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“National Startup day is a validation of start-ups’ role in the growth of India’s GDP”

It was a year ago in January 2021 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced his Government’s plans to launch a Rs 1,000 crore Start-up India Seed Fund at the Prarambh Startup India International Summit. A year later, on January 15, 2022, at a virtual meeting with start-ups, Modi declared that January 16 will be observed as National Start-up Day to take the startup culture to the far flung areas of the country.

Speaking at the event, Modi informed that start-ups of India are working with 55 separate industries and the number of start-ups has increased from less than 500 five years ago to more than 60,000 today. The Prime Minister said, “Our start-ups are changing the rules of the game. That's why I believe start-ups are going to be the backbone of new India.” The Prime Minister noted that last year, 42 Unicorns came up in the country. These companies worth thousands of crores of rupees are the hallmark of self-reliant and self-confident India. “Today, India is rapidly moving towards hitting the century of the Unicorns. I believe the golden era of India’s start-ups is starting now,” he added.

The Government’s positive push to boost the start-up ecosystem in India has been welcomed by the industry. Adgully reached out to the startup ecosystem to gauge their views on the latest impetus by the Modi Government for the start-ups, as well as declaration of the National Start-up Day.

Industry Speak:

Vidit Aatrey, Founder and CEO, Meesho:

“Under the leadership of Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has become a digital powerhouse and is home to the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. We are delighted by the Prime Minister’s efforts to recognise the contribution of start-ups by declaring January 16 as National Startup Day. As a partner in nation-building, we wish to continue working with the government towards the ultimate dream of building a Digital India and Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

Pulkit Agrawal, Co-founder and CEO, Trell:

“Getting such inspiring news ahead of the Budget gives all entrepreneurs a hope and a much needed boost. This initiative will enhance awareness of the start-up ecosystem and job creation furthermore accelerating support to the country’s entrepreneurial community. The government’s decisions and message on prioritising innovation, entrepreneurship, and the start-up environment have three important features – entrepreneurship must be free of bureaucratic silos, an institutional structure for innovation must be built, and provide young innovators a platform to grow and flourish.”

Varun Saxena, CEO and Founder, Bolo Live:

“National Startup day is a validation of the role of start-ups in the growth of a country’s GDP and strengthening India’s position at a global stage. This initiative will not only make start-ups mainstream, but also encourage young talent from seeing entrepreneurship as a primary career option. Dedicating a day to celebrate startups and entrepreneurs is a welcome step. This acknowledgment by the Prime Minister is a big morale booster for entrepreneurs, the new job creators of the country. We should also take a pause and appreciate the role of policymakers and regulators in boosting the start-up ecosystem in India. We look forward to more conducive steps being introduced by the Government to bolster the confidence and passion of entrepreneurs further.”

Greg Moran, CEO and Co-Founder, Zoomcar:

“Our respectable Prime Minister’s declaration of January 16th as the National Startup Day has not only put a stamp on the existing start-up ecosystem in the country, but also encourages start-ups to expand and do more. With this kind of support from the government, aspiring, potential and existing entrepreneurs will gain the confidence to bring about transformation for themselves, bigger companies, and the entire country.”

Gaurav Mangla, CEO and Co-founder, Pickrr:

“A day dedicated to start-ups of India is a great move, and Pickrr appreciates the initiative announced by PM Modi in promoting the start-up ecosystem in India. It will give wings to the growing start-ups and motivate all the innovative youth of our country to start something of their own. National Startup Day will provide a platform for entrepreneurs to discuss the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to India’s youth and economy. According to the reports, Indian start-ups raised $42 billion in 2021, up from $11.5 billion in the previous year. This shows the commitment of this sector. Fintech, D2C brands, and SaaS (software as a service) are emerging businesses. Pickrr, a start-up at heart, is one of the most innovative SAAS providers. We have been disrupting the market and are on a mission to empower D2C brands to flourish. India has the third-largest start-up ecosystem globally, with about 60,000 start-ups contributing heavily to the Indian economy.”

Sumit Jha, Co Founder, Fantasy Akhada:

“The announcement made by the Prime Minister is inspiring. It raises awareness about the startup ecosystem in India and motivates more aspiring entrepreneurs to set up their businesses. While everyone is talking about the forty-two startups that became unicorns in the past year, I believe it is equally important to celebrate small startups and even the ones that failed. Each startup contributes significantly to the growth of the entrepreneurship culture in the country, leading to this golden era of Indian startups, which has only recently begun.”

