Nykaa’s CEO Falguni Nayar has set high standards for contemporary entrepreneurship within the Indian marketplace. Falguni Nayar has been constantly hitting the headlines after becoming India’s richest self-made woman billionaire in 2021. From being an investment banker to the CEO of a leading beauty startup, Nayar’s journey of being India’s brand new billionaire is inspiring as well as thought-provoking.
The veteran investment banker is an instance of how India is a nurturing ground for ideas and innovation—becoming a hub for ‘passion-preneurs’ to grow and succeed. Other than Nykaa, various startups such as Zomato, CRED, UpGrad and others have earned distinct startup titles within the country and proved that India is the primary avenue for startups to flourish and prosper.
In addition, the Indian Prime Minister’s recent announcement over his periodical broadcast show highlighted India’s stature in nurturing startups and catering to the next-gen innovative minds.
Leading the World
In his latest ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast, India’s Prime Minister announced that India has more than 70 unicorns or startups that have crossed the valuation of more than one billion dollars. Elaborating more he added, “Startups are getting record investments year after year. This sector is progressing very fast. The reach of startups has increased even in small towns of the country.
In every country with a large youth population, three aspects matter a lot. Sometimes, it becomes the true identity of the youth.”
He further added, “The first aspect is—ideas and innovation. The second is the spirit of taking risks and the third is the ‘can-do spirit,’ that is, the determination to accomplish any task, no matter how adverse the circumstances be. When these three things combine, phenomenal results are produced, miracles happen. Due to the success of startups, everyone has noticed them and the way they are getting support from investors from all over the country and abroad. Perhaps, just a few years ago, no one could have imagined this happening.”
India: The Blooming Ground for Startups
Sharing that Indian youth are also contributing to the solution of global problems through startups, the PM interacted with Mayur Patil who, along with his three college friends, has put forward a solution to tackling pollution by introducing technology by which he managed to reduce emissions of buses by 40%. Moreover, the speech established that the youth of the country have accomplished this success in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
As compared to the stature of startups in 2015, India has vastly grown over the years for embracing the prosperity and bloom of the startup industry. Moreover, about 70 startups have crossed the valuation of more than $1 billion. Till 2015, India was home to hardly 9-10 startups that had earned the unicorn badge. Presently in 2021, India is flying high in the world of unicorns. A report stated that in a duration of just 10 months, a unicorn is being raised in India every 10 days. For future reference, a ‘unicorn‘ is a startup whose valuation is at least $1 billion, which is more than about Rs 7,000 crore. In that context, India is home to over 70 unicorns—with more than 70 startups that have crossed the valuation of more than $1 billion.
Fostering Globally-Recognized Startup Culture
India holds a distinctive position in the world for multiple reasons—being home to one of the youngest populations has made it unique within the crowd. With about 62 percent of the population falling in the working-age range and 54 percent being under the age of 25, India shows an advantage of leveraging the skills of the youth manpower, along with the ability of its youth to pivot the country towards productive output and innovation.
In January 2021, industry association Nasscom and strategy consultancy Zinnov said in a report that India may have 100 new unicorns by 2025. The growth has been exponential within the past few months. For instance, startups such as Paytm and InMobi took seven and four years (respectively) to attain billion-dollar valuations. On the other hand, startups such as Mobile Premier League (MPL) achieved billion-dollar valuations in a fraction of time, as compared to the trendsetters.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, startups shared fear of being unable to secure and hold the investments of venture capitalists (VC). However, with the digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic, sectors such as edtech, healthtech, fintech and many more began booming—keeping every apprehension of investors at bay. Moreover, in the first quarter of 2021, India witnessed $11.85 billion in private equity and venture capital funding.
Strategic Measures for Startup Prosperity
In the past few years, the number of unicorn startups emerging in India have exponentially grown. In comparison to markets like China and the US where valuations and unicorns are produced every year, India has occupied a leading position in the startup race. Currently, there are more than 650 unicorns in the world with cumulative valuations of $2173 billion—of which China and the US account for 80% of the world’s total unicorn startups. Moreover, China is home to the world’s most valued unicorn, ByteDance, with a valuation of $140 billion.
Over the past few years, the government of India has been implementing strategic measures for supporting startups by broadening the definition of startups, simplifying regulations, providing income tax exemptions, and setting up a Rs 10,000 crore ‘Fund of Funds’ for startups operated by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi). The startup culture in India is peaking at its height and setting a worldwide example. With the emergence of startups like Unacademy, Udaan, boAt, Razorpay and others, India is leading by providing a thriving startup dominion for innovative minds and technology.