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Sansad TV: Perspective- India’s Startup Ecosystem

 

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Introduction:

Startup India initiative was launched on 16th January 2016 with an intent to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation, startups and encouraging private investments in startup ecosystem of the country. Four years later in 2020 National Startup Awards were started to recognize and reward outstanding startups and ecosystem enablers. India is the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, with 107 Unicorns. Total number of startups in India increased from 471 in 2016 to 84,012 in 2022. More than 4,500 startups have been recognized in sectors relating to emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence, analytics, etc. The government has launched a number of initiatives to promote startups across the country as part of the Startup India initiative, such as the Startup India Action Plan, the Fund of Funds for Startups Scheme, Regulatory Reforms, Support for Intellectual Property Protection, Self-Certification under Labour and Environmental Laws, Income Tax Exemption for 3 Years, Faster Exit for Startups, the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme etc.

Startup India:

  • Startup India is an initiative of the Government of India. The campaign was first announced by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his speech in 15 August 2015 address from the Red Fort, in New Delhi.
  • The event was inaugurated on 16 January 2016
  • The action plan of this initiative is focussing on three areas:
    • Simplification and Handholding.
    • Funding Support and Incentives.
    • Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation.
  • A startup defined as an entity that is headquartered in India, which was opened less than 10 years ago, and has an annual turnover less than ₹100 crore.

Startups in augmenting the economic image of India

  • The contribution of startups include by way of large infusion of FDI in an asset class outside of public markets, export of products and services by the country.
  • India currently stands third in the global list of the number of companies that have attained unicorn status well behind the US and China, but ahead of the UK and Germany.
  • Moreover, women entrepreneurs have also contributed immensely to the start-up ecosystem
  • The unicorns like ola, flipkart which are consumer centric have created an alternate gig economy for workers, which gives them much needed flexibility.
  • It has created an ecosystem in cities such as Bengaluru and Delhi, which has paved way for more capital and investments flowing into the nation.

Agri-tech Startup:

  • The Agri-tech segment is growing at a phenomenal rate of 25% year-on-year.
  • Experts view the agri-tech innovation industry as the primary driver of agricultural economics by 2020.
  • The need for technological innovation to find solutions to everyday problems is the need of the hour.
  • Agri-tech startups have a vast scope to enhance livelihood opportunities in rural India.

Challenges:

  • Many Indian founders have a technical background and lack business knowledge.
  • Finding the right investor and raising funds is difficultInformation gap exists between those who provide solutions and those who are supposed to use them.
  • Startups are at a disadvantage compared to large companies in terms of market penetration.
  • The present regulatory framework in which startups operate is widely seen as difficult, inefficient and unpredictable.

Conclusion:

  • Startups in India are witnessing a golden chapter in the history of Indian entrepreneurship.
  • However, still the Indian government has a crucial role to play in positioning India as the Tech Garage of the World.
  • Indian Startups are now spread across the length and breath of the entire country.
  • The shift in global focus is on promoting women entrepreneurs and fostering an inclusive and innovative environment. Efforts are also being made by diverse stakeholders in the Indian startup ecosystem to elevate domestic policies in concurrence with global trends.
  • The role of the state government becomes very important in developing the necessary infrastructure and support to foster the startup ecosystem. Due to the given constraints of infrastructure and supporting services, India needs to build upon low-cost and high-impact solutions.
  • Although there has been an increase in angel and venture capital funding, the amount invested must be augmented. It is crucial that the ecosystem is well integrated to connect startups to fund houses and other stakeholders.
  • While it is important to elucidate overarching features of the ecosystem, this report delves deeper into the role of states and India’s federal structure in both building the ecosystem as well as closely monitoring futuristic measures that can aid India’s growth story.