The Indian Tricolour..

Recently, in the union budget, the presenting minister stated in the house “We are poised to become a 5-trillion-dollar economy in the next five years and aspire to become a 10-trillion-dollar economy in the next 8 years thereafter” (full speech transcript here). The sentiment may be construed as a politically motivated move or a false promise, though there is a real possibility for this milestone to happen. However, a lot of “India” needs to happen in order to make this milestone a reality.

NASSCOM president, Madam Debjani Ghosh (Linkedin) very succinctly pointed out the top 5 factors needed to come together in order to make this target a reality (Full read here).

I find that 4 out of 5 factors present a huge opportunity for startups in our country to spearhead the change towards a positive and new India. 1) Reskilling India (bringing skills to the underprivileged in the villages and towns and the outdated ones in cities and urban areas), 2) investment opportunity (making strong startups to attract quality investments ), 3) startup successes stories (building the 10 world class $100B market cap companies), & 4) inclusion (women, economically weaker sections, undereducated).

Further, Mr. Sanjay Bhargava (Linkedin) shared his thoughts in an open letter to Madam Ghosh and the Linkedin community (Full read: here) and identified 2 key pillars to make this vision a reality.

  1. BRJP (BuReaucrats, Regulators, Judiciary, Politicians), the government and administrative machinery to create and nurture a system of prosperity.
  2. Entrepreneurship. The ability of indian companies to come out of the shadows of global biggies and build a place of their own.

Entrepreneurship and startups can bring real tangible change at the grassroots level in India. Presently, many startups focus on emulating business and technology models borrowed from US success stories. I believe, there is a huge scope for disruptive models to influence and propagate fundamental change. Such models in the form of startup initiatives shall address the 4 key areas identified above. Models such as this, using recycled plastic as a measure of currency with digitization for access and cross country acceptance, and blockchain as a mechanism of trust. Or this, using off the grid power production for bringing power to the most remote geographies in the country and many many more like these can bring real impact to uplift India. Such disruptive models specifically tailored to local problems in India shall bring the best results and fundamental change.

After all, India is a collective responsibility of all Indians, and if we all become laser focussed on the goal, it is very much possible, and startups are the ones to make it happen.

Disclaimer: Original articles and thoughts shared by the respective authors mentioned in the text own their content and rights.