Soonicorns, Unicorns and Now Decacorns: The Golden Era of Startups Has Arrived in India!

By : |August 26, 2022 0
Industry leaders share their opinion about why India has now become the startup hub of the world with over 72,000 registered startups in the country

A wave of entrepreneurship has now consumed India with new startups coming to the fore every single day. The Indian Government recently revealed that from just 700 odd startups in the financial year 2016-17, India is currently home to as many as a whopping 72,993 startups that have been recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). According to the Startup India Government portal, India is currently the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, which is further expected to witness a year-on-year growth of around 12-15 percent.

In addition to that, startups in the country have been able to create an estimated 40,000 new jobs over the years, taking the total jobs in the start-up ecosystem to 1.6-1.7 lakh. These exciting figures sure makes one wonder as to what led to the tremendous upsurge of new age businesses in India. Vikas Bhonsle, CEO, Crayon Software Experts, is of the view that this advancement is the result of the Government of India taking cognizance of the startup momentum worldwide at the right time.

“A lot is being done and extended by the Government of India to accelerate the Start-up ecosystem and compete with the leading economies. The Startup India initiative connects the Indian startup ecosystem to global startup ecosystems through various engagement models. Startup India has launched bridges with over 15 countries such as Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Portugal, UK, Finland, Netherlands, Singapore, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Croatia, Qatar and UAE that provide a soft-landing platform for startups from the partner nations and aid in promoting cross- collaboration,” said Vikas.

Vikas also stated that easy availability of capital was extremely essential for entrepreneurs at the early stages of the growth of an enterprise, as the capital required at this stage often presents a make-or-break situation for startups with good business ideas. “To overcome the funding barriers, the Government of India, as part of the Startup India initiative, is implementing the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) Scheme and Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) to provide financial assistance to startups through Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) and incubators, which is extremely beneficial for the startup ecosystem,” noted Vikas.

In the same vein, Sudha Rangarajan, SVP, Strategy and Capital Raise, Yubi, said that along with the positive initiatives undertaken by the Indian Government, the wave of entrepreneurship must also be attributed to the transformative mindset of youth in the country. “India is now home to a thriving startup ecosystem and is only behind the USA and China when it comes to the number of startups. This is made possible by a significant change in the mindsets of educated youngsters, who are okay with the risks of starting up or working for a startup rather than remain comfortable in the safety of an established organisation. Failure of a startup is no longer looked down upon and has made people with ideas take a real shot at them. While startups are being set up in various segments and verticals, tech-led startups are the highest in number owing to the advancements made in communications and related technologies combined with affordable pricing. This is increasing the total addressable market (TAM) of tech-led businesses, leading to more of them getting set up and funded” said Rangarajan.

Disruptions and Digital Penetration Present a Significant Opportunity for Startups

Vikram Labhe, Vice President and Managing Director, Fivetran India, is of the view that India is one of the fastest growing economies globally and technology is at the forefront of this. “Disruptions are not only dramatically changing the way we do business, but how we live and manage our lives in general. The current rate of our digital penetration presents infinite opportunities for start-ups especially those in the technology space. We have a very large pool of tech talent, and even a small percentage of them moving into entrepreneurship leads to potentially disruptive and innovative products coming out of India. Now is the best time to take the plunge, with capital also available for the right startups,” he commented.

Labhe went on to add that much credit for this notable development goes to the Government of India for initiating the “Startup India” programme to provide increased focus, visibility and funding opportunities to help start-ups realise their true potential. “According to data from Invest India, we have become the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world as of 27 June 2022. The success stories and role models of our start-ups will help inspire aspiring entrepreneurs to take bold steps towards big achievements and make our start-up ecosystem an extremely vibrant one,” stated Labhe.

Entrepreneurship Has Now Become Socially Acceptable

Monish Darda, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder, Icertis, quoting the Economic Survey 2021-22, highlighted that 555 districts in India have at least one new start-up and record investments worth up to $3.5 billion have been made in this ecosystem with three new digital start- ups being founded every hour. “All of these data points are the proofs, that the rise of Indian start- ups is real and it is here. And the forces driving this rise are diverse and powerful,” observed Monish.

He further observed: “Entrepreneurship is becoming socially acceptable, even celebrated, and an innovative mindset is fuelled by a tech boom in SaaS, AI, blockchain (crypto included!), gaming, and the metaverse. These social and technological forces are complemented by geopolitical forces that have ensured stability to the Indian economy that many other regions in the world seem to have lost, making India as attractive as ever before for angel investors, budding entrepreneurs and enterprises alike. The celebrated silicon valley in the Bay Area of California gave rise to an ecosystem that was unique because of the availability of entrepreneurial talent, the size of the market, and the availability of capital – in India, the whole country is turning into that ecosystem.”

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