Why Startup India?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the action plan for his dream initiative ‘Startup India’ on January 16, 2016, with the aim to revive the entrepreneurship spirit of India’s youth. He announced various incentives for startups, which is the story that every news channel is telling. But a major question arises: why startups? Did some dramatic changes happen which made the Indian ecosystem favourable for startups? To answer these questions we need to understand the current scenario of our country.

India has the largest youth population in the world. 68% of the current population is under 35 years of age .This is the biggest asset for India. The world’s second largest population (1.27 billion) with the large middle class provides India a potential candidate to become one of the biggest domestic markets globally. This is the reason why every big international company wants to do business in India. India was once a country where business was dominated by certain communities, which was considered as taboo by other communities. The mindset was that only a businessman’s son will be able to do business.

This perception has changed in recent times, with success stories of new startups in India, like Flipkart, Redbus, Inmobi, etc. changing the style of looking at any business. Youngsters these days are enthusiastic in doing new things, ready to take a big leap, and are more risk-tolerant than their parents.

A report, titled ‘Start-up India – Momentous Rise of the India Start-up Ecosystem’, released by NASSCOM & Zinnov Consulting, mentions that the average startup founder is just 28 years old. With 4000+ technology driven startups and an increase in funding from $ 2.5 bn in 2014 to $ 4.9 bn in 2015, India stands third in the global startup ecosystem.

Another report, ‘Future of India – The Winning Leap’, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, advocates a crucial need for entrepreneurial companies, to ensure a successful future for the country. India will need to create at least one crore new jobs annually over the coming decade. To meet this job demand, the government has to give constant boost to both large corporates and entrepreneurial startups. Initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’ will help fuel this growth. Recent campus placement reports indicate that even at IITs and other institutes, startups are hiring in good numbers, stating the fact that young entrepreneurs are optimistic about their businesses.

According to a report first published in 2014, Indians are dominating immigrant entrepreneurship in the Silicon Valley, constituting 32.4% of all such startups. Narendra Modi wants to bring such a revolution in India too, hence the fillip to provide a suitable ecosystem to young entrepreneurs.

In one of the attempts to encourage entrepreneurship, IIT Madras, along with its alumni, established the IITM Research Park. Its main aim is to facilitate the promotion of research and development in partnership with the industry, and assist the growth of new ventures. About 100 research companies, innovation centres of large corporations, and startups have their offices at the Park. The government is planning to open such research parks at six other IITs as well.

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