PM Modi marks January 16 as the National Startup Day

India has seen a meteoric rise of Indian entrepreneurs in the past couple of years, which made global headlines

India has seen a meteoric rise of Indian entrepreneurs in the past couple of years, which made global headlines
India has seen a meteoric rise of Indian entrepreneurs in the past couple of years, which made global headlines

PM Modi calls startups backbone of Naya India, declares Jan 16 as ‘National Startup Day’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared January 16, to be celebrated as ‘National Startup Day’, saying that this is India’s “golden era of startups” with immense growth potential in rural and semi-urban areas, as they will be the backbone of a new India.

India has seen a meteoric rise of Indian entrepreneurs in the past couple of years, which made global headlines.

PM Modi said that like small businesses, which are the spine of India’s economy, startups are turning out to be the game-changers. “I congratulate all the startups of the country, all the innovative youth, who are raising the flag of India in the world of startups,” Modi said. “For this culture of startups to reach the far-flung parts of the country, it has been decided to celebrate January 16 as National Startup Day.”

He held a virtual meet of over 150 entrepreneurs on Saturday. The virtual meeting was attended by ministers Piyush Goyal, Mansukh Mandaviya, Ashwini Vaisnaw, Sarbananda Sonowal, Parshottam Rupala, G Kishan Reddy, Pashupati Kumar Paras, Jitendra Singh, and Som Parkash.

From 500 startups five years ago to 60,000 startups, the number of startups in the country has seen a glorious surge, with 42 unicorns coming up last year, signifying the “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.

Fresh data reveals that India produced 46 unicorns (companies with over $1 billion valuations) in 2021 alone, which raised a whopping $42 billion, up from $11.5 billion in 2020.

According to the latest report by Orios Venture Partners, the country now has 90 unicorns — from ShareChat to Cred and from Meesho to upGrad — with new ones across the spectrum joining the coveted unicorn club faster than ever.

India also emerged as the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world in 2021, after the US and China, according to Hurun Research Institute. India’s unicorns are currently worth more than $170 billion, and counting.

According to Satish Shukla, Co-founder of automation and robotics firm Addverb Technologies, the Indian startup ecosystem has come a very long way and has matured a lot.

“We can see startups getting listed on the Indian bourses amid a slew of accessible VC/ PE funds for the Indian startups. Several talented people are coming back to India to start on their own or work with startups, thereby reversing the brain-drain process,” Shukla said.

Right from the inception of ‘Startup India’ in 2016, a slew of measures has been taken by the government like pushing for a digital mode of payments, 100 percent tax rebate on profit for a period of 3 years for eligible startups, waiver of norms for PSUs to promote procurement by startups and also encouraging PSUs to fund and nurture relevant startups.

“This has created good-quality jobs for people and has also encouraged a lot of young people to take up the plunge. There is still a long way to go for India and we need not only unicorns but decacorns in the near future that will solve the problems of 21st century India,” Shukla emphasized.

India has seen four ‘decacorns’ (companies with a valuation of $10 billion and above) to date — Flipkart, Paytm, Byju’s, and OYO.

According to K R Sekar, Partner, Deloitte India, the demand and customer base for India is huge and an improved network and better telecom policy will further pave the way for the growth of startups.

“In my opinion, by 2030, 40 percent of Nifty 50 would be young dynamic technology startups, displacing conventional companies,” said Ritesh Malik, doctor-turned-entrepreneur, investor, storyteller, and philanthropist.

“Modi’s focus on building India into the world’s most dynamic and inclusive startup ecosystem is applaud-worthy. His consistent focus on creating job creators vs job seekers is the need of the hour for our nation,” he said.

Ravish Naresh, CEO, and Co-founder of fintech startup Khatabook said that the new initiative by the government is an excellent acknowledgment of the contribution the startup ecosystem is providing to global markets with India-first products.

“The startups from India are attracting great investments because they are the breeding ground of new-age innovations focused on empowering the people in emerging markets with the right digital solutions, impacting the lives of millions,” Naresh said.

“While India is already a talent powerhouse, this move will further encourage millions to innovate and find solutions to business and societal challenges, thus making the country a global leader,” Mayank Kumar, Co-founder and MD, upGrad, said.

Niraj Singh, Founder, and CEO of used-car retailing platform Spinny added: “The Indian startup business landscape is far more open and accessible, as compared to some of the biggest economies. We believe that the Indian startup environment will continue to grow at a rapid pace with more new-age businesses coming and shaping the economy.”

[With Inputs from IANS]

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