India at 70: 70 quotes on our startup successes, challenges and opportunities

By Madanmohan Rao|14th Aug 2017
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Over the past few decades, the rise of IT services firms and digital startups, along with a wide spectrum of other entrepreneurial initiatives, have transformed India’s growth story. Governments and MNCs are actively engaging with India’s startups, and Indian educational universities and corporate leaders are also ramping up their innovation quotient.

As India completes 70 years of independence, this ‘startup nation’ narrative has become an integral part of aspirational India. We are at the aptly-described ‘70 not out’ phase, and the best is yet to come – though there is the proverbial dark side in terms of challenges to overcome. In this special edition of StoryBites, we present 70 quotes drawn from our stories this year, capturing India’s startup narrative. YourStory wishes all our readers all the best on the occasion of Independence Day, and reaffirms our commitment to covering, analysing and promoting India’s startup story!

India has always been an entrepreneurial country, the post-independence socialist experiment is only a small blip. - Hindol Sengupta, Fortune India

The mission of building India through enterprise has never been more relevant and possessed of more standing than it is today. - Shashank Mani Tripathi, Jagriti Sewa Sansthan

India will be a global player in the digital economy, and it will be competitive with any country in the world. - Sunder Pichai, Google

Every time I come back to India, the thing that grabs you is the entrepreneurial spirit of the place. - Satya Nadella, Microsoft

India is a significant hub in the global technology startup scene. - Bernd Leukert, SAP

We are impressed by the great entrepreneurial spirit in India. - Philip Schiller, Apple

There is no better time to be in India and that too in technology because of the opportunities presented in this country. - VC Gopalratnam, Cisco

India is the cradle of data science. – DJ Patil, former US chief data scientist

Since India is a unique country, what we build here ends up working across different geographies, so in essence, we are building for the globe from India. - Apurva Dalal, Uber India

With a clearer rule of law, India might just take off. - Tim Draper, Draper Venture Network

Startups can drive growth for the country with their ability to be frugal yet innovative. The entire focus around the Startup India campaign needs to be built over time. - Anish Basu, Shotang

With receptive and responsive governments at the helm, the scenario appears bright for startups in India. - Rahul Bhagchandani, YouthConnect

Bengaluru is among the top five most favourable ecosystems for startups in the world and the World Economic Forum has given it the ‘most dynamic city in the world’ tag. - Priyank Kharge, Karnataka IT and BT minister

Mumbai will lead the charge in making India a global fintech leader. - Radha Kapoor, ISME ACE

Mysore is the real yoga capital of the world. - Arathi Menon, 'Smart Life'

Logistics will be at the heart of India’s internet growth story. - Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

SMEs are the backbone of the economy and if India is to continue to witness high growth, then supporting them is non-negotiable. - Harshvardhan Lunia, Lendingkart

Consumer credit in India is highly underpenetrated and is a complex problem to solve. - Abheek Anand, Sequoia Capital India Advisors

India as a market cannot handle hyper funded startups. It needs time and space to grow and hyper funding spoils this. - Parag Dhol, Inventus Capital

While India has earned recognition as a startup nation, it is as yet an unproven scale up nation. - Sanjeev Aggarwal, Fundamentum Partnership

Venture investments in India are entering a new cycle with founders focussing on problems that are unique to India and those impacting hundreds of millions of lives. - Rahul Chandra, Helion Venture Partners

We should have 1,000 world-class incubators in the country to take the startup ecosystem forward. - Shailendra Singh, DIPP

In the past 10 years, India has absorbed approximately $100 billion in VC/PE investments. In the next five years, India needs over $200 billion of investments. - Sudhir Sethi, IDG Ventures India

The prospects of e-commerce in India will continue to be a challenge from a profits point of view. - K. Vaitheeswaran

There is a whole movement of brands that can hit it big in India, from the FMCG category to industrial design. It is great to see young entrepreneurs start this movement. - Harminder Sahni, Wazir Advisors

Today’s young and aspiring leaders are creating a tectonic shift in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in India. - Rana Kapoor, YES BANK

It is widely known that by 2021, India will have more internet users than the entire population of six G7 countries. - Abheek Singhi, BCG India

Rural India is the least connected, where just one out of 10 people are connected with the internet. – Rajan Anandan, Google

Enabling Indic content on the internet will lead to a growth of 39 percent with the current internet user base of India. - IAMAI

Connected solutions are coming to India faster than you think. Our camera sensors use AI to enforce traffic laws. We are able to manage bus fleets on real-time traffic. - Vijay Ratnaparkhe, Robert Bosch Engineering India

Instead of banning cash, it is going to help the cause of Cashless India, if we are able to incentivise and pull users towards the cashless economy. – Shailaz Nag, PayU India

India is the dark horse in the AI race given it has lot of data, brilliant data science talent, and early adoption environment due to broken processes. - Manish Singhal, pi Ventures

India has a multitude of large-scale problems that can apply the power of big data to find plausible solutions and implement them. - Praveen Bhadada, Zinnov

Indian mobile gaming is now where Bollywood was 10 years ago. People were indulging in piracy and not willing to pay. - Vaibhav Gupta, Octro

Apps are becoming an intrinsic part of Indian culture. - Oren Kaniel, AppsFlyer

Many SMBs do not even have websites, although their products are globally competitive. - Pawan Gupta, Connect2India

India’s digital economy has acquired a momentum of its own and its low-cost digital technology is being talked about the world over. - Ravi Shankar Prasad, Electronics and Information Technology Minister

