The book brings Indian context to the centre stage of the discussion which is otherwise dominated by the books written in the context of Silicon Valley start-ups.
Innovate India and Start-up Era book review: Start-up culture has taken strong roots in the country in less than 4 years after the launch of the scheme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Now, there are more than 20,000 recognised start-ups and they are present in all states and union territories. Though the country has become the third-largest start-up capital in the world after the US and China as confirmed by Prime Minister Modi in his address to Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this month, but a rigorous study of start-ups in Indian context still eludes the readers and stakeholders. Praveen Tiwari’s book Innovate India and Start-up Era published by Medaca Books is a welcome departure as it brings Indian context to the centre stage of the discussion which is otherwise dominated by the books written in the context of Silicon Valley start-ups.
The book looks into the struggles and problems faced by Indian start-ups as unlike other developed economies, starting a business in the country has its own share of problems, most important among them is to deal with the paper-work and permissions to be obtained from the government. These legacy problems persist despite significant improvement in the country’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking in last five years as assessed by the World Bank.
The book also covers various government schemes and platforms such as Start-up India, Make in India, Invest India and the Government E-Marketplace (GeM) that can be extremely useful for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The author has also spent a significant part of his book on the problems and challenges faced by the unorganized sector. In the book, he argues that how converting the unorganised sector into an organised sector could be the biggest opportunity for Indian start-ups.
The author tried to decode the traditional way of doing business in India as it has a flourishing culture of family-run businesses. He has covered three main traditions of family businesses – Gujarati, Marwadi and Sindhi way of doing business in the country. He also dealt with the fundamental issue of innovation vs problem-solving approach for Indian start-ups and comes to the conclusion that innovation is the key to future success.
As a practicing journalist with over 20 years of experience in television and print journalism, he could not help himself but look at the issue of start-ups through the prism of journalism. In doing so, he coined his own five Ws and one H – What, When, Where, Who, Why and How for the start-up sector.
In addition to dealing with the policy space and government schemes for start-ups, he also covered the personality development and motivation for entrepreneurs and founders as the determination and grit of the founder and his team is fundamental for the success of a new business idea.
Though the author has penned the book in the Indian context, but some of the recent developments, like the controversy around the applicability of angel tax on start-ups, are missing. The issue of angel tax was so important for the start-ups that the opposition party the Congress tried to corner the Modi government over the issue ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in April-May this year.
(Author Praveen Tiwari is a television and print journalist who has authored 7 books on a range of subjects. He also hosts a TV show Kamyaab Hindustan (Successful India) on start-ups on public broadcaster DD Urdu. The book is likely to hit the stand by the month end).