It is estimated that 90% of startups fail in Silicon Valley in the first five years itself. The numbers are not very different for India. It’s not that the remaining 10% all flourish: Some struggle for many more years before shutting down permanently.
But that’s not the issue. Those that survive usually end up changing the fortunes of the country. Apple touched a market capitalization of $3 trillion and Microsoft crossed $2.5t. Both are from the 1970s batch of Silicon Valley startups. Alphabet and Amazon entered the $2t club. They are from the 1990s batch. The $1t club has two from the 2000s: Meta and Tesla and Nvidia from the 1990s. All the old American companies are still around in terms of revenue, but not so in marcap.
The ones that make it
But it’s not just about revenue and marcap. It’s about revolutionizing the way the country does business. Microsoft has changed the way the world views software and the same with Apple’s innovations. Alphabet has let the way with search, maps, Android and much more. Amazon fast forwarded retail and still continues to do so. The latest toast of the world is Nvidia.
When demonetization hit the country in 2016, Paytm stepped and filled in the gap with online payments. PhonePe and BharatPe also made it big. FinTech has been flourishing with the likes of Zerodha, Pine Labs, Groww etc. In the lockdown, what would we have done without Swiggy, Zomato, Flipkart BigBasket, Licious etc?
While EdTech has receives a lot of bad press off late, nevertheless there have been innovations and scale issue solutions with BYJU’S, Unacademy, Vedantu, upGrad, PhysicsWallah etc.
Healthcare took off and you had 1mg,PharmEasyCure.Fit etc. In fashion you had Nykaa, in real estate NoBroker, in ride sharing Ola, in travel and hospitality MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip etc. You also had the SaaS stars Freshworks and Zoho along with boAt which has become a global player.
We are not done yet. In the future AgriTech, SpaceTech, drones and AI startups are really going to take off. Indian startups have already become part of everyday life but going forward they have the power to displace the big guns and really change lives.
India’s 2047 Mission to make us a tech and economic superpower is already seeing a strong IT services industry and digital government. But we are still lacking in AI, skilling, R&D etc. Startups can fill a lot of that gap and have the greatest potential going forward. They are already conquering India, but now they have the much tougher job of conquering the world. A Make in India Make for the World is a possible dream.