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Startups need to solve problems for Jhanda Chowk in Hazaribagh and not Union Square, SF – Jayant Sinha

Sindhu Kashyaap
7th Dec 2017
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“Unless we get the kind of capital that public markets can pump into the tech ecosystem, it will be difficult for us to accelerate and get the kind of numbers we are aiming for,” said Jayant Sinha at the NSE Tech Conclave which was organised by the National Stock Exchange (NSE), in association with YourStory in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

India is on track to becoming a $5 trillion and $10 trillion economy. Jayant adds that this is possible with the power of compounding. Over the last 10 or 15 years the economy from being a $1 trillion economy to a $2.2 trillion one.

Jayant Sinha, Minister for Civil Aviation

We added the $1 trillion to the economy with innovation and technology. If we want to make India a $10 trillion economy we need to take the following steps:

Tech ecosystem is going to be the prime driver of making India a $10 trillion economy

Sinha added that if we look at the trillion dollar market cap that we have been able to add today, about $200 billion has been added by the tech ecosystem. This is roughly 20 percent. The telecom sector he added, has brought in $100 to $200 billion. “A large part of the market and value creation come from the tech ecosystem. Tech also is driving financial services. Thus, I believe that a trillion dollars being added by the tech ecosystem into the market cap is possible," he said.

Build Superunicorns not Unicorns 

Sinha believes this is possible by building great companies that can solve India’s problems. “When these companies solve India’s problems they will be solving the world’s problems,” he said. The challenge, however, is that people in the tech ecosystem should get people to not just build unicorns, but build ‘Superunicorns’.

“Superunicorns should aim for a $100 billion market cap. Don’t forget Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is already $60 billion in market cap, Infosys is over $30 to $35 billion, so it is clearly doable. If we can build companies of that size, there is no reason why startups can’t aim to be Superunicorns,” said Sinha.

Alibaba, Tencent, Google, Facebook, or Amazon - these are companies that have built over $500 billion in market cap in five to 10 years. It, therefore, is simple for India, to build companies with a $100 billion market cap.

Build companies that solve India’s problems

The tech ecosystem in the US, in particular, Silicon Valley, is the entrepreneurial engine for the top one billion people on the planet. Sinha added that if we have to generate a $100 billion market cap in India, we need to be the entrepreneurial engine, not for the top one billion but for the six billion people on the planet, more than a billion of which, are here in India.

He said:

“We need to solve India’s problems. You don’t need to solve the problems of Times Square, New York, or of Piccadilly Circle, London. We have to solve the problems of Jhanda Chowk, in my very own Hazaribagh. That will drive innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Sinha.

He went on to add that solving India’s problems will in turn help solve problems in Egypt, Nigeria, South East Asia, and Bolivia. If you look at the size of the market for the next six billion people, these are the markets to push.

Fintech, electric vehicles, and drones will drive innovation

Tom Fieldman has written in a column that if you look at the billion user platforms in this world, there is Google, Facebook and then there is Aadhar. It is a billion-user platform in India. The India stack set of products and services will enable us to build a fintech company that will have $100 billion in market cap.

Electric vehicles and two-wheelers will be the drivers for building an electric ecosystem for batteries, solar charging and different elements that help make large global companies. “Electric two-wheelers is a sizeable opportunity for across the world and should come from India,” added Sinha.

He also predicted that drones will transform the transport sector in India. The India design point for drones is a massive opportunity. Drones can change everything from deliveries, to commute to travel to consumption. “They will reinvent transportation. The cost of aviation travel is at Rs 4 per kilometre, that is also the fare for an auto ride,” said Sinha.

The idea is to think of specific problems and look deeper within the country.

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