What pushed Indians to embrace the startup culture like never before?
India is changing and so are the aspirations of its 1.2 billion people. Our country, once regarded as a third-world economy, is today the hub of billion-dollar firms and a hot investment destination.
Moody's credit rating has raised India’s credit outlook to 'positive' from 'stable'; and has said that an upgrade in its sovereign rating is also possible in the next 12-18 months. Fitch, another credit rating agency, announced India’s sovereign credit rating at 'BBB' with a 'stable' outlook. Obviously, this has given investors and operators a lot to smile about.
These positive predictions, accompanied by reassuring promises from the government, are positively impacting the mind of the young aspirational Indian youth, who can now dream venturing beyond a job into the business arena.
This change is certainly not the result of a one- day effort and no single person can take credit for bringing it. The change took some 68 years to happen, facing challenges like license raj, corrupt governments, a weak economy, and low purchasing power.
But against all these odds was the middle-class dream to have a better standard of living and earn enough to satisfy the demands of the family without thinking too much. The software services companies brought about the first wave of change in the early 2000's when the demand for human resource in the IT sector was huge. Parents wanted their sons and daughters to study computer engineering and get placed in the IT companies. But aAt that time, the dream of opening a startup was only for a rare breed of brave entrepreneurs.
We Indians were yet not ready for the entrepreneurial plunge. Getting a job and moving to the US was the only goal of graduates coming out of colleges.
So when did the change really occur? The answer is when the recession hit the world in 2008-09. Though the impact on the Indian economy was not drastic, still the pressure was felt by fresh engineering graduates who had a heavy student loan on their shoulders but no job offers in hand.
The great Indian dream of joining an IT company and travelling to the US was dwindling and suddenly the IT sector seemed to be a bad career choice. The one good thing that happened during the recession was that the concept of a “single job for life” was erased. Everyone felt insecure in the software sector. Now was the time for people to think different. And the cue came from Silicon Valley’s, and its startup culture.
It is only possible in the IT sector for anybody to come up with a brilliant new software solution or a fab looking site and instantly get rich. The idea caught the imagination of the young Indian, who now wished for similar success back home, and not just depend on the American multinationals for a job.
Moreover, the growth in technology and the fast growing demand for smartphones helped fuel the idea of a technology startups. India, in the past has skipped two major revolutions – the Internet revolution of the 70s and the desktop/laptop revolution of the 90s.
But both the misses have proved to be good for the latest technological revolution of smartphones to catch up very fast. With cell phone companies setting up towers and providing seamless communication and data coverage, there is enough hope for companies to reach out to the potential 1.2 billion customers through the net.
Also, another big strength is in our numbers. India is a young country with almost 65 per cent of the population in the age group of 25-35 years.
The trend of walking up the entrepreneurial path is only going to increase. IT professionals are leaving their well-paid jobs in US and returning back to India to launch startups. The placement trend is also towards startups rather than big companies. We Indians of the new millennia are strong believers of pursuing our own dreams rather than following the instructions of any foreign multinational.
Today, Indian startups are putting their sweat and blood to build a successful business in India. And we wish that each of these businesses became the next billion-dollar company that everyone wants to work for.
Please share your thoughts on the catching trends of entrepreneurships trends and your experiences as a startup founder, or an independent thinker, if you relate to this article.
About the authors:
Surajit and Ashis are entrepreneurs and are presently working on Nexhop, a technological game changer, scheduled to be launched in mid 2015. The team is currently looking for software geeks who believe in changing the world and not just coding for a living. If you are ready for a challenge then reach out to Nexhop at firstname.lastname@example.org
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