India is not only a country of a million mutinies but it is also a nation of a million dreams. Combine this with the country’s young population and the internet boom and it is not surprising that today we have a plethora of start-ups spanning various sectors like e-commerce, consumer services and aggregators. These new-age companies have not only made life easier for consumers, they have also ensured jobs for many.
According to a Nasscom study, start-ups created 80,000 jobs in the country in 2015. This has been possible because the year was a boom year for the country’s young entrepreneurs (72% of the founders are less than 35 years old, making India the youngest start-up nation in the world). According to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle, angel and VC investors have sealed as many as 1,096 deals so far in 2015, up 68% from last year, a record jump. Last week, start-ups got a vote of confidence from Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he announced that the government will launch the action plan for ‘Start Up India, Stand Up India’ on January 16 to boost entrepreneurship. Read this along with what he said today at a Dalit entrepreneurs’ meet in New Delhi on Tuesday — “We want to make job creators, not job seekers” — Mr Modi’s intent is clear: Develop a strong ecosystem of start-ups and that in turn will create employment.
Start-ups face several problems like complying with laws such as the Minimum Wages Act and Employees’ State Insurance Act. Now the government is thinking of setting up a cell to iron out these difficulties. According to news reports, hectic parleys are going on among government departments for preparing the action plan and as a starter, the Centre is also planning to give exemption to start-ups for participating in government procurements.
In his speech Mr Modi did not mean only the ones that associated solely with the digital/IT world but all innovative projects that young people would want to set up. Start-ups must go beyond the digital domain and focus much more on other sectors like agriculture and the rural economy to come up with low-cost and innovative solutions to the problems. This is the right way to go because India today needs a host of medium and small enterprises to meet its employment challenges and to develop low-cost solutions to solve myriad problems.