Indian startup ecosystem is the hottest investment destination at the moment. With tons of million dollar deal cracked almost daily, the day is not far when these startups will become behemoths of the industry. Perhaps, by then India will control the global economy or perhaps it’s just a fragment of my imagination. However, this is what I am going to explore in this article. I am going to talk about the India 2050 scenario when everyone will own a startup or at least dream about owning one.
Interestingly, there has been a lot of friction when the startup revolution hit India. Society wasn’t ready. Families of startup founders were against it. In fact, the popular opinion of India wasn’t in favor of startups. However, the brightest minds of the startup world moved forward despite the obstacles. The likes of Sachin and Binny Bansal, Ritesh Aggarwal, Rahul Yadav, and others created billion dollar worth companies out of an idea.
“Interestingly, there has been a lot of friction when the startup revolution hit India. Society wasn’t ready. Families of startup founders were against it. In fact, the popular opinion of India wasn’t in favor of startups”
This changed the entire discourse about startups in India. Now, being a startup owner or at least wanting to open one isn’t frowned upon. It, in fact, is considered cool. Visit the business parks of Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi, you will come across twenty-something CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs that can sweep you off your feet when they passionately talk about their companies.
This zeal is bound to take India to new heights, especially with respect to the economy and job creation, thereby creating a pool of companies that are the vanguard of innovation.
Before delving into the futuristic probabilities as delineated in the headline, let’s look at what entrepreneurs are doing wrong or if such individuals can be termed as entrepreneurs. Let’s begin.
Calling it a Startup when it Essentially is an SME
Most of the founders that take immense pride in owning a startup do not realize that their firm might as well be an SME. Startup isn’t a term given to every business that emerges from business parks. In fact, there are certain factors that determine if a company can be termed as a startup.
1. A company can be called a startup up to five years from its inception if it hasn’t been able to amass INR 25 Crore in revenues in those five financial years.
2. For a firm to be called startup, it must work towards innovation, development, deployment, and commercialization of new products, processes, or services driven by technology or intellectual property.
Without hurting anyone’s sentiment, I would like to point out that not every firm can be a startup. Therefore, it is incumbent for young minds to learn how to differentiate.
The Breed of ‘Wannapreneurs’
Unfortunate but true, there are a little fraction of young grads that dream of becoming entrepreneurs and make it big in the startup world. However, the challenge with such an individual is that they just dream. There is no definitive plan of action, goal, or a framework to corroborate it. Such individuals end up wasting time as well as money and account for the increasing list of failing startups in India.
The Make-Serve-Sell Types
There are few entrepreneurs that build a company from the ground up, give it everything that it needs, create a huge user base and ultimately cave into a billion dollar offer from an industry giant. Perhaps not all of them intend to sell but have to because of unpleasant circumstances, however, this trend is no good for the startup world. It is akin to giving up the throne to someone else when you can own it and rule.
India 2050 Vision
The India that I envision for 2050 is replete with startup founders or at least enthusiasts. I believe by that time we will be able to fix our shortcomings and the startups of today would have made it big. And such organizations would extend helping hands to others to build their own businesses.
Considering the pace of the startup ecosystem, it is safe to assume that the trend is only going to proliferate. Having said that, a well-orchestrated effort is incumbent in shaping the startups so that they emerge as a resilient force.
My unrealistic vision where everyone is a startup owner perhaps isn’t going to materialize. However, it is beyond any doubt that entrepreneurial streak is going to rise. And it won’t be looked down upon or laughed at. With that, India is certainly going to embark on a journey that will lead the country towards becoming an economic superpower.