“Optimism” is the word representing India today as we welcome 2016 with great hope and positive sentiments. We have not witnessed these kind of statistics in last 2 decades where India is ranked at top on many growth oriented metrics by many surveys across the world. The expectations are suddenly high for ordinary Indian with India finding a center stage place with all countries looking at her with enthusiasm. Fastest growing economy and most attractive destination for investment to positive movement on ease of doing business to innovation index and competitiveness.
India is Creating! India is Innovating! India is Changing!
India has 2nd highest number of Mobile connections after China and 350 million plus internet users. We are experiencing a big Mobile revolution and this brings us in “limelight” for many Fortune 500 companies and investment agencies. Year 2015 was the year for Indian startups. With 4k+ startups operating pan India, we have 3rd biggest count in the world. During twelve months in 2015, funding worth $9 billion was invested in Indian startups across 1,005 plus deals according to recent survey by YourStory. To put this in perspective: between 2010 and 2015, Indian startups raised $18 billion. A majority of the deals fall in the online and mobile categories. Indian startups are joining Unicorn club with Seven of India’s eight ‘Unicorns’ have gobbled up 33 per cent–about $3 billion–in 2015. Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ola, InMobi, Paytm, Quikr, Zomato and MuSigma are the Indian ‘Unicorns’ with valuation at over $1 billion.
Stand-up India, Startup India is the new buzz word around. Current Prime Minister has ignited the enthusiasm among young Indians with his support and announcements. The budget for 2015- 16 promised many schemes for aspiring entrepreneurs and startups and now the heat is on for 16th January when Government is going to announce Startup policy. The whole nation is eagerly waiting for 16th where already 1 lac requests has been received for 1500 seats for the hyped event.
As we open our arms for 2016, here are few predictions for Indian Startups and ecosystem. US is debating on immigrants and US native entrepreneurs, we at India do not have such comparisons. It’s all by the Indian and For the Indian in her case. As Indian entrepreneurs handle around many uncertainties with a big debate on big bubble of valuations and other ambiguities all around, it’s the ability to work in ambiguity with genuine purpose and right execution would carve out the success path. Though predictions are difficult to be made but based on trends, anticipation as well as expectations for the year ahead. They may have a flavor of ‘wish list’ for many of the readers.
- Craze for “Unicorns” would reduce with increasing focus on smaller businesses (Non- Unicorn) with impactful solutions for people.
- With “Smart Copy-Paste” ideas getting exhausted, it would be time for real Indian problems being addressed by Indian entrepreneurs.
- Shift from Hyped Funding to Sustainability of ventures. Slow sustained growth is better than fast funded failure.
- More startups would pick up approach of crowdsourcing (democracy), shared economy, DIY enabling platforms and easy-fast payments. Steps towards an Open system.
- Sectors that would invite more attention would be IOT-Wearable, Education, Clean Energy, Health and Agriculture.
- More Entrepreneurs would pick up Non IT but hardcore innovations and inventions for business venture creation.
- Strong Public policy support for entrepreneurs and startups with special funds and PPP models.
- More of inclusive approach by Government to build the strong ecosystem
- IIT/IIM/NIT’s would become epicenter of startups activity in different regions. They would develop hubs/villages for startups with sectorial emphasis.
- Banks/DIC and other govt. agencies would be part of the efforts
- Special scheme for Woman, Divyang (especially abled) and weaker sections of the society.
- Smaller towns would get more vibrant with strength of virgin market and huge talent available as well as low cost of experimentation.
- Winning customers through “Discounts/Offers” would fade away with pressure to build solutions to work without such “loss-schemes”.
- More setting up of Incubators and Mentoring organizations by educational institutions as well as private corporate organizations.
- Ability of entrepreneurs would get more credit than the power of idea with efforts on skill and ability building for potential entrepreneurs.
- Colleges and Educational establishments would promote “taking risk” with concrete policy for safety net in case of failure.
- Government would amend/make laws for easy registrations, loans/fund disbursement and lower taxation for young and new startups.
- Job creation by startups would achieve numbers worth mentioning for nation building.
- Smaller businesses would get the deserved credit for their contribution and solutions forIndian people.
- Young Indians would continue their love for social ventures with a desire to bring a positive change.
It would an important year for India as many new trends are likely to set during the year. The opportunities are numerous, the problems around us are many and future looks bright for Indian entrepreneurs. The best time is NOW!