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Why There's A Bright Future For Entrepreneurship in India

28/07/2015 8:13 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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The world of business is quickly changing. Multinational corporations are not only dealing with entrepreneurial ventures in India but also investing in them. Nasper's backed ibiboGroup purchased redbus.in and yourbus.in while Oracle bought Bitzer Mobile. Billion dollar companies that no longer enjoy the "start-up" tag are acquiring promising new enterprises. Facebook, for instance, acquired Little Eye Labs and Google bought Imperium.

Indian entrepreneurs today are successful and global. They're also creating jobs at an unprecedented rate. The Hindustan Times reported in June 2014 that Flipkart planned to hire 12,000 people during 2014-15 and Snapdeal was to double its headcount to almost 2600 people. In May 2015, Snapdeal and Practo said they each were looking to add 1000 people to their staff. In June 2015, Yhungry, a logistics company catering to restaurants, said it would hire 1200 riders during the year.

"Indian entrepreneurs today are successful and global. They're also creating jobs at an unprecedented rate."

A press release for the EY Global Job Creation and Youth Entrepreneurship Survey 2015 published in June 2015 said that the team surveyed 2345 entrepreneurs about their hiring-plans. A good 54% of Indian entrepreneurs surveyed said that they expected to hire this year, which beat the global average of 47%.

The EY survey also revealed that Indian entrepreneurs are as confident about domestic and global economic direction as their Chinese counterparts, leading the global economic confidence table with a tie. Naturally, the sentiments about the economy are shared by the youth of India as well. The team surveyed 2800 young people and found that 91% of India's youth feel optimistic about achieving their career aspirations and 86% want to run their own business.

Teaching entrepreneurship

Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurship can be taught. Start-up incubators and accelerators have been guiding and mentoring promising young individuals who have innovative ideas but don't know how to create a business around it -- but there aren't enough in India.

Plenty of reports have been published that attribute the lack of entrepreneurial success stories in the country to the fact that there isn't enough focus on supporting and training the youth and setting them up for success in their new ventures.

The EY team found that youth with entrepreneurial ambitions valued the guidance and support of local entrepreneurs, but only 36% felt they got enough. However, 79% of entrepreneurs surveyed believed they do enough to support young people. Fortunately, India is taking steps in the right direction.

The Modi Government set up the Skills and Entrepreneurship Ministry in May 2014 and unveiled the National Policy for Skill development and Entrepreneurship 2015 this week. The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India also announced that it was planning to set up India's first entrepreneurship university in Gujarat. It is comforting to know that India isn't neglecting the development of its young entrepreneurs but only time will tell if their plan bears fruit.

Against all odds

All said and done, entrepreneurs are a tough breed. They're known to make their way and take the road less travelled. They do what is necessary and find a way to succeed, despite the odds.

"I don't really think that the lack of government support affects any entrepreneur's pursuit of success. Those who're willing will find a way. At most, the lack of government support/benefits will slow one down, but isn't enough to affect one's chances of success," says Anshul Avasthi, co-founder, Tathastu, whose venture expects to hire about 50 people over the next four months.

"[E]ntrepreneurs are a tough breed. They're known to make their way and take the road less travelled. They do what is necessary and find a way to succeed..."

Priyanka Gupta, founder, Vivilio, set up her company about two months ago and is also looking to hire. She points out that she appreciates the efforts of the Modi Government to promote entrepreneurship in India but that regulations hindering the rapid growth of start-ups remain a major concern.

Many entrepreneurs I've spoken to often complain about the complexity of the incorporation process. Whether they're forming a limited liability partnership or a company, entrepreneurs have found the incorporation process to be tedious and cumbersome. Dilshad Hudda, co-founder, Incorpway, however, expects a reduction in documentation during the Modi Government's tenure.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, with effect from 1 May 2015, announced the integrated process for incorporation of one-person companies, private limited companies, public limited companies and producer companies, via form INC 29. While this simplifies things for some entrepreneurs, there is a long way to go in terms of making documentation easier for new ventures.

At the end of the day, the prospects for Indian entrepreneurs are bright. Apart from the Government's efforts, India also has several new start-up accelerators who're trying to lend a helping hand -- after all, entrepreneurship is the flavour of the season.

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