Many of India’s unicorns have created wealth for their investors, and become huge employment-generators(SHUTTERSTOCK)
Many of India’s unicorns have created wealth for their investors, and become huge employment-generators(SHUTTERSTOCK)

Making the journey from job seekers to job creators | Analysis

Encourage education, enable easy access of funds, and nurture a culture of risk-taking for the economy to bloom
By Lloyd Mathias
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2019 07:53 PM IST

As the government tries to tackle the economic slowdown, it must focus on the key challenge of job creation. India’s huge dependence on agriculture — which constitutes 16% of our GDP while supporting two-thirds of our population — will mean an increase in the flow of people looking to increase their incomes towards manufacturing and services jobs.

Sadly, India has already ceded the manufacturing initiative to China. The focus on Make in India and the more recent United States-China trade war may have a marginal positive impact. But the reality is that China is the world’s definitive manufacturing hub, accounting for a quarter of the world’s factory output, with an entrenched ecosystem of component vendors, rich economies of scale, and stability and clarity in land and labour laws. With the Belt and Road initiative gaining ground, it will only consolidate its dominance. India will, thus, need to look at job creation options beyond mass manufacturing.

Through the post-Independence era, India’s entrepreneurial landscape was dominated by a handful of businesses. It was a time of the license quota raj. Product and technology innovation, research and development, and global competitiveness naturally took a back seat. The post-liberalisation era saw the emergence of a new generation of entrepreneurs into freshly-opened-up sectors like telecom, aviation, information technology services, among others. They recognised the importance of a global marketplace, competed with the best in the world, and shaped their businesses and ambitions accordingly.

Cut to the new digital-era entrepreneurs of this decade. Most of these are young first-generation entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs are fast becoming the new heroes of India’s middle class. Most of our new-age entrepreneurs — unscarred by an earlier generation brought up on shortages — are developing products for a worldwide audience and are not averse to audacious scale-ups that pitchfork them into a global arena. Technology and the spread of the Internet are enabling this at a pace thought unthinkable before. There are already 24 unicorns in India — enterprises valued at over $1 billion. Amid news of bankruptcies, loan defaults, burgeoning non-performing assets, and look-out notices against seasoned industrialists, this young breed is a welcome breath of fresh air.

The core of the new-age start-ups is the availability of funding. This enables young, ambitious and innovative individuals, without the support of family wealth, to compete with large established corporations, scale up, and innovate faster with fewer stakeholders to manage. For this to become mainstream and grow beyond the metros, it will take three enablers: Education, easy access to funding, and nurturing a culture of risk-taking.

To promote and nourish entrepreneurship, many countries invest in entrepreneurship education and actively encourage young people to innovate with a view to solving everyday problems. While entrepreneurship can’t be taught, it needs a robust ecosystem — centres, experienced mentors, legal support for intellectual property development and protection, knowledge of creating business plans, pitching and fundraising. Building these elements into formal curricula will go a long way.

Besides the learning, entrepreneurship education has to penetrate the interiors. According to a study by the analyst firm, Traxcn, since 2015, graduates from two premier institutes, IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi, founded 310 and 277 start-ups respectively. The power of taking this entrepreneurship spirit to smaller towns and traditional undergraduate programmes could help unleash India’s next swarm of unicorns.

Historically, funding has been the critical challenge, but the success of many unicorns has got the attention of the global investor community. This is helping the Indian venture capital system grow, leading to a reasonable availability of funding starting from seed funds, angel investments to venture capital and private equity firms. So, for a young person with a smart workable idea and the confidence to progress it, access to funds may not be a limitation.

Entrepreneurs have a passion to change things with bright ideas and disruptive technologies. This needs an environment encouraging active risk-taking without the fear of failure.

Many of India’s recent unicorns have not just created wealth for their investors but have become huge employment generators. Jobs ranging from warehouse and delivery staff, cab drivers, customer service agents, programmers and content developers. They have scaled up in record time on the back of venture capital funding, technology and quick deployment. Many have acquired a scale that makes them potential world leaders. India already has the third highest numbers of unicorns in the world.