Aakrit Vaish, Co Founder and CEO, Haptik:

“Tech adoption is booming in every corner of the country and every type of business is becoming a digital-first business. Until five years ago, technology and digital were thought of as a cool thing to do, but now it has become a demand where everything is tech and digital. The most essential thing is that the PM’s acknowledgement to the entrepreneurs’ problems and recommendations to them is the greatest source of inspiration for creative people. Thus, it’s a great time to be in the industry.”

Aman Gupta, Co-founder, SPAG:

“For India, start-ups have always been significant drivers of economic and business activity. The biggest driver to their success has been the policy environment created in the country. With the government’s latest announcement, start-ups get that big push which leads to endless possibilities for growth for India. As communications specialists, we have over the years conducted an extensive qualitative analysis of start-up communications from an investor point of view and provided start-ups with a blueprint for the road forward, to set their expectations and understand the reality of investor communications, and guide start-ups on how to build communications strategies accordingly. There is a big opportunity for young entrepreneurs in the coming months and years as the government clears the way for smooth business.”

Sasidhar Nandigam, CEO, CredR:

“The year 2021 has been historic in terms of the number of start-ups that launched IPOs or achieved Unicorn status. It’s a matter of great happiness as the policymakers and the government are taking due notice of the importance and the contribution of start-ups in the heavy machinery of the fast growing Indian economy. The sector has for long borne the brunt of being treated with some amount of skepticism from old school economists. The start-up sector employs lakhs of youths today. Recognising the start-up sector with a dedicated observational day will definitely help build awareness about the sector and also draw great talent and investment into this sector. Most households with young blood still advise their wards to take up a ‘secure’ job instead of working for a startup. Hope that changes with this move.”

Mangesh Panditrao, CEO & Co-Founder, Shoptimize:

“There has been a lot of innovation by Indian start-ups in recent years resulting in world class products, job opportunities as well as wealth creation. The announcement made by the honorable PM is a big boost to the start-up ecosystem. The continuing support from the Indian Government will create an atmosphere for start-ups to further innovate and grow. We will see more Unicorns coming from the Indian startup ecosystem.”

Dhruv Sawhney, Business Head and COO, nurture.farm:

“This is an incremental step in the acceptance of the start-up culture in India. With the largest working population the country has ever seen and the outburst of the Internet as a service, the Indian youth is today equipped to solve problems that previously did not have a voice or a face. The sheer size, scale and diversity of service delivery in India proves it to be a start-up hub. With a billion-plus population to serve, there are a plethora of services and offerings that, when innovated, can change the standard of living or ease of living for millions of people. In the AgTech space, startups focus on sustainability and incentivising a shift to better practices, thus making it a win-win scenario for farmers, consumers and the environment as a whole. Celebrating such innovators and service providers will boost confidence and give more and more youngsters the necessary push to take risks with respect to their ideas and drive changes.”

Nitin Misra, Co-founder, indiagold:

“The Government in the past has launched several initiatives to boost start-ups in India. Announcement of National Startup Day is not just symbolic, it conveys the seriousness of the Government to foster & grow the start-up ecosystem in India. While we still have a long way to go, the intent & actions from the government are encouraging.”

Vicky Jain ,Founder, uKnowva:

"The COVID-19 pandemic threw a lot of challenges in front of startups however they fought those fearlessly. This fearlessness is giving hope for a bright future as far as startups in India are concerned. Despite the Indian startup ecosystem being ranked at 29 and falling behind several countries, nearly 13 startups have managed to enter the Unicorn Club in 2021. This entry takes the total startup members of Unicorn Club to 55. While the overall idea of declaring Jan 16 as startup days is great, I personally feel the government should also put some thoughts and motivation on the startups to be profitable too. Majority of the unicorns today are at loss with many of them having a flawed business model. Only a few are profitable and very few are bootstrapped and profitable. In continuation to this, the government must try and encourage startups to concentrate more on value creation rather than just valuation. Also, the government must set up a team of founders, investors, angels, lawyers and accountants who can ensure that the final policies surrounding startups are as flawless as possible and maintain the right balance between accountability, transparency and doing business."

