commerce, IT, business / technology consulting, digital transformation but also in more specific sectors such as e-health, for instance. There are also plenty of R&D facilities which are available in Estonia which could further augment the businesses of the Indian entrepreneurs.
6 How can Estonia help India in terms of e-governance?
Estonia is probably the only country in the world where 99 per cent of the public services are available online 24/7. Thanks to a safe, convenient and flexible digital ecosystem, our country has reached an unprecedented level of transparency in e-governance. Estonia saves over 800 years of working time annually as a result of its digital ecosystem and has become a hassle-free environment for business and entrepreneurship, while serving as an exemplary model of governance for countries around the world.
Responses by Mr Varun Sharma, Head of Partnerships, e-Residency | Republic of Estonia...