Nurturing entrepreneurship among the youth can be hugely beneficial for the economy, society, and the nation as a whole. In these turbulent times, when nations are transitioning and adapting to globalisation, hope for the youth lies in becoming job creators rather than job seekers.

Lloyd Mathias is an Angel Investor, business and marketing strategist.

The views expressed are personal

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)

Congress needs to worry more about rebels than opponents in Puducherry

By Abhishek Jha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 06:32 PM IST
The only time the Congress has lost Puducherry, it has been because of a rebel. The Congress and DMK together have won over 50% seats in every assembly elections in Puducherry since 1980, except in 2011
Close
At a January meeting to review projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed displeasure at the process-driven bureaucracy (ANI)
At a January meeting to review projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed displeasure at the process-driven bureaucracy (ANI)

Behind PM Modi’s stinging critique of the IAS, a Jan meeting holds the clue

By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2021 09:35 AM IST
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given bureaucrats an earful at a January meeting of the country's top officials and underlined the price that India paid for their slow pace.
Close
PM Narendra Modi was emotional while giving a farewell to Ghulam Nabi Azad from Rajya Sabha.
PM Narendra Modi was emotional while giving a farewell to Ghulam Nabi Azad from Rajya Sabha.

Salute to Ghulam Nabi Azad underlined PM Modi’s personal ties with rivals

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2021 03:37 PM IST
  • Leaders from the Congress and other Opposition parties have many stories to show that the Prime Minister has maintained personal rapport with leaders cutting across political boundaries.
Close
Officials carry out search and rescue operation at Tapovan Tunnel, after a glacier broke off in Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district causing a massive flood in the Dhauli Ganga river on Sunday. (File photo)
Officials carry out search and rescue operation at Tapovan Tunnel, after a glacier broke off in Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district causing a massive flood in the Dhauli Ganga river on Sunday. (File photo)

Not just climate change, Chamoli disaster was human-induced

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2021 12:15 PM IST
Stone quarrying, blasting of mountains and digging of tunnels in the base of the mountain system for two dams on Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga rivers played havoc with the local ecology
Close
In this file photo, a man hangs on to pole holding a Sikh religious flag along with a farm union flag at the historic Red Fort monument during a farmers protest against new farm laws in New Delhi(AP)
In this file photo, a man hangs on to pole holding a Sikh religious flag along with a farm union flag at the historic Red Fort monument during a farmers protest against new farm laws in New Delhi(AP)

Perception is the truth in information warfare over farm laws

By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi, Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 04, 2021 01:42 PM IST
  • The Chinese were among the first to recognise the role of information warfare to weaken the adversary from within
Close
Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman. (Ajay Aggarwal /HT PHOTO)
Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman. (Ajay Aggarwal /HT PHOTO)

A new confidence about India reflects in a bold Budget 2021

By Monika Halan
UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2021 09:59 PM IST
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has chosen to spend on generating future income using the higher capital spending, which has gone up by 35.4% over the previous year
Close
Shaibal Gupta also made a pioneering contribution in explaining the historical roots and the evolution of Bihar’s politics, which have today become the staple of everyday political analysis. (FACEBOOK)
Shaibal Gupta also made a pioneering contribution in explaining the historical roots and the evolution of Bihar’s politics, which have today become the staple of everyday political analysis. (FACEBOOK)

The life and times of a Patna intellectual

UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2021 06:20 AM IST
Shaibal Gupta was rooted and cosmopolitan; idealistic and pragmatic; and an insider and outsider — all at the same time. Patna’s public life will not the same without him.
Close
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar's address on India-China ties is a reminder to Beijing that the bilateral relationship between the two Asian powers is not a one-way street.(AP/File)
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar's address on India-China ties is a reminder to Beijing that the bilateral relationship between the two Asian powers is not a one-way street.(AP/File)

