India will celebrate January 16 as ‘National Startup Day’

As PM Modi believes that startups are going to be the backbone of New India, YourStory decodes the evolution of startups and Unicorns of India on first-ever National Startup Day.
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India’s startup ecosystem is in the seventh heaven, and the reason is big enough to feel elated.

At the ongoing Startup India Innovation Week, in a virtual interaction with more than 150 startup founders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government has decided to celebrate January 16 as National Startup Day to take the startup culture to the far-flung areas of the country.

At Saturday’s interaction, 150 startup founders divided in six working groups gave presentations to the Prime Minister on six themes -- growing from roots, nudging the DNA, from local to global, technology of future, building champions in manufacturing, and sustainable development.

On his part, PM Modi emphasised that the organisation of the Startup India Innovation Week was all the more important in this year of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, as the role of startups will be critical when Indian freedom reaches its centenary year.

“I congratulate all the startups of the country and all the innovative youth who are raising the flag of India in the world of startups. 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,” PM Modi announced.

The prime minister acknowledged that Indian startups are working with 55 separate industries, and the number of startups has increased from around 500 in 2016 to more than 60,000 today.

“Our startups are changing the rules of the game. That's why I believe startups are going to be the backbone of new India,” PM Modi added.

Noting that 2021 saw the evolution of 42 unicorns (44, according to YourStory's Unicorns of India), PM Modi added that these companies worth thousands of crores of rupees are the hallmark of self-reliant and self-

confident India.

Recalling the concept of the current decade as the ‘techade’ of India, PM Modi listed three important aspects of the massive changes the government is making in this decade to strengthen the innovation, entrepreneurship, and startup ecosystem.

First is to liberate entrepreneurship and innovation from the web of government processes and bureaucratic silos. Second, creating an institutional mechanism to promote innovation. And third, handholding of young innovators and young enterprises.

“Today India is rapidly moving towards hitting the century of the unicorns. I believe the golden era of India's startups is starting now,” said PM Modi.

PM Modi also underlined the role of empowerment by entrepreneurship in addressing the problems of development and regional-gender disparities. He highlighted that today, there is at least one startup in each of the 625 districts of the country, and more than half of the startups are from Tier II and Tier III cities.

“These are converting ideas from ordinary poor families into businesses and lakhs of young Indians are getting employment,” PM Modi added.

The Prime Minister also singled out India’s diversity as a key strength and keystone of India’s global identity. He said that Indian unicorns and startups are the messenger of this diversity. He further added that startups from India can easily reach other countries of the world.

“Don't just keep your dreams local, make them global. Remember this mantra - let's Innovate for India – Innovate from India,” PM Modi said in order to encourage the innovators.

Referring to the future prospects, PM Modi said that as of now only half of our population is online, therefore future possibilities are immense and he appealed to the startups to move towards villages also.

“Whether it is mobile internet, broadband connectivity or physical connectivity, aspirations of villages are rising and rural and semi-urban areas are waiting for a new wave of expansion”, PM Modi added.

PM Modi also told the startups that this is a new era of innovation i.e. ideas, industry and investment and their labor, enterprise, wealth creation and job creation should be for India.

“I am standing with you, the government is with you and the entire country is standing with you,” PM Modi concluded.

Clearly, the recognition of the growth and importance of startups and celebrating that with 'National Startup Day' is going to make starting up and working for startups a matter of pride, as enterprise building will also enable startups to contribute towards nation-building.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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