A few decades ago, people were not very keen to leave a high-paying job to apply their skills and challenge their destiny in a startup. Entrepreneurship was not so prevalent. If you were an entrepreneur or part of a startup, it was likely a family endeavor or enterprise. However, the present scenario is entirely different. Today’s youth are keen to experiment and take risks. At present, many young fearless entrepreneurs have set the path for a wave of entrepreneurship in the country. This entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in not just innovation but also in entrepreneurship being recognised as the driving force of the market. Also, with government actively endorsing startups and small businesses, the wheel of entrepreneur-driven innovation has started rolling. Today, India is at a threshold of startup boom, as we are world’s third fastest growing startup eco-system. With 3,100 startups, India is closely behind UK with 4,000 startups and catching up to US which has 41,500 startups. India is changing and so are the aspirations of its people.
Fitch Ratings, a credit rating agency, recently announced India’s sovereign credit rating at ‘BBB’ with a stable outlook. Such progressive insights have positively impacted the minds of aspirational youth of our country. People now aim to start their own ventures. The country’s youth today are more inclined towards the idea of launching a startup instead of settling down abroad with a high paying job. This drive is also fueled by necessity.
It has been estimated that in order to accommodate the 300 million people who will join India's workforce between 2010 and 2040, India needs to create roughly 10 million jobs a year. This gap can’t be filled by existing and large enterprises alone. Therefore, India must increase employment opportunities by not only forging partnerships with industries overseas, but also supporting and empowering its youth to start businesses. As we have seen in the other countries, small businesses, especially those positioned to grow both locally and globally, drive the economy and employment.
With the spirit of entrepreneurship alight, there are two important factors for success that the Indian governing bodies, founders, and investors should use to ensure sustainable growth:
Invest in developing local leaders
With Indian-born and educated Indians leading most international industries and with India producing the most number graduates-cum-billionaires than any other country outside the United States, India has proven it has local talent that can be groomed into impactful leaders. Instead of displacing foreign talent into India, it is imperative that India develops and retains its leaders. Young and passionate entrepreneurs as well as experienced professionals must be provided opportunities for overseas exposure so they can get hands-on training from successful leaders and businesses. The guidance and lessons learned from overseas entrepreneurs and business models would help local talent apply their ideas more effectively and accelerate their growth and success.
Besides, giving startups and their investors’ tax incentives will also help keep startups going and growing. Startups are the buzzword in the Indian economy and are the epicenter of economic activity and growth. India, however, is still not a tax-friendly country for startup investment which is forcing some startups to register abroad. Currently, many Indian startups register themselves in Singapore, US, or Hong Kong to raise capital. However, with the central government rigorously promoting startups, I anticipate that the current scenario and lack of incentives will change to support the startup culture in India.
Employ trainable talent and teach critical and creative thinking
Acquiring required skill sets is a costly challenge for most startups. Instead, hiring candidates who are trainable and teaching them the skills that growing startups require is critical. Moreover, the advantage of on-site training is both less overall cost and higher quality training. For both employers and Indian educators, to identity trends in startup requirements and invest in training for those skill sets will expand the talent pool and fuel the growth of growing small businesses. Training employees will not just help to achieve success but will also lead to employee development. Applying critical and creative thinking to training curricula is also critical to cultivating India’s entrepreneurial spirit and mentality.
Today, the emergence of entrepreneurs and their contribution to the national economy is quite visible in India. In order to harness their potential and sustain development, it is essential to devise apposite strategies that fuel the growth and success of the entrepreneurs and their startups.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. To raise an entrepreneur and a startup, it takes a nation.
About the Author:
An Indian-born, US-raised, and educated entrepreneur, Anjli Jain is the Founder of Kryptos Mobile and several other startups. After living in India for three years, she established accelerators in Gurgaon and Bengaluru through which she actively invests in, mentors, and incubates Indian-based startups.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)