Jaishankar yellow-cards China for violating pacts, spells out the India way

By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2021 03:02 PM IST
  • S Jaishankar’s speech on India-China ties signals India’s determination to continue to stand up to Xi Jinping’s expansionist plans for Asia as an equal and makes it clear that nothing that Beijing does against India will be overlooked, or allowed to go unpunished.
Close
Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group, in Chiba, Japan, June 18, 2015 (REUTERS)
Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group, in Chiba, Japan, June 18, 2015 (REUTERS)

Jack Ma story: China’s deep strategic ambition

By Manoj Kewalramani
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2021 04:50 AM IST
This statist vision of the future is very different from the government creating a level-playing field for private capital to compete and the market to do its job. It is about the State guiding capital and private entities towards what it believes are national strategic priorities, rather than allowing them to simply focus on generating greater revenue.
Close
A Nihang Sikh aboard a horse inside Red Fort on Tuesday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
A Nihang Sikh aboard a horse inside Red Fort on Tuesday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Republic Day raid was pre-meditated, planned well in advance

UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 02:17 PM IST
With Delhi Police under firm orders not to open fire, the armed Nihang Sikhs provided the cover for the tractors to roll towards Red Fort.
Close
A video of an unruly tractor moving waywardly towards police personnel at ITO emerged on Tuesday as farmers protesting against farm laws deviated from their route and moved inside the Capital.
A video of an unruly tractor moving waywardly towards police personnel at ITO emerged on Tuesday as farmers protesting against farm laws deviated from their route and moved inside the Capital.

How unruly farmers tried to embarrass India on Republic Day

UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2021 02:09 PM IST
The tractor-borne unruly farmers were minutes away from India Gate when they were blocked by New Delhi Range police.
Close
How do we address this cyclical pattern of hailing and rubbishing financiers? It is time for an honest review of the entire issue (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
How do we address this cyclical pattern of hailing and rubbishing financiers? It is time for an honest review of the entire issue (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The policy landscape around digital and physical micro-lending

By Amol Agrawal
UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 06:08 AM IST
In 1870s, a similar backlash emerged in Poona and Ahmednagar districts of the Bombay presidency. The agriculture boom in the early 1860s led farmers to take loans from moneylenders
Close
A tiny tax on stock market transactions can help fund India’s vaccination drive without burning a hole in the wallets of stock market investors and give the government headroom for other expenditure to help save lives (AFP)
A tiny tax on stock market transactions can help fund India’s vaccination drive without burning a hole in the wallets of stock market investors and give the government headroom for other expenditure to help save lives (AFP)

Vaccinating all Indians, for free

By Praveen Chakravarty
UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 06:08 AM IST
The markets are at an all-time high. Impose a Covid-19 surcharge on transactions and use it for vaccination
Close
Why is it that, despite the government displaying its willingness to take a step back, the matter was not resolved? (PTI)
Why is it that, despite the government displaying its willingness to take a step back, the matter was not resolved? (PTI)

Farm protests: The costs of a prolonged standoff

By Shashi Shekhar
UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 06:08 AM IST
The government has extended an olive branch. The farmers must respect this and reciprocate. The tone set on Saturday should pave the way for a permanent solution.
Close
Pushing against the climate crisis — in spite of the terrible fire and hurricane damage — was his way of putting the economy before all else. This is what Biden-Harris will have to overcome with smart policies and even smarter communication. (AFP)
Pushing against the climate crisis — in spite of the terrible fire and hurricane damage — was his way of putting the economy before all else. This is what Biden-Harris will have to overcome with smart policies and even smarter communication. (AFP)

On climate, what the US needs to do

By Sunita Narain
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:25 AM IST
Joe Biden has done well to rejoin the Paris accord. But his administration will have to overcome Trumpism, take responsibility for historic emissions, and change energy consumption patterns at home
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP