Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to honour his word on promoting startups in a big way on Saturday. Unveiling the mega campaign – \'Start-up India, Stand-up India\' - for setting up of technology-centric startup ventures is certain to boost the morale of potential entrepreneurs, who are raring to prove their mettle.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to honour his word on promoting startups in a big way on Saturday. Unveiling the mega campaign – 'Start-up India, Stand-up India' - for setting up of technology-centric startup ventures is certain to boost the morale of potential entrepreneurs, who are raring to prove their mettle.
It is being increasingly accepted that startups, and not brick-and-mortar companies, are faster at job creation. The country needs to provide one million jobs every month to job seekers including those moving out of agriculture.
As of now, the existing startups collectively employ over 65,000, says a study of Nasscom.Interestingly, it translates into a quarter of the country’s workforce in MNC R&D firms.Nasscom says India is already among five largest startup communities in the world with over 4,200 start-ups.
Over last two years, several new age companies have raised venture funds and attained dizzying valuations. Flipkart valued at $16 billion compares better than giants like IOC ($14.3bn), Tata Motors ($13.9bn), Lupin ($12bn) and Ultratech ($11.7bn).
Snapdeal is worth $5 billion. Others like InMobi, Olacabs, Paytm, Zomato and Quikr are also clocking high valuations. Renowned industrialists and entrepreneurs like Ratan Tata and TV Mohandas Pai are investing and handholding the startups. The total funding so far raised by Indian startups is said to have touched $ 9 billion.
The need to fully harness the potential of India’s innovators and entrepreneurs for creation of a vibrant financial ecosystem is being felt more than ever. A Rs 2,000 crore India Aspiration Fund by SIDBI and Nasscom 10,000 Startups initiatives have already taken off and more are in store.
However, only 18% of Indians are able to access the web, points out a UN report. Modi’s Digital India campaign seeks to address this by connecting 6,00,000 villages with broadband and providing free WiFi to educational institutions and government offices.
His efforts have won commitments from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella to help budding techpreneurs. Google’s Sundar Pichai is also chipping in to help them. Qualcomm has set up $150 million India Venture Fund support for the startups.
Being rated as the fastest growing economy in the world and climbing up 16 places to 55th slot in the Global Competitiveness ranking of WEF also shows India as a favourable place for startups to thrive in.
However, a word of caution about the deplorable quality of education, if we want more Sundar Pichais or Satya Nadellas.
In higher education, from among over 300 universities and hundreds of institutions, only two – IISc-Bengaluru and IIT-Delhi – figure in the QS University Rankings list for 2015. Assocham states only 10% of B-school graduates are actually employable despite the robust demand for MBAs.
Also, the recent rate hike in the US and consequent firming up of dollar value threaten to suck out venture capital and private equity funds that are available to Indian entrepreneurs. Add to this gloomy prospects about the world economy this year, Modi government needs to strive hard and be innovative to sustain the startup movement in the country.