Pranav Dangi, Founder and CEO, The Hosteller:

“National Startup Day is a wonderful endeavour to empower and shine the light on the innovative ventures in this country. It will help startups stay motivated on their path and push them to perfect services with the knowledge that the government acknowledges their hard work and creative visions. We hope to see more focus on small and middle tier start-ups that will benefit greatly from the exposure and consideration. The start-up market in India is not only booming but exactly at that precipice where this positive and supportive environment will propel growth in exponential numbers. This is a wonderful opportunity to really connect our decision makers with some of the most creative, innovative and ground breaking businesses of the nation. Big things seem to be on the way and that excites us to keep pushing harder as well.”

Zafar Imam, CEO, FinShell:

“We welcome the decision of our honorable PM to declare January 16th as the National Startup Day. In the last few years, Indian start-ups have contributed to changing the image of our country. It has created thousands of new job opportunities, disrupted many industries and helped in penetrating untouched geographies by the use of innovative technology. Most of the start-ups use the latest technologies such as AI, IoT, Analytics, and Robotics etc. Start-ups are not just creating a space of their own, but are also helping traditional players by providing them support to expand their businesses and bring innovation. Successful start-up companies have become money making engines for their business owners, employees and shareholders. This recognition, by the Government, will help the young generation to think beyond boundaries and continue to venture in new areas to contribute in the economic growth of our country. Investors across the globe have shown interest in Indian start-ups, considering huge opportunities in different segments.”

Anshuk K Aggarwal, Co- Founder, AdYogi:

“National startup day is undoubtedly a great initiative by Shri Modi Ji. It will serve profoundly in making the new generation of youth aware that starting your own venture is a viable career alternative. As more and more job seekers turn into entrepreneurs, I am sure India will see a wave of homegrown companies solving unique challenges like never before. And overtime, this must also bring down the prevailing unemployment rate in India.”

Layak Singh, Founder & CEO, Artivatic.AI:

"When the head of the state awards recognition to a phenomenon, industry or individual, it’s indeed a momentous day. And for him to dedicate a day as the ‘National Startup Day’, says everything that needs to be about the importance the state is bestowing on this industry. Startups have the ability to indeed support India just as a backbone does to a body. Startups today focus not on the problems we face but on the solutions and services we can offer to combat the issues. That’s a novel, result-oriented approach to other industries that cuts straight to the chase; thus helping us align our ideas to our work and the result is there for all to see. For a long while we have let textile and jute, iron and steel, cement, etc. carry the burden of driving the economic growth of the nation—it’s our turn now. Startups such as Artivatic are akin to entrepreneurship on the IT highways, functioning in a manner that generates substantial profits as well as employment. All this happens while we’re upgrading our nation to the cutting edge of technological advancement, so that not only do we serve the world with our services but also our own citizens."

Siddharth Kukatlapalli, Co-Founder and CBO, Syntizen:

“We are really excited about the announcement of ‘National Startup Day’ and strongly believe that start-ups are the future. Start-ups provide smart solutions for problem statements in a cost effective manner. We are also very much along the lines of Hon’ble PM’s words “Innovate for India, Innovate from India” and look forward to providing Syntizens Digital Identity Solutions to more state governments, followed by implementing our plans of going global.”

Sushant Kumar, CEO & MD, AMO Mobility Solutions:

“The declaration of National Startup Day further emboldens the position of Indian tech talent in the global world. It is a monumental opportunity for budding founders and entrepreneurs to get deeper insights of the market. The move is also likely to encourage further investments in the country, which will generate more employment and innovations.”

Anshuman Narain, Vice President, CashBean:

“Start-up in India means a blue ocean of opportunity and leapfrogging the Indian economy many levels above. It means also tackling its own unique set of challenges, but the impact of a successful model once those challenges are overcome are tremendous. National Startup Day means the day of both celebrations and revaluations. A reaffirmation of the core principle behind every venture ‘Take India Forward’. It is a day for all entrepreneurs to platform together over their shared values.”

Sanket Shendure, Co-Founder and CEO, Minko:

“The declaration recognises those who have been toiling in the shadows. It will make it easier for future entrepreneurs to have the hard conversations with their families and get their support. It will lead to ease of doing business and inspire the youth towards alternate career opportunities.”

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