From Startup India to setting up a dedicated fund of funds and multiple cabinet ministers and bureaucrats’ pushing for private investments, and then easing the tax regime for startups — startups have definitely been a prime focus for the Narendra Modi-led government, and rightly so, given the potential that technology has in transforming the economy and the Indian market.
In a country as diverse as India, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for the Tier 1 market, may or may not work for Tier 2 and Tier 3 users. Thus, arises the need for problem solvers from every state and region; local entrepreneurs who live and breathe these on-ground local problems everyday.
Although, the number of startups in Tier 1 cities as compared to that in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities is currently skewed towards the former, there is a definite trend of the startup wave taking over the non-metro cities soon.
In H1 of 2019, Bengaluru, Delhi NCR and Mumbai together accounted for about 85.28% of all the fundings deals in Indian startups. According to Datalabs by Inc42, out of 50K startups in India, only 20% are based in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Further, over 5,800 of these startups from Tier 2 cities only, accounting for $1.3 Bn in total funding between 2004 and Q1 2019.
The nascent startup ecosystems in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are complemented by central and state government initiatives. Last month, speaking at the India Economic Summit, DPIIT secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra said, “There are large tracts of India untouched by startup presence,” he said, adding that the government is committed to further spreading the startup movement to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in the next five years.
In line with the government’s vision of expanding the Startup India mission to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, Inc42 concluded a six-cities tour for the BIGShift series, stopping by at Kochi, Chandigarh, Vizag, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Indore.
Along with acting as a launchpad for Tier 2 startups, BIGShift also helped identify unique trends in these cities. For example, Nagpur’s affinity for foodtech startups, or the prominence of aquaculture and hardware startups in Kerala and Kochi, as well as Indore’s focus on the education and edtech sector.
To further expand our efforts in bringing recognition to various startup hotspots across India, Inc42 is now launching the Indian Startup Hub Series which will bring into focus the top ecosystem enablers and startups from each of these regions.
The 24 regions being covered under Inc42’s Indian Startup Hub Series include West Bengal, Pune, Lucknow, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kanpur, NorthEast, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
As NITI Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant had repeatedly said, “While Silicon Valley may be very innovative, all the challenges of the world are in India. From the challenge of providing water, to converting waste into energy, to provide seed and fertilizer to the farmers in real-time — all those challenges are in India.”
Here’s to turning focus towards the emerging entrepreneurs and innovators across the length and breadth of India.