" "

'Madamji dekhiye pls, it's an unnecessary waste of time': Shark Anupam Mittal to Sitharaman on harassment of startups

Jaya Vishwakarma
New Update
Anupam Mittal to Sitharaman

In a series of posts that have caught the attention of the startup community and policymakers alike, Anupam Mittal, the founder and CEO of Shaadi.com and a judge on Shark Tank India, has voiced his frustration over the cumbersome process of filing Know Your Customer (KYC) paperwork for startups and angel investors in India. 

Mittal's grievance, which he shared in a post on X (formerly Twitter), highlights the annual ordeal faced by founders and investors alike, which he believes is stifling the growth of India's startup ecosystem.

Mittal tagged the Income Tax Department and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in his post, questioning the necessity of the repetitive KYC process. "While we talk about being a startup nation, we need policy-making that keeps up," Mittal stated, showing the disconnect between India's ambition to be a startup hub and the bureaucratic hurdles that entrepreneurs face. 

He pointed out that despite the tax department having access to investors' PAN numbers and other details, startups are still required to collect and submit KYC documents annually, a task he describes as "an unnecessary waste of time."


"Every year, team is spending inordinate amt of time sending kyc info to startups who in turn are coordinating with multiple angels to get kyc paperwork filed with the Income Tax Department when they should be focusing on building great businesses," Mittal wrote.

"Why this harassment?" he questioned.

Tagging FM Nirmala Sitharaman, he added, "Madamji dekhiye pls, its an unnecessary waste of time that sucks up countless unproductive hours of our country’s brightest".

Income Tax Department's response

Responding to Mittal's post, the Income Tax Department asked him to share his "specific issue/query" via email.

"Please write to us with your specific issue/query (along with PAN & your mobile number) via email at orm@cpc.incometax.gov.in so that our team can get in touch with you," the department wrote. 

However, Mittal clarified that his concern is not an isolated case but a systemic issue affecting all private company investors.

He argued for a more streamlined process, suggesting that the required information could be obtained directly from the backend, thereby eliminating the need for manual paperwork submission.

Netizens reactions

Mittal's call for reform has resonated with many in the startup community, echoing a broader sentiment that current policies are not conducive to the nurturing of startups.

"Anupam do you really think government would take cognisance of this? Had this been sorted merely from a tweet then many other important concerns would have been taken care of  easily. @narendramodi govt deals with Ambani/Adani/Tata/Birla not small entrepreneurs/commoners," a user wrote.

To this, Mittal replied, "koshish toh karni padegi" 

"thoda toh soch ke bolo .. a healthy democracy is one where feedback is the backbone of a well-run govt.  The idea is to improve systems and our nation NOT to take divisive positions," Mittal replied.

Notably, The issue of KYC paperwork is just one of many regulatory challenges faced by startups in India. Entrepreneurs and investors alike have long called for policy reforms to ease the burden of compliance and foster a more supportive environment for new businesses.