A look at India’s Startup EcosystemAayush Maheshwari
Since the beginning of life, humans have tried to reduce their time and effort, which if one thinks, can say that they have been trying to become more and more lazy. Let’s think from the start when humans wanted to travel places but had no other option than to walk till there. A round shaped object that rotates on an axle and can be fitted under any object to run it was invented, Wheel. Next thing was to develop a machine that will bring down human efforts to minimum, which led to the invention of Engine. Communications were increasing constantly from one place to another and humans wanted to connect within seconds. The next big idea led to the invention of Telephone which created communication faster and better and simultaneously decreased the need to travel for purpose.
Looking deep into the startup ecosystem, Unicorns are strengthening themselves by giving humans more comfort and easiness. The need is being created regularly making humans to think what they can do by just procrastination. Swiggy, Zomato (digital restaurant encyclopedia) and Uber eats, offers food at doorstep without even calling to restaurants. If one doesn’t like to drive in crazy traffic and also, save some money at the same time, Ola Cabs is just a few taps away on the smartphones and it will come and drop at the desired location.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm was ranked as India's youngest billionaire in 2017 by the Forbes has built a huge empire of services in e-commerce and digital wallet sector. Almost everything which a normal human requires in his/her daily life is made available on Paytm Mall (India’s Fastest Unicorn). Paytm has reduced the need to carry cash in India by building a strong acceptance network. Competitors in digital payments like PhonePe (digital payment subsidiary of Walmart-Flipkart) has crossed 100-million mark and now partnering with Indian Railways to facilitate payments on its Rail Connect App . The real turnover business lies in shopping and companies like Myntra, Jabong (both are subsidiaries of Walmart-Flipkart) which mainly focuses on customizable clothing and apparels for their customers has changed the way of window shopping (scrolling down the smartphone screen) and has been able to provide easy returns and exchanges, which limited the need of going to malls for shopping.
In order to provide door-to-door logistics services, Delhivery and Shadowfax have come to the rescue for businesses like e-commerce and helping them by keeping their policies of easy returns and exchanges alive. Delhivery, started in 2011 and Shadowfax in 2015 have tapped high potential and competitive market, offering last-mile connectivity for product categories like grocery, food, fashion and electronics.
Online education start-up Byju’s, which is looking towards a valuation of $2 billion and advertises itself as “The Learning App” has garnered around 20 million registered users and 1.26 million annual paid subscribers by catering education services to students from VI to XII at home. Another ed-tech firm Unacademy, focuses primarily on four categories of competitive examinations—IIT JEE, NEET, GATE and banking examinations has become one of the fastest-growing education startup in the country.
Days when one used to contact their agents for flight/bus tickets or hotel bookings are long gone. Online travelling and accommodation aggregation services like Goibibo, RedBus, Oyo Rooms have become the likes of Indians to plan their journey by sitting at home at good prices where they can also compare and read the experiences of people who had been there already.
Startups and ventures that are successful in leveraging humans’ laziness have proved about their huge potential in the market. Out of 158 Unicorns around the globe, India has added 16 Unicorns, including 5 in this year. Every business requires the support of many other businesses, and India is creating everything which one needs to go forward.