The startup culture and ecosystem has gained prominence over the last decade in India.
In the late 90’s if someone told you that you could get food delivered at the comfort of your home, you would have just laughed it off, right?
Today everything you need is just a tap away.
Technological innovations have changed the game for the Indian market. It has helped cater to the right target audience, with the right product at the right time.
Earlier, people were skeptical about starting something of their own as they considered joining the government sector was the safest option.
Since it would provide guaranteed job security and they would get pension too. The second option was to work for some MNC’s and professionally grow there.
Most importantly, India is a young-developing country with 65% of its citizens falling in the age bracket of 25-35.
These young people have remarkably demonstrated their entrepreneurial, problem-solving, leadership, ability to take measured risks.
They have channeled this energy to work in the startup ecosystem and compete with some big market players.
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The startup culture started gaining prominence in the last decade. It managed to disrupt the market by tapping into segments facing issues and solving them.
Our talent pool’s intellectual and entrepreneurial hunger to find solutions to real-time problems has led to the creation of globally recognized brands such as – PayTM, Ola cabs, OYO Rooms, and Zomato.
What is start-up culture?
The term ‘startup’ refers to a young company that is yet to develop and has entered the market to eradicate a real-time problem with a unique solution.
It can also be a company that plans to eliminate the problem more efficiently, recreating something that is already there.
It was just a few years ago that people were unaware of the term ‘startup’. Now gradually it has started to gain prominence and the industry started to flourish.
Some startups tend to do very well, while some of them flunk in their business. We should keep in mind that there is no perfect formula to build a great startup.
When the right idea is directed towards the right target market at the right time with a little bit of luck and great business coincidences, it benefits the startup and helps accelerate its growth.
When and how did this start?
It all started back in the year 2008 when the world witnessed the Global Financial Crisis. The deregulation in the financial industry primarily caused it.
I.T. became one of the most affected sectors as the Indian economy went topsy-turvy. This led to a situation of mass lay-off.
To keep themselves afloat, many started looking out for other options for survival or ways to nurture their business ideas.
This led to the creation of many path-breaking, innovative brands that today are globally recognized and give tough competition to the corporate giants.
India’s startup ecosystem
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Startups have a crucial role in any economy because startups are self-reliant and create jobs demands and maintain the economic balance.
At present, India has 23 unicorns valued at $73.2billion. Studies show that 50 soonicorns might soon join the unicorn club.
‘Soonicorns’ are startups who have the potential to grow into Unicorn very soon.
Head over to The Indian startup ecosystem: Drivers, challenges and pillars of support to understand the Indian startup ecosystem in depth.
Why are youth choosing start-ups over MNCs?
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If you are wondering why youth today choose to opt for a newly set up company or a startup and not a well-known MNC, the answer is really simple.
The startup ecosystem has transformed the work culture. Startups give immense opportunities to raw talent to harness their skills and feed their intellectual hunger.
They have revolutionized the regular work life by introducing – flexible working hours and office parties.
According to a survey conducted by Bentley University, 77% of millennials say that flexible work hours are a key to productivity at the workplace.
Since startups are very young in the industry people working here would get an in-depth understanding on how the business and each department work in tandem.
As a result, you will have an opportunity to multi-task at a startup. This is is something that you cannot do in a MNC as you will be stuck in one role and will be able to work on one skill again and again.
Since startups provide you with an opportunity to work on multiple tasks you may be able to recognize your field of interest and harness your skills.
In MNC’s it is tough to get to meet and talk to the senior management but in a startup you can closely work with the CTO, CEO and other senior executives and learn a lot from scratch.
Generally, senior executives would be mentoring you in a startup workplace. Who wouldn’t want to learn under the mentorship of the company’s founding members, right?
Now, it is up to you how you use this opportunity to harness your talent and pick up new skills and understand the art of multitasking. In my opinion, MNC cannot provide you the opportunity to learn from scratch and grow professionally.
Initiatives taken by the govt to boost the startup ecosystem
Since 2014, the government has come up with various initiatives to boost the growth of the startup ecosystem by nurturing the domestic talent pool and making the country – self-reliant. PM Modi had announced the – Make in India initiative in 2014.
This initiative was started with an aim to make our country a global manufacturing hub. It was closely followed up by ‘Stand up India’ in 2015, which was started to promote entrepreneurship at a grassroot level mainly for backward classes.
In January 2016, PM Modi had announced ‘Start-Up India’ program. It was aimed at promoting bank financial assistance so that they can avail for bank loans between Rs 10 lakh to 1 crore smoothly for their startups.
On 16th Jan, 2021 PM Modi had announced- ‘Start up India Seed Fund’, which is worth around 1000 crores and aims to help entrepreneurs nurture their innovative ideas.
The government has sanctioned 50+schemes which will help in boosting startup growth in India.
How was the year 2020 for the startup ecosystem in India?
The COVID-19 pandemic had affected many people across the globe. With the economy hitting a massive slump, many businesses across the globe faced a tough time to stay afloat.
Around 40+ startups were negatively impacted and many had to shut down as they could not continue with the operations.
On the other hand the lockdown had posed such a situation that had benefited certain sections of the startup ecosystem.
They could readdress the pandemic situation with their product/service offering. This led to 11 Indian startups entering the unicorn club, namely -Zenoti, Nykaa, Postman, Unacademy, FirstCry, Zerodha, RazorPay, Cars24, Glance, DailyHunt.
Since, the business propositions of these startups managed to solve the issues posed by pandemic stricken 2020. They managed to enter the list of Unicorn startups.
What makes India one of the most startup friendly countries?
Firstly, India provides a suitable environment for a startup incubation. Since, setting up a business in India is low-cost as compared to their foreign counterparts.
Secondly, India forms the second largest internet-user base globally. Moreover, the vendors live close by making the process of streamlining a newly set-up business smooth.
Most importantly, Indian startups have understood the art of technology and customer acquisition in addition to the market consolidation it acts as a perfect environment for start up incubation and growth.
Above all, the Indian government has come up with various policies and schemes over the last decade, which would help boost domestic startups’ growth.
In conclusion, India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. Since our country has the right environment for startup incubation, the startup ecosystem has been booming over the last decade.
The government has come up with various initiatives and schemes to assist entrepreneurial journeys.
Some of the startups which went on to join the Unicorn club have made us realize the importance of learning new skills and help solve practical problems with innovative solutions.
Educational institutions have realised the importance of skill development and have come up with a curriculum which accommodates it.
Companies do not hire candidates solely on the basis of their marks. Because, practical application of theoretical knowledge is vital and is a sign that the candidates are industry-ready.
We have to wait to see how India continues to harness its talent pool to transform ideas into reality.