The accelerated boom of entrepreneurs, massive funding raised by startups and their reported astounding valuations validates that this is probably the best time for the startup ecosystem in India. Numbers do the telling: The rapid growth of startups in India. The 2014 NASSCOM startup report has found India to be the fastest growing and third largest startup ecosystem is in the entire planet.
The current scenario is considered to be the most viable for startups and why not? The technological advances, more accessible resources, knowledge pool, massive funding, emerging global standards and thriving domestic markets are fueling startups and creating conducive environment for their growth.
Indian Entrepreneurship has a rich history. While the current entrepreneur mindset may differ from what it was in the pre-independence era, the period did see surge of startups, of course, at a much slower rate than the present. With India celebrating its 69th Independence Day in a few days, let us revisit the evolution of the startups in India from the pre-Independence era to the present day.
Indian startup scenario before Independence
The colonial era saw entrepreneurship to be confined by the boundaries of social, cultural and religious rigidities. Further, the colonial rule brought in an array of political and economic factors that were non-conducive for entrepreneurship. The volatile political environment, lack of favourable laws, harsh tax policies restricted the surge of entrepreneurship. The education system did nothing to encourage emergence of startups during this period. Slowly, the social reforms, rising nationalism and betterment of education brought steady change in the scenario.
In spite of these drawbacks, the East India Company, deliberately or accidentally, seems to have played a vital role in the emergence of Indian entrepreneurs. The popularity of swadeshi campaign, a campaign focussed on the use of indigenous goods by locals, is also believed to have played a significant role in the growth of startups in the country.
The period between the world wars was marked by the visible growth of entrepreneurship in India. The emergence of the Managing Agency System played a significant role in growth of entrepreneurship during this period. The following decades brought many opportunities for business that was effectively capitalised by entrepreneurs. This coupled with the society attitude broadened the vision for the Indian business class. This remained to be the backdrop for the growth of Indian entrepreneurship after Independence.
Growth of Entrepreneurship after Independence
Independence was marked by significant shift in the entrepreneurial sector. With the new found freedom, entrepreneurs gained the confidence and belief to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Need of employment and regional development paved way for startups. However, during this period policies were not formulated with any special emphasis on entrepreneurship. Development of industries on large scale was still the focus.
The transformation of Indian Startup Ecosystem
The next few decades witnessed significant growth in the entrepreneurial ventures across economic and social sectors. With the changing environment, entrepreneurship gained importance. The last decade has seen noteworthy improvement in the quality of startups in India. Institutions have started to take business and academic interest in startups. In the last few years, they have exhibited potential and proficiency, which has made the global investors to venture in the Indian startup ecosystem.
The accelerated funding coupled with the innovative and incrementally competent growth of startups like Zomato, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. and their potential to grow as world class companies has set benchmark and hope for many aspiring entrepreneurs. The foundation for a sustainable startup ecosystem has already been laid. What remains to be seen is how we capitalize and develop on it while fighting the logistics, market and funding challenges that come along.
Startup Recipe for success
While we are all excited about the accelerated growth of Indian startups, unfortunately, 90 percent of startups fail to sail through phases and succeed. While this may seem to be a rather distressing statistic for entrepreneurs, it is the cold truth. Further, it is aimed at aspiring startups to work smarter to reach their goal. Because entrepreneurship is essentially a journey into the unknown, it is upon startups to find their own magic sauce to success. Here are a few reasons how successful startups find their way to success.
Vision and the art of getting things done
Startups thrive on clear, precise vision. It is their anchor that helps them to keep going when everything around is tough. Having a clear plan and monetizing from the very beginning can help you through your long way to success. As a startup, you want things to get done fast. In fact, that’s what will take you steps ahead of your competitors. The more productive you are, the better you can succeed and faster you can attract funding.
When you are a startup, it is not as easy to shun away from responsibilities. Being a startup and wanting grow rapidly, you must learn to understand that your responsibilities and roles will overlap. Further, as an entrepreneur, you must be ready to step up to every issue. If you are waiting for others to do work because it isn’t your role or responsibility, you are designing your downfall.
Tackling risk and challenges with determination
Risks are another part of startup success. However, assiduity is necessary while taking such decisions to reduce any fall that may occur. Challenges are part of every startup; your determination to overcome the challenges even when the ride gets rough is what makes you a successful startup. Finally, whatever is the challenge, you must work together as a team with tenacity to make things happen.
Successful startups are the ones that are always on a lookout for opportunity, they are diligent in seizing them and find innovative ways to tackle their challenge learn from mistakes and stay focused on their vision. With the startup ecosystem in India on a roll, there is no reason why, with the right ingredients, you shouldn’t very well be on the road to success.