• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

Indian Startups: Kickstart The Engine

Initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-Up India’ boost the entrepreneurial spirit of every Indian

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


In the last 70 years of economic, social, and political reforms in India, one thing that has remained constant is the country’s entrepreneurial spirit. Indians have been historically entrepreneurial and were responsible for 25 per cent of the global GDP around 300 years ago. In the last decade, easy access to funds, growing domestic market and renewed impetus from the government towards entrepreneurship has metamorphosed the startup ecosystem.

Initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-Up India’ further boost the entrepreneurial spirit of every Indian. “India is thinking big and our ability to disrupt is limited only by our commitment. The key challenge is to put some structure around the magic to ensure sustainability, scale and impact,” says Debjani Ghosh, Director, Yes Bank and Former MD, Intel South Asia.

The startup ecosystem is able to service the global demand particularly in the IT sector. “The last decade was transformational and strengthened by new age technologies, modest investor funding, patience to experimentation and globally adapting customers,” says Manish Lunia, co-founder, The change in the outlook towards startups that want to service the needs of a much larger customer base has been observed by Indian entrepreneurs. Param Singh, Founder of edutech startup UDAY says, “The rural population has huge potential to create agritech startups. Investors should be supportive of the changing socio-economic profile of the budding entrepreneurs.”

Also, the robust development of smart cities, and the vision of Digital India, will see rapid growth by 2020. According to Sathish Vaidyanathan, Director of Engineering, New Initiatives Group, PayPal, Chennai, India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has undergone four stages: consolidation, stabilisation, optimisation and transformation. “We are in the transformation stage. The significant characteristic is the degree of innovation across all industries, which is transforming the social behaviour of consumers and companies to meet their evolving demands,” says Vaidyanathan. Viraj Bahl, Founder & MD, Veeba Food Services sees exciting times ahead and says that 2017 has seen around $5.5 billion invested in 400-odd tech startups. “The startups will have a major role in making India a global economic supergiant,” says Bahl.

India has witnessed an exponential growth in technology, innovative startups and customer-centric solutions to empower the robust economy. “Technology has enabled fully automated processes such as e-wallets and auto-invest, which make financial transactions fast, secure and convenient,” says Rajat Gandhi, Founder, CEO, Faircent. Despite the crystal ball gazing, India’s status in 2047 cannot be entirely fathomed now, says V.S. Shridhar, SVP & Head, Internet of Things, Tata Communications. “Given the current fourth Industrial Revolution focussed on transforming the world with the power of new-age technology, we could well be staring at a future that may seem more reel than real at this moment,” says Shridhar.

Every business is making a positive change through IoT to provide solutions for street lightings, waste management, better governance, health and citizen services. The worldwide spending on IoT is growing at a CAGR of 15.6 per cent between 2015-20, according to a report by IDC.

As per Vikram Gupta, founder and managing partner, IvyCap Ventures, “The VC ecosystem in India is new and India has only a few home-grown VC funds. Indian institutions have started investing in this asset class recently. We will see the outcomes of these investments only in the next five years. There are still many policies and tax related issues that will evolve in a trial.”

“By 2047, we will manifest in the creation of better ways to manage and move money,” says Vaidyanathan.

Kanika Tekriwal, Founder, JetSetGo Aviation, is optimistic that the world will still look to hire Indians. “Our skill base has proven to be efficient and I see more foreign investments reaching India,”  says Tekriwal. And entrepreneurial community agrees that streamlining processes and making sure that India’s future leaders are driven enough to take up new initiatives, should be the focus for the next 30 years.