In the past 15 years, the startup culture in India has gone to new heights, of highs and lows. Some startups have emerged as successful full-fledged business ventures while others did not live the same fate. The cycle of making a company, going to investors, getting the funding, and then getting smashed to bits began. Some did not have a good revenue model, some had potential but lacked good market strategies and some were merely brain child of their founders whose ideas might sound good but lacked practicality and problem-solving. The boom in Indian startup culture, from around 350 in 2014 to over 90,000 startups in 2023 with more than 100 unicorns.
When startups started getting recognition it revolutionized the way Indian traditional business. Startup refers to a term that seemed to be a platform for many young Indians who had great ideas but lacked either funds or simply knowledge. The startup model not only helped make people independent but also came out to be a platform where one can truly showcase their talent and make business out of it. Not only to its owners but people who would benefit from its services and products. What a truly good startup is? Well, anything that can solve problems, uniquely serves the society for the
better and also has a good revenue model to sustain itself. Startups like Infosys and Cred not only left an impact on society but were able to showcase innovations, problem-solving, educating people, and contributing to the economy and the national interest of the country.
When something is innovative and unique at the same time, it often becomes a trend and thus starts the real problem. People across India wanted to be a part of this startup culture and started opening new ones. This race gave them pleasure and some sort of identity which they lacked before. They wouldn’t call themselves owners instead, they called themselves CEOs and Founders of their companies.
Only a few startups are surviving and fewer are growing really. But Why is it happening? The three points are enough to conclude this debate,
- Their Startup itself: most people jump into the startup scenario, with the hope that their idea can be called a good startup idea but little do they know about running it practically. Their business sounded well but simply lacked pragmatism and started to fade away.
- The “Anything” Concept: Sure anything can become a startup idea but to run it a person may also need the purpose, to build it for a higher meaning, not just build it for the sake of it.
- The Indian Market: Well, the Indian market is itself so cluttered and it is difficult to start a new venture, from funding to a big list of laws and regulations and last but not least the mindset of the people. You see In India there is a big dominance of traditional business and people are connected to them for years. To break this chain is not an easy challenge.
Well, the last one always gets ugly, A similar happened with startup culture in India, when starting a tea stall after an engineering degree or now even MBBs is considered a revolutionary act or is it a waste of the seat which could have been used for better in that particular field. Not demeaning any tea stall or cafe, it is a big part of the Indian market ecosystem the market size of tea is estimated to be approximately Rs 10,000 crore, with a penetration of more than 90% in the domestic market. What gets uglier when people go on to further motivate people to do the same and here all the creativity and soul of entrepreneurship die.
The new trend is even dangerous where social media influencers talk about big words like entrepreneurship and startups without having a necessary background of it. The startup culture can be influential because India is a country of 1.8 Billion where there is no scarcity of ideas, knowledge, and skill set. All it needs is accurate and rational exposure to entrepreneurial value.
By Harsh Surey