National Startup Day is a validation of the role of startups in the growth of the country’s GDP and strengthening India’s position at a global stage, and will encourage young talent to see entrepreneurship as a primary career option, according to industry experts.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country will celebrate January 16 as National Startup Day, as he termed startups the “backbone” of new India and the engine that will power the nation’s economic growth in the run up to the 100th year of Independence.
“National Startup day is a validation of the role of startups in the growth of country’s GDP and strengthening India’s position at a global stage. This initiative will not only make startups mainstream but also encourage young talent from seeing entrepreneurship as a primary career option,” Varun Saxena, founder and CEO of short video platform Bolo Live, said.
The acknowledgment is a big morale booster for entrepreneurs – the new job creators of the country, he added.
ValPro Director Neha Khanna highlighted that the startup ecosystem has seen maturity over the last decade, and new age-ventures are contributing significantly to the economy in multiple ways.
The contribution of startups include by way of large infusion of FDI in an asset class outside of public markets, export of products and services by the country, larger base of retail investors borne out of employees with respectable salaries and wealth creation tools such as ESOPs and being a key consumption market in the global economy.
The Prime Minister, during his address, had noted that 42 unicorns – companies valued at over USD 1 billion – had come up in India last year and that startups are “changing the rules of the game.
He had added that the golden era of India’s startups is starting now, and that the country is rapidly moving towards hitting a century of unicorns – a hallmark of self-reliant and self-confident India.
Mayank Kumar, co-founder and MD of edutech firm upGrad, said while India is already a talent powerhouse, this move will further encourage millions to innovate and find solutions to business and societal challenges, thus making the country a global leader.
Pranav Dangi, founder and CEO of The Hosteller, said National Startup Day will help startups stay motivated on their path and push them to perfect services with the knowledge that the government acknowledges their hard work and creative visions.
“We hope to see more focus on small and middle tier startups that will benefit greatly from the exposure and consideration. The startup market in India is not only booming but exactly at that precipice where this positive and supportive environment will propel growth in exponential numbers,” he added.
Dhruv Sawhney, Business Head and COO of nurture.farm, said the Indian youth is today equipped to solve problems that previously did not have a voice or a face.
“With a billion-plus population to serve, there are a plethora of services and offerings that, when innovated, can change the standard of living or ease of living for millions of people…Celebrating such innovators and service providers will boost confidence and give more and more youngsters the necessary push to take risks with respect to their ideas and drive changes,” he added.
Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, co-Founder of Venture Catalysts and Managing Director of 9Unicorns, said the startup segment has for long borne the brunt of being treated with some amount of skepticism from old school economists.
“The startup sector employs lakhs of youths today. Recognising the startup sector with a dedicated observational day will definitely help build awareness about the sector and also draw great talent and investment into this sector,” Sharma said.
Sharma added that the startup wishlist would include ensuring ease of doing business by means of friendly taxation policies, timely taxation credits, refunds and uniform compliances nationally, and creation of a government-led, neutral fund to back those startups that are working in the areas of social impact among others.