The New India Inc is driving the Atma Nirbhar Bharat vision of PM Shri Narendra Modi.
The wave of Unicorns in India has soared to new heights as the country witnessed the birth of its 100th Unicorn on May 2, 2022. Today, one out of every ten unicorns globally has been born in India.
The term ‘Unicorn’ refers to the rarest of the rare start-ups that attain a valuation of more than USD 1 billion. The Indian Startup Ecosystem is the third-largest in the world in number of Unicorns and is home to 100 unicorns with a total valuation of USD 332.7 billion.
The preceding year, 2021, experienced a huge surge in the number of unicorns, registering a total of 44 start-ups entering the Unicorn club with a total valuation of USD 93 billion.
In the first four months of 2022, India has given birth to 14 unicorns with a total valuation of USD 18.9 billion. Entrepreneurial spirit exists throughout the length and breadth of the country and is evident by the spread of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recognised start-ups across 773 Indian districts encompassing all 36 States and Union Territories.
Since the launch of the Startup India initiative on 16th January 2016, more than 69,000 start-ups have been recognised in the country to date. Innovation in India is not just limited to certain sectors; start-ups solving problems have been recognised in 56 diverse sectors with 13% being in IT services, 9% in healthcare and life sciences, 7% in education, 5% in professional and commercial services, 5% in agriculture, and another 5% in food & beverages.
While every start-up has its unique journey to becoming a unicorn, the minimum and maximum time is taken by a start-up to become a unicorn in India are 6 months and 26 years, respectively. Till FY 2016-17, approximately one unicorn was being added every year. Over the past four years (since FY 2017-18), this number has been increasing rapidly, with a whopping 66% year-on-year growth in the number of unicorns.
The current entrepreneurship boom is a result of PM Narendra Modi’s policies since 2014. All the unicorns are from Tier 1 cities, which clearly conveys the need that the next wave of Digitization must ensure that opportunities in digital space reach Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. There is a sense of confidence and aspiration post-Covid that is inspiring both women and men in India to aim high. One can perceive a mood among the women of the country today where they believe that they can achieve anything. This must be capitalised upon. The inclusion of youth from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of India in the high growth phenomenon that is driving innovation and entrepreneurship will lead to the explosive growth of the Indian economy in the coming years.
Now is also an opportune time to pitch India’s story in the global arena as this is the inflection point in the Indian tech space. More and more global investors must know about India’s growth story, and how technology is being embedded in governance and the lives of people at a rapid pace. “Next 2-3 years should witness the deeper and wider expansion of innovation – unprecedented in the history of India.”
Reaching the milestone of a century of Indian unicorns shows that the homegrown start-up ecosystem continues to work effectively towards the mission of self-reliance and self-sustainability as it has been in the past. The vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat is rooted deeply in the Indian Startup Ecosystem and shall continue to prevail in the coming years