India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, and presents a significant opportunity for private players to profitably organise perishable produce value chains. - Karthik Jayaraman, Waycool

Today, people are talking about sustainable living, but it starts with sustainable agriculture. - Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnataka Agriculture Minister

India is a seriously water-stressed nation, and is faced with the prospect of becoming the planet’s most populous country by 2050, with an estimated population of 1.6 billion, while only having 4 percent of the world’s water resources. – Greenpeace report

The youth do not want to do farming because farming is the only business where the farmers have to take all kinds of risks without expecting profits. - Rupesh Baghel, farmer

People in cities hardly get the space to experience growing a vegetable and fruit. - Avani Jain, Upaj

Without compassionate capitalism, this country cannot create jobs and solve the problem of poverty. – Narayana Murthy, Infosys

Aadhar is a great example of how governments can build the most modern digital public infrastructure, and make it available as a public good to everybody. – Nandan Nilekani

Creating a startup along with engineering education is a great way to gain industry exposure, knowledge, and skills. - Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys

The world is no longer flat as countries around the world turn inwards and protectionist and India needs to holds its own ground and build expertise and excellence. - Ronnie Screwvala, UpGrad

Data is the new natural resource. We are at the beginning of an era where data is the new oil. - Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries

The diaspora has contributed USD 69 bn to Indian economy; it represents the best of Indian ethos, culture and values. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India is one of the epicentres of IoT. - Ravi Gururaj, TiE Bangalore

India has over 150 million registered two-wheelers and is the world’s second largest producer of motorcycles. - Deep Singh, Ola

It’s time for India to create global content, content that has more worldwide demand. - Parth Shah, Centroid India

India holds great potential for the solar, renewable energy, and waste water management sector in the development phase. It is still, however, highly unorganised. - Rishi Mathur, Soletrix

Even if there are toilets, people don’t use them because they’re not clean. And with no sense of ownership, why will they keep it clean? - Gautam Kumar, Safai Sainiks

Unless there is a greater understanding of urban commons and a move towards preserving them, lakes and other common spaces stand no chance as cities expand. - Rekha Raghunathan, Indian Institute of Human Settlements

Pricing and quality transparency are non-existent in healthcare. India is about a decade away from quality transparency. - Nivesh Khandelwal, LetsMD

It is so ironical that on one hand India is making remarkable progress, but on the other, millions of others live with acute problems. - Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Laureate

We are protecting cows but not women. We need to aggressively take steps to protect women. - Jaya Bachchan, MP

‘Kaali’ or not, I know I’m lovely! - Deyvika

In a country where there is so much discrimination against women, so much violence against women, isn’t it essential to listen to women’s stories from their point of view? - Alankrita Shrivastava, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’

We are riddled with centuries of conscious and subconscious biases. As women, it falls upon us to correct them. - Chandni Jafri, Mumbai Angels

If I being a mother of two can win a medal, so can all. Take me as an example and don’t give up. – Mary Kom

If we want agriculture to survive in India, we need to acknowledge and respect the contributions made by farm women. - Suneel Joshi

Safety of women and children is a good metric of how well we are managing our economic growth and social transformation. - RA Venkitachalam, Public Safety Mission

We ask of all of India to break this inhuman cycle and demand justice for the victims of child prostitution. - Tapoti Bhowmick, Sanlaap India

Nearly 85 percent of child labourers in India are hard-to-reach, invisible, and excluded, as they work largely in the unorganised sector. - Ministry of Statistics, India

In India, 50 percent of fifth graders cannot read grade II textbooks. - Ravi Dhanuka, i-Saksham

The way we teach needs a rethink. - Narayanan Ramaswamy, KPMG India

Only 2.3 percent of the workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68 percent in the UK. - National Skill Development Mission

As a country with 1.2 billion people, highly vulnerable for multiple hazards, we lack in expertise and organised civil society response to emergencies. - Mohamad Farukh, Rapid Response

One person dies every four minutes on Indian roads, the highest in the world. - Harman Singh Sidhu, ArriveSafe

There are close to zero considerations for people with a disability in India. - Preethi Srinivasan, SoulFree

India is all about design and craftsmanship. We have so many talented designers who are creating beautiful designs, but unfortunately, they are not able to market themselves. - Shruti Jiwarajka, Chambers of Ink

Be with the times, but also immerse in Indian culture and heritage. - Brinda Miller, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Instead of focusing on everything that’s broken, talk about everything that can be done to fix what’s broken. – Neena Budhiraja, Ola

In this country, if you don’t scream and yell then nobody gives a damn. - Arnab Goswami, The Republic

People in India seem to have the hunger to learn more and achieve more compared to other markets. - Ishan Gupta, Udacity

The future of the world will need citizens who are empathetic, embrace diversity, communicate well, and work collaboratively in a global world. - Manju Balasubramanyam, DPS North Bangalore

Whatever you earn, try to give back a little to your native place. - Girindra Nath Jha, ‘Isha Main Mati Sona’

We have got so much from this country, from this civilisation. We now need to focus more on its ideals. – Dr Vandana Shiva

Every generation should outdo the last. It’s the best way forward, both in wisdom and wealth. - Anish Behera, Cheil Worldwide

My wish for children is freedom. The freedom to think, the freedom to live. – Priyanka Chopra

Educate and raise the masses, and thus alone a nation is possible. - Swami Vivekananda

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).