THE ECOSYSTEM AND ITS PERSISTENCE.
Our country wasn’t the same yesterday! In fact, it wasn’t the same when I wrote this article.
With India marked as the third largest start-up hub in the world (it was fourth largest in 2014), the figures have crossed 4200 and is expected to show the growth of 40% by the end of 2015. By the year 2020, these figures are likely to surge to 11,500, employing over 250k people. From an IT hub, to a young start-up nation, our ecosystem is swiftly gearing up in the correct air.
India is a strong $1.8T economy, growing at 7.5% GDP growth (highest amongst the BRIC this year) which is certainly expected to remain (if not grow) by 2016. However, The Big Fat Indian startup story accounts for a number of protagonist and antagonist factors:
DEMOGRAPHICS: With our population crossing 1.28b mark, we are still a young nation with an average population below 27. Hence, in addition to the huge task force, by 2017, India’s smart phone market is expected to outdo America’s. Also, the current 35 million internet users are certain to grow, which makes it a hot place to invest.
POLICIES: Though the Branded new government’s flagship policies like ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ and ‘STARTUP INDIA STANDUP INDIA’ flickered and helped the capital flow in, the policy makers still follow rather lead. Hence, the policies have to be developed with the pace of the ecosystem to bring a genuine reform.
FUNDRAISING: Though many startups at an early stage have followed the equity crowd funding route, this has been earmarked by many critics. One big phenomenon which has been continuously lifting the Startup market is the Angel investment and the VC’s trust and nest egg. In 2014, Venture Capital investment in Indian companies grew staggeringly by 216% to $3.86b, which is still on the rise. Also, with a large number of Angel investors pumping their capitals into the startups has backed the risks and generated the confidence in the industry. The already established e-commerce industry which accounts for $20b has further pumped up the confidence of investors in the Indian economy and is likely to account for 2.5% of India’s total GDP by 2030.
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS: The credit of huge capital influx in India goes to the loosening of the FDI caps in India. Though, there has been a run of political hurdles, yet we have managed to garner $31b investments to emerge as the top FDI destination (According to the Financial Times). The RBI data deviates from the formers’, the investments still show a mount. And thus, the FDI money gun is surely pointing towards the startups awed by their growth tolls.
CONTENT MARKETING: The Indian Startup Launch Vehicle has been fuelled by the excellent content marketing strategies. So much so, that the advertising industry itself has catered to a bunch of the most successful startups in the realm. This baton of the content marketing is being carried by the most successful e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Snapdeal. Since, India is amongst the prime service providers globally, the content marketing and consequently the advertising sector is prophesized to boom in the near future.
The valuations are nasty in market. Adding to the fact that Indian startups are being overvalued in the recent rounds, as compared to their revenues. India too lacks the infrastructure and the manufacturing units as compared to the other giants like USA and China, but still the tone is upbeat.. As the world pivots their nests towards India in future, and the policy makers gritty to make requisite reforms in next to no time, there are still blooms to arrive in the startup ecosystem.