Startups need a Break to Standup…
It is time to standup with startups.
Startups are redefining the business landscapes; scale and size are not waiting for the time, age and gender are questioning the age-old assumptions. India is changing rapidly; generation next and digital natives are changing the face of India.
With over 72% of the Indian startup founders below the age of 35, India is standing up to the title holder of world’s youngest startup nation. India it is stated to be having the third largest startups in the world.
It is all happening here in India and the question is where are the global entrepreneurs?
I was witnessing to an animated conversation that was moderated by none other than suave Dr. Prannoy Roy in NDTV with three generations of Indian Entrepreneurs with the perfect mentor Nikesh Arora from Softbank leading the startup revolution in the country. Dr. Prannoy Roy wonderfully started by stating that if we want to peep into the future of India, it is here to hear these fascinating stories of startups. It was Nikesh Arora who summed it up with stating that it is an intriguing paradox that digital immigrants have to formulate the policies for the digital natives.
The founder & CEO of OYO, Ritesh Agarwal is just 22 and he has already set the startup engine on fire. He is an infant in business venture but speaks like a seasoned veteran in running business. He has never gone to college; he is still a student of business but speaks like an acclaimed professor. He has chosen an area not much would have shown interest given the fragmentation in quality and the spread of locations are concerned. The budget rooms and with good quality standards, these two has never gone together but he has successfully attempted to break that barriers in the hospitality sector.
The founder & CEO of Paytm, Vijay Shankar Sharma is in his mid thirties and has a vision for next fifty years. Though we generally talk for next five years, maybe next ten years, he has his eyes landing five decades ahead of his competition. He wants to change the way money is being transacted in this country, make it a cashless economy. He is a college drop out. He had vernacular school education, Hindi was his language of communication and always found it difficult to catch up with the studies and the match up with the friend’s performance in the class, language was the barrier, he took it as challenge and broke the barrier and today he speaks the English language with flair and with finesse that can make an English tutor pause and ponder.
The founder & CEO of Snapdeal, Kunal Bhal has seen some of the jagged journey in setting up his e-commerce venture. He had the best of education from University of Pennsylvania to Wharton School. There is a story behind his story that is inspiring and that is truly transforming. There are hundreds of people who produces their products but have always found it difficult to sale, it was the middleman who took away the cake and the seller took the cherry and the producer was left with almost nothing. It was the story of a woman in the state of Gujarat, where she had to face the challenge of selling her sarees to the hardcore retailers in the physical world till she got connected with Snapdeal the virtual world which has changed her life forever with sale of $3.5M every year through this new platform.
There is always the talk on the startup ecosystem and the required environment which makes all the difference in walking the talk. The moment we talk of ecosystem and environment we talk about the Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area. It is not merely about idea and mind but is more about the ability to execute an idea and the mindset of people. Ideas keep coming and going, it is in the speed and skillful execution that ultimately matters. Failures are a part of any startup engagement but the art lies in disengaging after a failure and standing up to startup, the next venture. Taking failures on the stride, it is all in the mindset. Silicon Valley is not about mobilizing capital but more about managing the mindset.
Bengaluru, the city of garden is emerging as the Silicon Valley of India and the city which saw the rise of Information Technology that was once spearheaded by Narayan Murthy of Infosys and Azim Premji of Wipro has become the mentors in igniting the entrepreneurship culture and the baton of building new businesses has been handed over to generation next. The startups in Bengaluru are now leading the pack in the country. The movers and shakers coming from the city are Flipkart to InMobi to Freshdesk to MuSigma to Practo and it is today home to over 1800 plus startups, as per the Angel Network and the city is second fastest growing startups in the world, given the fuel it can fire and take the top post very soon.
The country needs to standup for the startup, the government needs to provide the breaks that will breakaway from the conventions, notions, procedures and paraphernalia that takes ages to start a startup and takes wages to mazes to be dealt for smooth running and managing of startup organizations.
The breaks that can make the startup in India to take off are as follows;
It takes a less than a day to start a company in a country like Singapore just 4 hrs away, here in India is takes weeks and even months, and so much of running around the government offices to get the Company registered and get the basics of the Company in place to make it up and running. Information Technology has changed the way registration is done in other countries and many of the software products that are behind such simplification of processes have been designed and deployed by Indians, though the shipment of product has been from the bay area of US but the brain has been from the Indians.
It is time for India to simplify the processes and amplify the formation of companies.
The list of forms and the amount of filling is like giving a primary school student the college mathematics, and the way the student would react and behave is very much similar to the way new entrepreneur who has no knowledge and very little information react when he gets the statutory books to put order and get the right timing for filing. The tax angle is highly entangling… the tax on salary to tax on services to the tax on buying to tax on selling, the tax net is wide and tax net is complex. The Tax System was primarily designed for old economy where E-Commerce services to software-as-a-services (SaaS) was not in the purview but today with the advent of new economy it just not need tweaking but needs a fundamental transformation in the way taxes are applicable.
It should be helpful rather than hinder the functioning of business.
It is no-brainer to ask the question on the need of capital for business and continuous inflow of fund to get the business engine going. The capital has never been available freely nor abundantly for experimentation or researching, it is moderated and the mandate to get the fund flowing is entwined in so many conditions and stipulation, not easy to abide by or get it done easily. The task of getting the capital to keep the business growth going and scaling newer heights has always been tough and it has been tougher here in India. The Year 2015 saw change in trend and the flow of capital was in excess and the valuation of companies was crazy. These are just drops in the ocean.
There are hundreds of startups who have no access to the capital and starving for fund to fire their growth engine.
India is today housed to many unicorns starting from Flipkart to Snapdeal to Paytm to Ola to Quickr to InMobi to Zomato to MuSigma…majority are from Bengaluru the unicorn capital of India. These are few companies who have got the breakthroughs but there are hundreds of others who are looking for the break…