New Delhi: SK Narvar, Chairman, Capital India Corp., believes that PM Modi’s announcement of Jan 16th as the National Start-up Day will energise Indian entrepreneurs to build a young and modern India. It will also encourage the youth to journey into entrepreneurship with courage and conviction.
Excerpts from the conversation with Shri SK Narvar are below:
1. What is the merit of having a National Start-up Day?
SKN: The rise of Indian start-ups is a phenomenal growth story. Indian start-ups raised more than $20 billion in funding in 2021, which shows that start-up is the engine that will influence the nation’s economic growth in the coming decades. While the government has been offering various schemes and programmes like Start-up India for their benefit, to have a special day is a gesture of support and acknowledgement the entire nation has for the start-up ecosystem.
PM Modi’s vision comes as a welcome step to express gratitude towards the start-up ecosystem’s ‘can-do’ attitude. As a result, it has helped advance India’s ranking on the Global Innovation Index from 81 to 46.
2. How will having a National Start-up Day help the Start-up scenario of the country?
SKN: An encouragement to try something innovative for your country is a massive push for anyone with dreams of launching a start-up. Currently, India has around 82 unicorns, and in 2020-21 more than 2.5 lakh trademarks were registered. Many start-ups are in metro cities and tier-2 and 3 cities.
With this announcement, PM Modi is sending an underlying message that entrepreneurs in every corner of the country have a chance at becoming a unicorn and will be supported on their growth journey. Moreover, it showcases faith in the power of start-ups to become the cornerstone of India in this ‘techade’.
3. What are your thoughts on India’s start-up culture?
SKN: Technology has armed the Indian youth to bring inventive ideas to life and evolve products and services that solve real problems. Start-ups have a symbiotic relationship with the country. Apart from financial gains and international recognition, generating employment is a significant benefit that the start-ups offer. Agility in the face of change is another attribute that makes them an in-demand category in the economy- the speed and scale at which start-ups grew in India even during the pandemic are admirable.
As PM Modi highlighted, there is tremendous scope for start-ups to solidify innovative practices in drones and the defence sector. It would steer these sectors to a newer horizon of performance and delivery.
4. How will the start-up push benefit our international trade relations?
SKN: Start-ups have genuinely disrupted the business outlook of the country and the way global investor fraternity sees India as a market. Value generation and growth of the country is the core of start-ups. Moreover, they have helped create strong business relations with global firms and trade bodies by showcasing their forte in innovation and collaboration. Today, the Indian ecosystem has attracted significant global risk capital and ventured into international markets.
The government has supportive programmes like Startup India, Make In India, and sometimes direct funding or easing the tax regime to help them grow. As a result, India is known worldwide as a knowledge and talent hub, will soon be known for innovation and start-ups that can solve global problems.
5. Will start-ups become the ‘backbone of the country’?
SKN: PM Modi has rightly tagged start-ups as the country’s backbone. Start-ups are working in tandem with future technology and helping India grow economically and sustainably. For example, through fintech, start-ups empower millions of people left out of the traditional banking system, making credit affordable, respectable and development-oriented.
The young achievers of India have a strong sense of enthusiasm and talent that propels them to seek out opportunities. Their unique perspectives allow them to think of the country’s socio-economic issues as opportunities to construct innovative, frugal and affordable products. A ‘start-up’ culture, ‘hustle’ mindset and ‘pride’ for nation-building should become every Indian’s priority, taking a cue from our young friends.