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With PM Modi’s Policy Push, How Youth Can Make Indian Startup Hub The Very Best

When Startups become national culture, the young aspire to become job creators and job givers, instead of job seekers.

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Today’s inspirational heroes of India include new-age wealth creators. They are Startup founders, to be found in metros, and now, increasingly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Many of such Startups go on to become Unicorns. These Startup founders are young, ambitious, bubbling with ideas, have risk-taking abilities, and are endowed with a never-say-die attitude. They are often in their 20s, 30s and 40s, with some of them not even having a college degree.

The last two-year period, marked by a once-in-a-century Covid pandemic, has been converted into opportunity by many such Young Turks to make it big, and announce to the world that the Indian Startup ecosystem culture is indeed among the best, and it is fast becoming India’s national character. Ed-tech is one of many such examples.

Sociologist Max Weber had said that Protestant Ethic was a big contributor to the spirit of Capitalism and its growth. Maybe it’s time now to evaluate how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s New India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, with a new Indian Ethic, have given rise to a new wave of Startups, many of whom go on to become Unicorns.

When Startups become national culture, the young aspire to become job creators and job givers, instead of job seekers. When a country as large and as diverse as India has a pool of job creators, they work as an army of problem solvers. As PM Modi had said in 2016, when the Startup revolution started in India in earnest: “We have a million problems, but we have over a billion minds”. This is a mindset change that the Modi government has achieved on ground, with its policy thrust and programmes.

In his monthly “Mann ki Baat” on November 28, PM Modi talked about ideas and innovation, the spirit of taking risks by youth and their can-do-spirit. He said that this is the era of Startups. “It is also true that in the world of Startups, India is leading in a way in the world today… The reach of Startups has increased even in small towns of the country… Till the year 2015, there used to be hardly nine or ten Unicorns in the country… (Now), India is flying high even in the world of Unicorns… In just ten months, a Unicorn is being raised in India every 10 days. This is also a big thing because our youth have achieved this success in the midst of the Corona pandemic. Today, there are more than 70 Unicorns in India.”

The thrust on Startups has been a constant in Government policy announcements. In his Independence-Day speech this year, PM Modi had said that “we need to relentlessly work toward making India’s Startups and the Startup Ecosystem the best in the whole world,” even as he talked about the phenomenon of Startups taking roots in Tier 2, Tier 3 cities of the country.

Imagine an India where a youth in a mofussil tells his parents not to worry about his future, for, he has a couple of interesting ideas for a Startup, and the ecosystem is there to support him. Very much similar to the example of young Mayur Patil who found pride of place in the latest edition of “Mann ki Baat”.

The last two years indeed have been very challenging for India, like for the rest of the world. But the Startup revolution and the Unicorn phenomenon amply prove that there is no better time to experiment and make it big, than now. With policy push and encouragement from the very top, from none other than the Prime Minister himself, there has been no better time to innovate and succeed in India.

(The writer, a JNU alumnus, is a political analyst. Views are personal)

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