(This article is the final part of a three-part series on The Startup Scene in India.)
In the first and the second part of the series, we discussed some of the key points from the India Startup Report published earlier this year, the current state of affairs in India’s startup ecosystem, and the main challenges being faced by startups and entrepreneurs in India today.
Here’s a very insightful infographic by Nasscom, created for their 10,000 Startups program, which sums up the startup ecosystem in India:
The future looks bright.
The startup ecosystem in India has come a long way in the past five years. The economy is booming, dozens of startups are coming up in every field, be it Internet, engineering, retail/E-Commerce, manufacturing, among others. Several companies, e.g. Infosys and Wipro, have taken the initiative in starting up incubators as well as VC/private equity funds. In addition, initiatives such as the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) and IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) seek to foster innovation – through incubation, investment and training.
It is still very nascent compared to Silicon Valley, and continues to have “considerable friction” attached to it; however, the situation has matured to a great extent. The change has begun; we have seen an incremental rise in startups, entrepreneurs, accelerators and incubators, and VCs/angel investors in the startup scene, over the past few years. It’s expected that opportunities in the web and mobile market will take off significantly over the next decade – a paradigm shift of sorts, from Indian startups trying to clone the US market, to morphing into an entirely separate entity on their own.
The diversity of our ecosystem is something we all can take pride on; from young entrepreneurs fresh out of college, to retired executives. The anatomy of a typical entrepreneur is a middle-aged male, with a technology background, focusing on building a product that’s largely concentrated towards the Indian masses. The exceptions, however, are the ones that truly stand out – the ones with long-term vision and maturity to guide and sustain their businesses over an extended period of time.
The support ecosystem for entrepreneurs in India is growing at an exponential rate as well. Be it the idea stage, the prototype stage, the product ready stage, or the growth stage – there are several events and organizations that are contributing to the growth of the startup ecosystem in a big way:
Startup ecosystems are shaped up by both external as well as internal factors. Internally, the startups in India face the same issues as anywhere else – getting traction, managing growth, and so on; however, externally, factors including regulations, bureaucratic red-tape, infrastructure, legal frameworks, funding, etc., continue to be some of the major challenges faced by these startups. While this does take a toll on the ecosystem in India, we need to figure out ways to work around them, since we do not have any immediate control over these factors.
At the ground level, we need more awareness about the entrepreneurial success stories in India; more focus on the lessons learnt from both successes and failures. We need to be able to capitalize on the huge potential of talents and resources available in India, so that more people would be able to access the accelerated learning and the challenge of problem-solving that startups provide, instead of just concentrating on getting their monthly paychecks.
The Indian startup ecosystem – while still taking its early steps – is certainly evolving in a big way. Aspirations are running high; people from all walks of life are choosing to stray away from the well-trodden path to jump into entrepreneurship; innovative, world-class products and services are being developed on a regular basis. We still have a long way to go with respect to our ecosystem, but the future looks bright, indeed.