Small businesses and startups are crucial for a healthy economy. That is why market-oriented reforms are continually boosting entrepreneurial activity in India.
According to recent startup statistics, the USA is the best country for entrepreneurship. After China, India is the third-largest ecosystem for startups and small businesses.
But with the outbreak of COVID-19, the future of tech startups across the subcontinent is uncertain. Nonetheless, a couple of trends are expected to dominate the proceedings in the years to come.
India: The Breeding Ground for Unicorn Tech Startups
It’s not a secret that India arrived a bit late to the tech party. Even so, the country has managed to catch up with the competition in an impressive manner. After all, the nickname Silicone subcontinent did not come out of the blue.
For instance, statistics show that India had more than 3.000 tech startups in 2019 — and these numbers are growing by the day. A surge in the capital flow is creating a welcoming environment for aspiring entrepreneurs.
As many as six Indian startups received the unicorn status in the first half of the last year. In total, the country has more than 30 such enterprises. The burgeoning unicorn club is making the market more competitive than ever. At the same time, the rise in enthusiasm is more than evident.
Success stories are inspiring, no doubt about it. For example, the famous Flipkart-Walmart deal is a shining example of how Indian startups can reach astronomical values. The likes of Paytm, Oyo, Freshworks, or Delhivery are following the lead.
With all that in mind, here are some of the essential aspects that you need to consider before launching a startup in 2020.
Trends and Predictions for the Startup Community in India
Entrepreneurship is all about freedom, about becoming a master of your fate. In a way, independence and diversification go hand in hand. For that reason, many business owners in India are tapping into different areas of investment.
As a result, these entrepreneurs have better odds of staying relevant and achieving international expansion.
Also, diversification allows owners to gain more during the good times and survive slowdowns easier. In a post-pandemic world, this trend could dominate the Indian startup world.
In the last couple of years, shared workspaces have hit the mainstream in India as well. After all, the importance of staying lean should never be underestimated, not even in the thriving startup ecosystem in India.
So, many entrepreneurs are turning to coworking spaces as a method that can help them cut expenses. In the years to come, Indian startups will predominantly funnel the income into growth. Few companies will splash the cash on fancy offices right off the bat.
On top of that, shared workspaces are excellent for networking and attracting investors.
3. Startup Hubs
Speaking of partnerships, we should also mention that startup hubs could take center stage in the upcoming period. These environments are already enabling many businesses to get through the early stage and get out into the world.
Incubators can provide support for Indian startups during the nascent stage. Nowadays, startup hubs in Hyderabad, Chennai, or Mumbai are churning out one company after the other.
Also, similar platforms are popping up across India, including Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Kanpur.
The introduction of digital payments was a game-changer for many businesses in India. Plenty of startups jumped on the opportunity, but this market still holds immense potential.
For instance, cybersecurity is an area that can offer plenty of opportunities for startups and SMBs in India.
The issues of privacy and safety in the virtual world are drawing investors from all sides. That is why the market segment of fintech could play a prominent role in the startup ecosystem of tomorrow.
5. Women entrepreneurs
Women in India also have powerful entrepreneurial instincts. What’s more, 20% of all startup enterprises in India are women-owned. In other words, women provide direct employment for more than 27 million people. By 2030, this number could skyrocket to 170 million!
Thus, female entrepreneurs will become a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. The deconstruction of social barriers is providing women with an active role in business.
So, when it comes to labor trends in 2020 and beyond, the number of women-owned startups in India should be on the rise.
The adoption of the latest technological solutions is a necessity, not a luxury. For that reason, entrepreneurs will need to make automation an indispensable part of their operations.
By streamlining the processes, companies will cut costs and improve productivity. In the world of tomorrow, there will be no room for ineffective activities. Thus, the entire startup community will need to invest in R&D and the implementation of the latest technology.
The thing is, the rise of AI is already making waves across industries. So, Indian entrepreneurs should jump on the bandwagon and adopt automation as soon as possible.
7. Instant customer service
Last but not least, we should take a look at a trend that predominantly concerns the segment of e-commerce and retail. Nevertheless, almost any business can benefit from improved customer satisfaction.
Therefore, Indian startups will need to offer instant customer service in the years to come. Prompt responses are becoming a norm, mostly because of the rise of chatbots and similar services.
B2C-focused businesses should adopt these tools if they want to boost loyalty and drive growth.
Challenges That Await Indian Entrepreneurs
Despite the enthusiasm and high-quality talent, the startup community will have a fair share of obstacles to overcome.
For example, the complex mix of politics and business will be a tough puzzle to crack for many entrepreneurs. So, a wide-sweeping reform that can reduce corruption will be a priority for officials and governments.
On top of that, startups in India are still dependent on foreign investors when it comes to big money. Thus, entrepreneurs must find a way to attract local angel investors if they want to receive substantial funding.
The force is strong with Indian people when it comes to entrepreneurial drive and energy. Plus, a wide pool of creative tech talent is sitting next door to companies and enterprises. As a result, we can expect an impressive growth of small businesses and startups on Silicon subcontinent.
Of course, subsidies from the state are necessary to sustain the startup ecosystem. At the same time, entrepreneurs must be savvy enough to obtain funding and expand their businesses without too many helping wheels.
By following some of the trends we listed above, emerging Indian startups should be walking down the path to success.