By Ajit Babu, CEO, LifeHack Innovation
Incorporated with an aim to see each house in India with a light, LifeHack Innovation was founded in 2015. The company generates and transmits energy to support a growing population facing the challenges of energy security and climate change.
The startup landscape in India is diverse and distributed. According to the NASSCOM startup report 2014, India has the third largest startup base in the world. Numbers talk - from 3100 startups in 2014 to a projection of more than 11,500 in 2020, there is a revolution taking off, propelled by foreign funding, massive M&A activities and a growth spurt in the domestic market. If there ever was a perfect time to commence a new venture, this would be it. Every year, there are more than 800 startups setting up throughout the country. Startups are now a necessity in the Indian community. With over 225 million youth aged between 19-15, the country needs to create a million jobs per month for the next 20 years to employ all its youth which is not going to come from established companies, but from these fast emerging startups. In the next two years, India is poised to become the second largest startup ecosystem.
The startup market trends are constantly evolving. In 2015, India is believed to be on the cusp of a paradigm shift in the market. With mobile marketing, gaining accelerating importance, m-Commerce is expected to succeed e-Commerce to the throne. Full stack startups are where you are advised to place your money. Companies that build complete, end-to-end product/service solutions are taking the market by storm and revolutionizing the industry. It has been observed that the current market has seen more B2B startups emerge. Crowd funding and online marketplaces have become more common place. A shift which has set the pace for an entire industry is the Digital Media Marketing Industry. Though offline marketing still has its importance intact, social media have been changing the way brands and consumers interact and it has only been for the better.
Disruption has become the order of the day. Businesses are thinking out-of-the-box not just for their M&A activities, but right at the conceptualization stage. Businesses like Housing, Zomato, Zivame, TinyOwl, Hatti Kaapi, Paytm, BoxMySpace, LifeHack Innovation can each claim to have paved a way where there was no path earlier. There have been bizarre ideas which have managed to succeed beautifully. Rentmytext.in, 4thambit, PetRock, Ashley Madison, SabseBolo is the few examples. There is also the noteworthy example of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who wore a sanitary pad. Also, the news is that seeing how investors are more interested in firms founded by IITians, a bunch of kids came with the idea of Rent an IITian. Let’s see how far that goes!
With new, innovative ideas waiting in the pipeline, most conglomerate giants have decided to run accelerator programs to capture new markets and tap into this explosion of innovation. The last few months in India have brought about interesting developments. Internet penetration has increased and hence there has been a widening of the online consumer base. The numbers are astounding; India has 28 million Facebook users, nine million Twitter users and nine million LinkedIn users, making it the hottest social media hub. Just as web companies like Housing, Ola, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and others have managed to raise millions of dollars, the other existing big brands like Axe, Kingfisher, PizzaHut and more are using online media to distribute their promotional campaigns. Extensive usage of Facebook and Twitter to promote Bollywood and Cricket signify that India has achieved a wide-spread internet base and this is indeed the era of Web Startups.
With so much going on, graduates these days are opting to set up their own venture than waste their time building someone else’s dream. All budding entrepreneurs should have a few facts sorted before setting up shop: Choose your market segment cleverly; carve out a Niche for yourself; Incorporate Company Culture during conceptualization itself; get into the legal stuff yourself; Do not be stingy with marketing; Be a risk-taker and most of all, love what you do. Entrepreneurs are a different breed of people altogether. What’s going to set you apart is how you realize that everything requires effort and convert challenges to opportunities all the while building an unparalleled business. Real entrepreneurs have a knack of monetizing their skills. They think solutions, not problems. They are usually out of time juggling multiple tasks and duties. These are the people who will be responsible for an Indian Silicon Valley.
India already has a reliable reputation in the IT outsourcing industry. Adding to that, the digitalization of modern India and the internet penetration means more global consumption and a boost to the Indian Economy as a whole. The knowledge, wealth and of course, employment created across varying demographics is why India should place more thrust on promoting startups. In fact, the 11500 projected startups are believed to raise more than 250k jobs in the country. One day, these startups will be the reason behind a fully self-sufficient India.