The recently released NASSCOM India Startup report sports the tagline – Momentous Rise of the Indian Startup Ecosystem. The kind of growth (40%) that we have witnessed in the last 5 years is nothing short of exactly that – momentous! It is precisely this kind of growth (4200 tech startups today) which has placed India in third position globally, as increasingly we see young entrepreneurs in droves, respond to the clarion call of “Startup Nation.”
The meteoric rise of tech startups and their contribution is unparalleled. This has much to do with the fact that young entrepreneurs are able to think big and see mammoth-sized problems in the light of multi-billion dollar opportunities. Power (shortage leads to 68 billion USD loss); Infra (10 billion USD – impact of traffic congestion); Healthcare (1 doctor for 1700 patients); Financial Inclusion (120 million rural households do not have access to bank accounts); Agricultural Productivity (48% of agricultural yield compared to other Asian countries); Skilling (500 million people to be skilled in the next 5 – 7 years). Just to give you an idea how big these challenges / opportunities are, and if addressed, can transform the nation beyond recognition. A vision that has captured popular mindshare of the startup community.
So what is really driving this dream? Increasing number of investors including global ones, who are parking funds here; a growing digital user base; mobile first population; a supportive govt, which recognizes the role of startups, are clearly some of the top of mind drivers. The verticals to watch out for: IoT, Analytics, Health-tech and Hyper-local e-commerce. Cities where we observe the maximum traction: Bangalore, NCR and Mumbai. It’s most encouraging to see even global investors showing keenness to look at deals which are upwards of 500 million USD. In B2C, Hyperlocal e-commerce and aggregators presently command a lion’s share of the pie, but B2B, especially those in niche segments and providing solutions to the former, are close on the heels. Robotics, 3D Printing and Machine Learning are the other emerging whitespaces for future.
The eco-system is not just cognizant but supportive of this change in equal measure. This is evidenced by the fact, that Incubators / accelerators and the likes, are also growing (mushrooming?) significantly. The triad – academic institutions, the government and corporate houses – provides support to this part of the value chain admirably, be it physical space or knowledge dissemination. Often, both. In the long run, it is going to be about talent. Hiring them is one part of the challenge, the other being of retaining them. In recent times we have seen seasoned professionals leaving their portals so dear (read leadership positions in large orgs) and join startups. This trend is clearly a reversal of what we are accustomed to see in past. Naturally, they carry a very high price tag, and it would be interesting to see how they make the shift to add value. And, at a scale and pace which threatens to leave everything behind.
As you read through the report, you will see that each segment of the startup landscape has been dissected minutely and draws deep insights for future. It is not often, that you see such a comprehensive study done on a sector which is still in its early stage, and seeking maturity in growth among other measurable parameters. The exhaustively compiled information and inferences drawn thereon, should prove to be beneficial to the reader.
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