The Government of India has recognized the potential of startups taking the Indian economy forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed startups as the “backbone” of new India and the engine that will power the nation’s economic growth in the run-up to the 100th year of Independence.
The number of startups in India has grown to over 60,000 from less than 500 just five years ago. PM Modi said the ventures are working across nearly 55 industry sectors and are changing the rules of the game. “I believe the golden era of India’s startups is starting now as the country is rapidly moving towards hitting a century of unicorns which are the hallmark of self-reliant and self-confident India.”
Karanvir Singh, Founder and CEO at Pariksha, said it is a matter of pride for startups to be recognized by the prime minister of the country as the backbone of new India. “The COVID-19 outbreak created a lot of gaps in day to day functioning of individuals, and many startups came forward to fill-in. Innovation was an upswing and a lot of sectors were disrupted technology,” he said. “The edtech model topped the list as education took an online route and traditional education institutions turned to technology, seeking transformational support. There is a dire need for a well-networked edtech infrastructure in the country.”
Kumar Kushang, co-founder and CEO of SupplyNote – India’s first SaaS e-commerce platform, also expressed excitement at PM Modi recognizing the contribution of startups. Kushang said it means more, considering that startups have worked tooth and nail during the pandemic to keep it going for all. “A lot of sectors like food and beverages, Human Resources, and education were struggling to adapt to the changing times. Amidst this, the technologies explored by new age startups that were earlier restricted to a set of audience, came all out available to all and proved a savior. A lot of shops new saw their shutter down, because new age solutions helped them sustain.”
Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder and Director at SuperBot (Pinnacle Works), says the startup industry has gained a lot of confidence. “It takes a lot for an entrepreneur to keep up with the latest technologies, identify the unsolved and come up with the innovative solutions,” he shared. “It is another battle to make it a win-win for consumers, investors, the startup and the country at large. AI, machine learning and data analytics are the rising sectors in India, but require strong financial support to unleash what they contain. This recognition is not just an encouragement note for entrepreneurs, but a green signal for all HNIs, VCs, PE to step forward and join the bandwagon to make it technologically hit year for all.”
Meanwhile, Vaibhav Singh, the co-founder of Leap Scholar, says establishing a national day for startups is very much encouraging as it will boost the entrepreneurial system in the country and empower the ecosystem. He pointed out that the Indian startup ecosystem, in the past year, witnessed unprecedented growth and opportunities in job creation that strengthened the Indian economy. “2022 will see a new high for startups in India that will grow multifold and Leap Scholar is excited to be part of it as we democratize access to global education and careers for the Indian youth.”
Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore, believes the PM’s recognition is a heartening vote of confidence as it acknowledges the countless ways startups are trying to make a difference. He said venturing into untested waters, especially in a mammoth sector like agriculture fraught with challenges, requires grit and talent.
Kausambi Manjita, Founder and CEO at Mason, regards National Startup Day as a great way to celebrate India’s success in building out globally relevant products and solutions. From the services win back in the 1990s to now becoming a hub for SaaS, she says it has been an incredible journey. “Just this year, we had seven India-made products as finalists in the much-coveted Product Hunt Golden Kitty Awards, which celebrates globally loved software.”
Mason’s Founder highlighted that India is already making waves, but acknowledged that Indian women-led tech products is still a step behind. She said only 1/7 was a woman-led company – that being Mason. “Built-from India for the world is now an everyday reality in technology. Hoping this yearly reminder opens up more diverse founders to come forward and build top-notch solutions for the world.”