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Start-ups – The Future of India

By Ms.Aakangsha Pattanayak, Ms.Jyoti Sikder, 1st Year PGDM Students, ABBS School of Management.

In the last decade the world has witnessed a Start-up revolution. Some major start-ups have played a major role in the economy and has become an integral part of our lives. Their business models have been adopted by many old and established companies worldwide.  Start-ups like Uber, Airbnb, Expedia are a few examples who have forced lifestyle changes in the world.

The current global pandemic and the lockdowns has had significant impact on the lifestyles and livelihood of people across the globe on a scale unheard of before. People were forced to stay indoors and traditional ways of doing regular tasks was no longer applicable. In addition, the high consciousness towards health and safety led to people using products and services that were not mainstream earlier, example being use of masks, sanitizers etc.

In order to adapt to lifestyles of the new normal and continue commerce and livelihood, the last few months has seen significant innovations across commercial sectors.

Start-ups across industry segments have been in the forefront of this transformation, either through emergence of new start-ups or through reinvention of existing ones.

Speed to change has been key to this journey and start-ups, due to their inherent ability to change fast have been the first to act on ‘working with the virus’ and create processes to empower resources and help the corporate to survive.

A significant part of such changes has been seen in the Service Delivery start-ups during the lockdown. With restriction on movement, it had been difficult for people to even get supply of basic household items.  Many start-ups have come up with initiatives and features to deliver essentials at peoples’ doorstep with little physical interactions.

Since the key to the Service Delivery start-ups have been ‘Service on a click’ from the safety of one’s home, this sector has probably seen the largest innovation and growth, in these times of lockdown.

India has always been a hub for nurturing start-ups and has been home to more than 100 Unicorns. Over the past year, India saw a surge of either traditional companies reinventing themselves as well as emergence of new start-ups with new business models. Start-ups has rechanged the concept of business with their innovative marketing and business standards. With new concepts and aided by government initiative like ‘Make in India’ or ‘Vocal for Local’ start-ups have seen a highly accelerated impetus. This also had substantial impacted the earning streams for people.

Some of the major impacts were:

  • Existing companies reinvented themselves by adding services/products which were earlier not in their portfolio. Start-ups like Swiggy and Zomato started delivering groceries and other household essentials at the doorstep of customers, since restaurants were closed, and Food delivery was not an option.
  • With new customer acquisition strategy many big start-ups like Netmeds added non-medical products to their services.
  • Many new small start-ups emerged in this period whose business model was to bridge the suppliers directly to the consumer through door delivery. These start-ups used worth of mouth, Google Forms and WhatsApp as their mode of communication and have become successful.
  • This period also saw the emergence of start-ups in dealing in health safety products like masks and sanitizers.
  • With 1.5 billion students grounded and education becoming online schools and colleges had to rely on tools and software’s to carry on with their classes. This saw phenomenal rise of many educational start-ups. BYJU’S, India’s earliest and most valuable Edtech start-up, saw 7.5 million new users on its platform since it started offering free access to content. Unacademy recorded 1.4 billion watch minutes while Toppr saw 100 percent growth in free user engagement.
  • With ‘Work from Home’ becoming a way of life, collaboration platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet have become the order of the day. These platforms have added new feature to enhance user experience and enable better work from home facilities.

Hence, corporations in this new “digital-first” and “low contact” paradigm must quickly adopt to the new market innovations. Undoubtedly, start-ups with their nimbleness and ability to work with emerging technologies will be a sustainable and forward-looking step in the right direction.  

In this new normal, and future times, it is likely start-ups will play a particularly important role in the growth of commerce in India. With the innovation Indian start-ups have shown in this period, the investor confidence in the Indian entrepreneurial capabilities have gather immense pace raising more than 51 billion in venture funding.

All these indicators point to further maturing of the start-up ecosystem and an entrepreneurial story that is likely to gain immense pace bolstering India’s position as an economic powerhouse in the coming days.

Ms.Aakangsha Pattanayak

Ms.Jyoti Sikder