This article is part of Inc42’s Year-End Stories for 2017 where we’ll highlight the major developments, issues, controversies of 2017 and their impact on the Indian startup ecosystem. Find all the stories of this series here.
“The first rule of change is controversy. You can’t get away from it for the simple reason that all issues are controversial. Change means movement, and movement means friction, and friction means heat, and heat means controversy,” – Saul Alinsky.
This is particularly true in the context of the Indian startup ecosystem. Although practically non-existent until a few years ago, it has evolved into the third largest ecosystem in the world. It is currently home to over 5,000 tech startups, a number which is expected to multiply by 2.2x to 10,500 within the next three years.
Over the last few years, the Indian startup ecosystem has seen the rise as well as the untimely fall of hundreds of promising startups. The ecosystem has also witnessed reputations being shattered into smithereens; personal lives getting entangling with professional lives and ultimately, ending in antagonism. Sometimes, they have even resulted in major legal battles.
As is their nature, controversies often lead to disastrous endings and downfalls. On the other hand, they also serve as cautionary tales for others in the same boat. If you take a closer look, you will find that controversies, in fact, play a major role in shaping the future.
As we near the end of 2017, we at Inc42 wanted to take some time out to contemplate the year that has gone by and the major controversies that will set the course for the Indian startup ecosystem in 2018.