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Decoding India's Entrepreneurship Culture
Starting a business today can be quicker than it was a decade ago as some of the barriers to entry have been reduced, Arora said
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In a short amount of time, the digital economy has progressively grown into a crucial component of the global economy and helped most countries recover from the slump, said Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and Vice President, India, GoDaddy.
In an interaction with BW Businessworld, Arora talked about entrepreneurship in India, challenges females face in the country and major steps the central government needs to take to boost economic growth.
Digital proficiency and understanding are crucial for business success. Digital transactions and interactions with suppliers, customers, and other parties, are becoming more and more common. Digital entrepreneurs need the right tools to support the growth of their businesses.
How easy is it to be a successful entrepreneur in India?
Starting a business today can be quicker than it was a decade ago as some of the barriers to entry have been reduced. No longer do you require a large upfront investment - nowadays anyone can quickly start an online business.
Today’s entrepreneurs don’t always have to pay for a lease, purchase an inventory or budget for employees. Entrepreneurs can start their business online - either through social media or by buying a domain name, website builder, or a package.
By using the power of the internet businesses can now run 24x7. Online businesses have the potential to cater to and target a much larger customer base. According to an industry e-commerce report, the Indian e-commerce market is predicted to increase by 21.5 per cent, reaching USD 74.8 billion in 2022.
Indian females face many challenges to establish themselves in the business ecosystem. How can we ease these challenges?
India is home to 100 plus unicorn startups, still, women entrepreneurs are struggling to find the right framework and support system to establish their businesses online. There is the perception that the internet is meant for big business, and small businesses often believe that the internet is “not-for-me.”
This highly misplaced and unfounded notion reflects a lack of awareness regarding the potential of the internet in driving business growth– irrespective of business size.
In the present scenario, a lack of availability of digital skills and limited knowledge about the internet and IT can put people off, and women-led SMB owners can end up relying on web developers to help them get online. This is where the government and technology companies can work to offer advice, training programs or certifications.
Such initiatives can help empower small businesses with technical and IT skills that start them on their online journey. Educational and awareness drives can help educate entrepreneurs on the benefits of using the internet for business, the ease and convenience of getting started, and a clear understanding of the costs and the value.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful digital entrepreneur?
Digital proficiency and understanding are crucial for business success. Digital transactions and interactions with suppliers, customers, and other parties, are becoming more and more common.
Digital entrepreneurs need the right tools to support the growth of their businesses. Here are three important skills that digital entrepreneurs should be aware of:
Digital Marketing: India has the second-highest internet penetration in the world With more and more Indian businesses going online, there’s been a surge in demand for digital marketing courses. The Certified Digital Marketing Professional credential provided by GoDaddy is one way to build skills.
Online Communication skills: Effective communication is vital. You need to be a strong communicator to be able to explain your business ideas. Knowing how to use modern means of communication, like emojis is essential for entrepreneurs who want to communicate effectively online. It can also help when handling dissatisfied customers.
Website Design: For entrepreneurs who are operating new or low-cost enterprises, knowing how to build your own website helps you to quickly make changes to your website, without the need to rely on website professionals. To create and maintain a successful website, you don't have to become an expert programmer. You can build up a highly handy set of money-saving abilities if you're prepared to watch YouTube lessons that lead you through page builders like Elementor.
What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs and start their businesses online?
College graduates who are looking to start their online business are moving in the right direction, as these days running a business online can be very profitable. E-commerce has transformed the way business is done in India.
The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to USD 188 billion by 2025 and by 2030, it is expected to reach USD 350 billion. Online business has many advantages compared to brick-and-mortar business. Before starting, it’s important to understand how to go about selling online — the following tips will help you with that.
Choose the right business: The first step how to starting an online business is to decide whether you want to sell a product or service — or both — online. To make your business exclusive and profitable, it’s imperative to have a unique business idea that can address the problems or fulfill the requirements of your prospects. You can sell products that you make or buy from a wholesaler and then sell them on your website. You can even start an online service business like providing eCourses or consulting services that can be delivered online.
Build a simple and attractive website: Nowadays, building and designing your website is very easy as there are many companies like GoDaddy that can help you in doing so. You simply have to set up an account, register a domain name for your business and pay an annual fee. Configure the site to look the way you want and include the features, logo, catchy text, and design to attract more customers to your website.
Get business licenses and permits: It’s very important to get the required business licenses and permits. The first thing to know is, that any online business that wants to accept online payments needs to be set up as a registered company. Once you set up your business as a separate entity, get a tax ID number known as Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the business. EIN will allow you to manage your taxes and open a business bank account.
Sign up with an online payment gateway: A payment gateway helps to process different types of payments — without it, you won’t be able to securely charge your customers when they buy items from your website and there are many payment gateway providers in India.
Promote your business to grow: It is important to have more visibility of your products and service amongst a wider audience. Digital advertising can help you promote your products/services on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn or via pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Also, make sure you implement the right SEO techniques and strategy across your website and products to help them turn up organically on search engines like Google.
Do you think in the last few years, growth has been insufficient for the kind of jobs we need?
The coronavirus pandemic precipitated a huge wave of worker reversal migration in India, which sharply increased unemployment and caused income losses.
What Covid-19 also did was, it sparked an increase in e-commerce and hastened digital transformation during tough economic times. As lockdowns became ‘the new normal’ more companies and customers went digital, offering and buying more goods and services online. As a result, e-commerce's share of global retail trade increased from 14 per cent in 2019 to over 17 per cent in 2020.
The number of job prospects increased exponentially because of this spike in digital productivity. India has registered over 2.7 million domains, making it the third-largest country in Asia in terms of top-level domain growth, according to the National Internet Exchange of India (NIEX).
In a short amount of time, the digital economy has progressively grown into a crucial component of the global economy and helped most countries recover from the slump.
What are the major steps the central government needs to take as far as economic growth is concerned?
India's digital economy is expected to witness exponential growth to USD 800 billion by 2030 on the back of rising internet penetration and increasing income. Therefore, one area of focus for the government in the digital economy.
The union government of India has launched various schemes to promote business and provide support specifically for helping the online businesses in India like digital India, startup India, make in India, vocal for local, and aatmanirbhar bharat, among others.
As a nation, we are exploring innovative strategies for strengthening India's entrepreneurial spirit. The current goal of seamless credit allowance and financial aid programs is to empower the leading businesses in India which can further harness the dream of a USD 5 trillion economy.
Additionally, government-owned e-marketplaces encourage these businesses to digital adoption and expand their reach. The implementation of the sector and business-specific schemes will propel the prosperity of start-ups and SMBs in the country.