The conception of startups in India is taking off at a fast pace with strong and congenial supportive ecosystem but the question still lies with sustainability of the same. The makeover from being a job seeker to being a Job provider still demands huge perception shift wherein constant innovation & delivery is required, but do upcoming startups have the defined capability to transform themselves into a self sustainable business unit. Although recent initiatives of Government to create an ecosystem which could support progressive growth of startups has provided considerable boosting but the basic ecology to help them gain long term vision is still a weak link.
We can obviously watch several startups being performing miserably even after their successful launch. These startups could have done extraordinary but failed to sustain thereby establishing a glooming rate of 40% in terms of closure. The reasons were several but the prominent one was lack of funding & gaining enough Investors confidence. Gone are the days when Investor used to experiment and were ready to wait for a considerable time for a startup to provide tangible returns. In today’s outraging environment, a Quarter month performance is the benchmark for their association and even if the startups fail to perform in initial months they are not hesitant to pull back. Also, just by looking at few startups doing well in Indian Market, several inexperienced players made an entry to leverage the alleged success of established rivals. This overcrowding of market results in innovation being a casualty.
The industry still demands basic infrastructure to support such an ecosystem even if somebody has got innovation as delivery will remain a challenge. The stereotype of being in the never ending race of startups and gaining enough growth in real time is already making the Market overcrowded thereby killing the basic mission of differentiating Innovation via clutter. Also, many a times lack of Innovation is also making the crown suffer as they have nothing to offer really amazing.
Many of the Industries as well as Markets are getting mature only by the learning curve of the early entrants and many startups have dared to enter into specific segments which are unexplored and thus, they have to pass through the same experiential curve as the Growth cycle has to in turn making them suffer on several modes including losses, operational failure, manpower lay off etc. thereby creating an impact on their company image.
There is also an urgent need to redefine the myopic definition of start-ups to include sectors in various strata of Indian economy. There are many companies that are performing in sectors that may not be related to technology or e-commerce but still are produce products and services that are redefining the market.
Although, opportunities are huge but not all startups have the basic pillars to grow multifold as they might be entering new horizons with new possibilities, but the impact that they plan to create may need some rethinking as unforeseen situation can appear and may require a complete overhaul of the strategy. Start-ups have to inculcate “dynamism” in their DNA and should always be ready to modulate their entire business models. Survival of the fittest is the mantra that has to be followed. Few startups have done well as they had desired innovative offerings and basic infrastructure supporting them, but the same is not applicable to other segments as the avenues for the respective segments were still unknown and movement will only define the path.
Basic arrangements for self sustained module has to be laid down for every start up before launching themselves in the Market and the flexibility for unorthodox turnaround has to be in the limelight else initial exploration and struggle of making way forward will get difficult and they will start running into losses in the first 6 months only and they will not be able to recover even for years. Studying infrastructure availability and their support to the product/services to be launched will be a wise step before making any venture as not only innovation could be the base of a successful start up.
Therefore, playing only on innovation can be a disastrous step towards laying down a successful start up as many other important factors do play an important role in building the landmark & a serious study on basis infrastructure, funding, scalability & prospective competition has to be made while making the first step.
Sudhanshu Rai, Managing Partner, Saint Art
views expressed are personal