“Google’s efforts in India have deepened our understanding of how technology can be helpful to all different types of people. Building products for India first has helped us build better products for users everywhere.”
These were some of the statements delivered by Mr. Sundar Pichai, in his keynote speech during the Google for India conference announcement in mid-July this year.
Speaking through the effect of the pandemic on the nation and its serendipitous favour to the digital industry, the visionary CEO of Alphabet and Google announced a surplus investment of ₹75,000 crores (or) US$ 10 billion into the Indian market to be invested over the next 5-7 years through investments, grants, and infrastructural partnerships with private and government support.
If it wasn’t so far, this announcement truly signalled the arrival of Indian startups on the global stage. As far as Mr. Pichai’s statements go, India is fast becoming the entrepreneurial reference book for the world and with renewed vigour and smartness, it is bound to expedite the truth in his statements and vision more for the nation, 13,568 km away from where he gave his speech.
Indian startups over the years have raked in the moolah with the influx of cash and equity from investment companies and other funding sources. The proliferation of digitization in our lives has contributed to this huge rise as well.
The synergy of tech and services has provided a potent partnership that companies are now harnessing and reaping benefits. With a few like-minded and talented individuals, cash to bootstrap a business, armed with a great idea, people are off to become active producers of services rather than just passive consumers.
“Today, people in India no longer have to wait for technology to come to you. A whole new generation of technologies are happening in India first.
Today we sit down and look at some of the reasons that can be and are attributed to this windfall.
According to NASSCOM president Debjani Ghosh, ”the start-up landscape in the country is becoming the epitome of innovation, with companies bringing out solutions that are aimed at solving locally relevant issues.”
His statement makes a thing or two clear about how startups are proving to become conduits of change in terms of rethinking existing mechanisms within the consumer market by combining service modules with cutting-edge technology that enhances the feasibility and ease of access of such services no matter the domain of usage.
“The start-up landscape in the country is becoming the epitome of innovation, with companies bringing out solutions that are aimed at solving locally relevant issues”
A simple example could be that of E-Commerce companies including now Walmart-acquired Flipkart or reselling giant Meesho. Another prominent example pertaining to this period is the E-Learning Market featuring scores of players and competitors awash with cash and ideas.
There is a competition to offer the best and vivid learning schemes and methods to millions of students and learners across the country and across varying technical and non-technical domains. This extends beyond E-Learning to other straits as well.
Unlike previous times, the consumer base has diversified with umpteen variations spoiling customers for choice. New fashion fads, tastes, preferences, and the constant change has led to bespoke industries taking notice of the same.
The diversity in options has catered well to the customers with footfall across all strata increasing every day.
India is the second-most populous country in the world, and conveniently, right next to the most populous (numerically and geographically) together accounting for almost a quarter of the global population.
This expansive population offers an unbridled pool of options for the companies and their investors to set up shop, and once you hit a rock, there is bound to be more gold out here than shale.
That we speak about modern startups without the advent of business digitisation is like talking about race cars without an engine. Businesses have moved online and online stores and websites are fast replacing brick-and-mortar establishments.
The digitisation of such services offers an easy way for such startups to save time searching for physical spaces while working from their own private spaces as easy as their homes or coffee shops.
People are now preferring the ease of obtaining all their material needs at the click of a button rather than in crowded marketplaces and having to contend with long billing counters.
The power of businesses online has meant that the digital presence of these companies, especially the new kids on the block, are optimized to suit the tastes and wants of the ever-demanding Indian public, which is left off is capable of starting another entrepreneurial setup of its own.
Google and Facebook are the two latest entrants in a line of companies and setups that have been the water to the Indian Startup tree. As we have all heard about the fancy terms of funding and investment, equity and acquisitions, these terms just lead to the notion that the limitless potential within Indian startup companies to grow quickly and offer value to the user base vindicate the corporates and investors belief in these companies to grow and prosper and their own stock to increase in the process.
Facebook especially, a company known to not extend a free hand to companies around the world saw potential in the Indian market since it’s intent on proliferation into the Indian and Chinese market base (as mentioned above).
Despite the ravaging global pandemic, it hasn’t stopped Facebook from investing in Byju’s in as early as 2016 (through the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative), US$20-25 million in reselling giant Meesho, participating in Unacademy’s US$110 million fundraising rounds before finally capturing the big marlin with a whopping US$5.7 billion investment for a 9.99% minority stake in Reliance Jio, the highest minority stake investment of its kind.
Sequoia Capital which is among the largest private equity investment firms has a portfolio containing more than 210 companies that it has incubated under its roster.
”India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. There are about 50,000 startups with a 15% Y-o-Y growth. Incubators and startup accelerators have increased by almost 11%”
All these moves come in conjunction with the Government of India starting “Startup India” along with various state government policies encouraging and supporting growing startup ideas and businesses.
India is now the third-largest startup economy in the world with both private and government investment in this space growing manifold day-by-day and year-on-year. According to StartupIndia, there are about 50,000 startups in India with a 15% Y-o-Y growth rate over the past five years.
There is also an increase in the number of incubators and startup accelerators by 11% which adds to the quality of mentorship that these startups receive with many options on their platter.
It is an evident but rather much-unattributed reason that India has the most youthful population in the world. The 15-24 age group in India contributes almost one-fifth (19%) to the total population and is expected to be more than 1/3rd by 2022.
Such energy and gusto among the youth and their contribution to the workforce are what has led to his charge in the number of seedlings in the Indian entrepreneurship greenhouse, and with more and more possibilities and options coming up and with competition heating up, the only way from here seems up for Indian startups with no dearth of investment, no lack of support, no shortage of ideas and ideal setup for a powerful workforce.
While all these numbers and stats give a utopian reference to the startup scene, there is a conundrum of imminent failure and the prospect of lavish expenditures at every step of the way among all the competition and noise.
But rest assured with your entrepreneurial acumen, the willingness to take a risk and the patience & tenacity to see things through will keep your startup and the idea afloat and even end up becoming a game-changer in the industry.