• #StartUpIndia : Big evolution in India’s startup story, women take lead

    How can women transform the startup landscape of the country? How does Nasscom, India’s key body focussed on technology and entrepreneurs, get more women online? In the week of #StartUpIndia, we catch up with Rajat Tandon, who is leading the 10,000 startups effort for Nasscom.

    What makes India a startup nation? #startupindia 

    Over the years, India has become the breeding ground for new startups and innovations. We have been studying the startup scene for quite some time now and have seen tremendous growth in the emergence of innovative startups in the country.

    The young entrepreneurial spirit, aspirations to build a unicorn product and huge amount of money flowing into this ecosystem makes India truly a startup nation. 

    According to a NASSCOM report titled ‘Start-up India-Momentous- Rise of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem’, India has emerged as the youngest start-up nation in the world with over 72 per cent of founders being less than 35 years old. The country has a presence of more than 4,200 startups, making it the 3rd largest start up base worldwide.

    The young entrepreneurial spirit, aspirations to build a unicorn product and huge amount of money flowing into this ecosystem makes India truly a startup nation. Multiple indicators point to the fact that this ecosystem is not only undergoing rapid evolution with each passing year, but is also becoming increasingly attractive. The ecosystem is drawing huge numbers of investors not only nationally but globally as well. With over 100 percent growth in number of PE/VCs/Angel investors along with a 125 per cent growth in funding over last year, one can safely say that the Indian start-up ecosystem has risen to the next level.

    How are startups redefining the way India does business?

    India is known to be the youngest startup nation across the world. Startups in India are changing everything around us with innovative solutions and products. Technology has changed the way businesses are being perceived; this is the most exciting time to be in the world of business, and to most part of it the startups are playing a crucial role with their disruptive technologies.

    start-ups are creating innovative technology solutions that address key problems that India as a country face around power, healthcare, employment, and education.

    In addition to enhancing the lifestyle of citizens, start-ups are creating innovative technology solutions that address key problems that India as a country face around power, healthcare, employment, and education. Further, startups are empowering SMBs by enhancing their customer reach and overall business productivity. We are now recognized globally the way we are into this business which is definitely something to be proud of.

    How are women redefining the startup growth story?

    We firmly believe that it’s not about the gender in particular doing a business but how well your product is. Women now are definitely coming forward with great vision and approach to run a business. They form an essential part of the ecosystem.

    NASSCOM has been working closely to support women entrepreneurship in the country with various initiatives. The Girls in Tech Program, unveiled under the aegis of 10,000 start-ups, is encouraging women to turn entrepreneurs and helping them build the skills they require to do so.

    To encourage and evangelize the women start-ups community in the country, NASSCOM 10, 000 start-ups has also launched Blackbox Connect Female Founders Edition in partnership with Black Box Connect. The initiative will give women entrepreneurs from India an opportunity to showcase their work at a global level. NASSCOM is committed to create next-gen women entrepreneurs from the country and will look at more such initiatives going forward.

    What according to you are the three important ingredients that make a good startup owner?

    -An unwavering passion

    -Accepting failures

    -The desire to learn more and take risks

    It’s about being local and social, will services drive startup growth?

    India has traditionally been a services industry and with the local service delivery models doing so well, we feel it will surely drive the startup growth. However, it always boils down to the service offering; the key is in finding genuine solutions to real world problems, thereby, providing convenience to users/consumers.

    Companies that provide unique services and offer better solutions will grow much more quickly

    Every business exists to serve a need for its customers. However, most companies employ the same limited set of business models – which are rarely enough to solve all the different challenges customers face. Companies that provide unique services and offer better solutions will grow much more quickly.

    Why does scale hinder the rise of many startups?

    The start-up ecosystem is in a period of dizzying growth. The industry’s booms and busts make growth, an essential ingredient in value creation. For start-ups to succeed, across different verticals scalability is a very important factor. From investment opportunities to potential customers, everyone looks at the scalability of a startup. Scale can hinder the rise of start-ups unless it is looking at a very niche, selective audience.

    What’s Nasscom’s mission with respect to promote female founders?

    Our mission is to enhance women representation in technology start-ups and build a conducive landscape for women entrepreneurs in India. It is imperative that they are encouraged to join the start-up revolution in the country. As mentioned above, we at NASSCOM through our collaborations and initiatives hope to create more inclusive networks and to move the needle up for women entrepreneurs.

    How can we encourage more women to get online?

    India is well on its way to become one of the largest Internet population in the world. However, usage of Internet amongst women in India is lower than a lot of other countries. While this number is steadily increasing but the need of the hour is to co-opt with corporates and public sector alike to create enhanced awareness around the benefits. Socially active corporates today are working closely to generate awareness around the need to get women online as well as encourage existing users to help get more women online. We at NASSCOM are committed to working closely with them to amplify the awareness building.

    Usage of Internet amongst women in India is lower than a lot of other countries

    How is the startup ecosystem changing opportunities for women?

    The ecosystem is so vast and profound that it is creating opportunities for everyone. Moreover, we are in the digital age today, easy access to internet lets anybody run a business sitting at just one place. A number of e-commerce startups are creating business opportunities for women who wish to work from home both in rural and urban areas.

    Why are government efforts important to boost the startup story?

    India is all set to outperform all other nations on the world stage in the years to come. We are already the third largest startup nation, setting up of small businesses by these young entrepreneurs is definitely going to boost the Indian economy in the near future. Hence, it is essential for the Government to boost Indian startup culture for the nation to grow beyond. We are very pleased with the Start Up India, Stand Up India initiative and we are yet again supporting Government’s largest startup programme for the country. The aim of the initiative is to make India the largest start-up hub in the world which will further help drive the country’s economy towards better results.

    #StartUpIndia is a big initiative to promote entrepreneurs, why do we need more of these?

    To continue encouraging young entrepreneurs, inspiring them to create globally renowned products and make India the biggest startup nation of the world, we definitely need initiatives like these to continue in future as well.

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