New startup body to confront Big Tech policies


Founders of Indian startups have joined hands to form an indigenous startup association, Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation (ADIF), as a representative body for domestic technology firms to ensure the growth and development of its digital economy.

The industry body is expected to put forth the views of these startups and new age tech firms as it looks to advise the government and sector regulators with legal and policy framework, and design new solutions.

ADIF, which is expected to create a knowledge hub and a repository of best practices for building digital products and services, will open chapters in 25 cities in the coming months and expand membership further in Tier-2 and 3 cities, to promote industry-wide participation.

The industry body expects to have more than 1,000 members by March. Its members include startup founders such as Murugavel Janakiraman (, Snehil Khanor (TrulyMadly), Dr Ritesh Mallik, (Innov8 Coworking), Sairee Chahal (SHEROES), Amit Sinha (Unnati), and Ajay Data, managing director of Data Group of Industries.

“Our aim is to represent Indian technology companies to help them build a sustainable and conducive business environment. We believe it’s high time for all Indian technology companies to come together to safeguard the larger interests of the sector and work towards creating a level-playing field. We hope that through ADIF the Indian tech ecosystem will achieve unparalleled growth and recognize its true potential as the world leader,” said Data, the secretary general of ADIF.

The association comes at a time when Indian startups have been discontent and actively lobbying against Google’s new Play Billing policy, which makes it mandatory for Indian developers using Google Play to pay 30% commission for every in-app purchase. This sparked a debate in India’s technology ecosystem, with several founders accusing Google of abusing its market dominance. WhatsApp also faced the ire of Indian users after its recent update of terms of service, which includes sharing data with parent Facebook. This led to several Indian users boycotting the platform to join instant messaging apps such as Telegram and Signal.

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