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New Breed Of Entrepreneurs To Rule The Roost

Let’s take a step back to see how entrepreneurship has shaped various decades of the country to see a clearer picture of 2028

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India today enjoys an envious position globally on many accounts — fastest growing major economy, FII’s favourite destination, a host to world leaders and a country which is open for business 24/7. Indian startups have emerged as a force to reckon with.

Can we do some crystal-gazing to see what this ecosystem is expected to look like in 2028? I don’t have psychic capabilities but having spent close to two decades in this sector, I can say with some certainty that 2028 will belong to entrepreneurs who have rolled with the punches, lived through bad times and the new first-generation entrepreneurs of today would be running large profitable businesses in 10 years.

Let’s take a step back to see how entrepreneurship has shaped various decades of the country to see a clearer picture of 2028.

Industrialisation was the first wave of entrepreneurship in this country. After Independence and even until the 90s, first generation entrepreneurs were setting up manufacturing or heavy industry business for which a series of government approvals were needed. This period saw big industrialists emerging in sectors like commodities, manufacturing, iron and steel and giving the country’s GDP a much-needed leg up.

After 2000, the landscape evolved to services-led economy and India emerged as an outsourcing capital for the world. However, starting even a technology business 20 years back was an expensive route as one had to spend upfront money to buy servers, bandwidth and other necessary infrastructure. But in the last 10 years, cloud-based services like AWS and lowering of hardware have dramatically brought down the cost of starting a business. As a result, more entrepreneurs emerged and started businesses which are today large setups like Flipkart, Ola, Paytm, inspiring more people to join the wagon making India the third largest startup hub in the world.

Let’s now look at this phenomenon from an investors’ lens. Today, there is investor appetite to invest in such first generation technology businesses. There is an interesting phenomenon happening where old families running traditional businesses are exiting these businesses and turning investors. Reason being old manufacturing businesses are dying a natural death in the wake of technology and a generational change. The new generation has studied in top global institutions and seen the business world from a different lens are refusing to run the boring brick-and-mortar factory businesses. Instead, they are ambitious and want to build something of their own instead of inheriting a well-oiled business set up for them to take over.

These families are either investing directly in startups, backing again first generation investors or investing in new age funds like ours to reap the benefits of one of the fastest growing startup ecosystem in the world.

Hence, in run up to 2028, while these trends are likely to continue, we expect to see a new breed of salaried professionals turn entrepreneurs taking the front. Professionals with decades of corporate experience of running big ticket P&L teams are giving up their jobs to startup. The reason being ‘job for life’ is history in today’s business context. Professionals in their early 40s who have seen the tech wave and understand what technology can do in their specific domain are launching new-age business ideas. As a fund, we are bullish on such professionals and have even made investments in such companies.

By 2028, we will have lot more first generation entrepreneurs in the BSE 500. The Indian animal spirit of entrepreneurship has just been unshackled and we shall live to see and hear many more entrepreneurial success stories.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Magazine 28 April 2018 entrepreneurship bse nse

Bhaskar Majumdar

The author is Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures

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