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Thursday, September 23 2021

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The NK Perspective: Time to Stand-up and Start-up India!

 

Come on India, Start-up! We’ve been saying this for ages, but somehow, we are unable to turn the ignition key.

We have Start-up India, we have Skill-up India, but we don’t have Stand-up India. We prefer to sit down and make our money the easy way – no 24×7 days, fund crunches, failure, bankruptcy, bureaucratic and market challenges for us. What better than the stock market and regular employment and a family that waits on us to the end of days?

The Pandemic changed all of this.

Start-ups need an entrepreneurial mindset. And that has now become available and is growing – why? because the jobs are no longer viable or available, emigration is difficult, agriculture has become sophisticated and lucrative enough to attract, and technology has advanced beyond our imagination opening up new avenues for innovation every day. The government too finds it easy to promote entrepreneurship with easy loans and related support than to find or create jobs for educated and talented youth.

Take a walk down the road from the Nanthoor junction to Maryhill in Mangaluru City. You will find all sorts of vendors from fruits to fish – all of them young, educated youth. Open your WhatsApp, and you will find home restaurants, takeaways, bakers, craft makers, painters, freelance media services providers, and even cleaning and door delivery options – all start-ups by the youth of the city. They are not your big start-ups with innovations in the tech space, or the so-called “Knowledge” Sector or like those in the retail and entertainment sector. But they are startups and it’s a revolution of sorts. They start small and may end up big.

Then of course there is the knowledge sector, the sector that focuses on apps and equipment that entertain, inform, educate, and provide utilities that will make your life easier – or so you think. From the Lifecycle chapati maker with precision settings like a CNC machine to a smartwatch that is a medical diagnostic tool all rolled into one and Jio and Jio mart – these are tech start-ups that focus on the use of technology to aid the common man on a large scale. They start big and often end up much bigger – if they can sustain their innovation – or fall by the wayside if they are not… like Nokia for example. The latest innovation I have seen that excites me is a fitness league app – where you can form your fitness team and compete with another team on the basis of heart rates, steps, and pulses!

There are entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. A serial entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses and sells them or outsources their management and moves on to his next big Idea – Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Jeff Bezos are just a few. As opposed to a single entrepreneur who has an idea and sees it through to fruition and stays with it till the very end of his days, micromanaging if necessary! As a nation, we were a nation of doers not innovators. But that is changing.

A significant portion of our youth must become serial entrepreneurs if we want the world to woo us or get the world to do as we want them to do.

India has the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world and is expected to witness YoY growth of consistent annual growth of 12-15% given the call for an Atmanirbhar India and the selective squeeze on imports. India had about 50,000 start-ups in 2018; around 8,900 – 9,300 of these were technology-led start-ups; 1300 new tech start-ups were born in 2019 alone implying there are 2-3 tech start-ups born every day. But that should climb to at least 10 – 12 in the next three years.

The start-ups’ ecosystem has increased by 15% year-on-year in 2018, while the growth of the number of incubators and accelerators has grown to 11%. Significantly, the number of women entrepreneurs stood at 14%, up from 10% and 11% in the previous two years.

Startups in the country have been able to create an estimated 40,000 new jobs over the year, taking the total jobs in the start-up ecosystem to 1.6-1.7 lakh. Bangalore has been listed within the world’s 20 leading start-up cities in the 2019 Start-up Genome Project ranking. It is also ranked as one of the world’s five fastest-growing start-up cities. And that is commendable given the very many constraints that are out there.

Start-ups disrupt the existing space. They are sometimes aggressive, sometimes stealthy, and sometimes passive that achieve growth due to a change in environments – take zoom for example. Whichever it is, perseverance and adaptability is the key to both starting up and staying up!

Existing enterprises too are watching the start-up space and wait like pythons in the tall grass of the market ready to invest in or gobble up start-ups that might disrupt or enhance their operating space. Facebook in partnership with Start-up India disbursed cash grants of $50,000 each to the top 5 selected start-ups.

10000 Women entrepreneurs all around the world were provided with a business and management education, mentoring and networking, and access to capital by Goldman Sachs. Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Program in India has recently picked up 16 start-ups.

There is a lot one can do to support oneself – the easiest is to stand up and startup. For a head – start read this guide https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/reources/knowledge-bank.html

Time to Stand-up and Start-up India!

 

Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of Toastamasters.org and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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