The Rise of the Startup Ecosystem: Global and Indian Landscape

The global startup ecosystem has seen a rapid rise in the past few years and the boom is expected to continue. Today, there are 1,068 billion-dollar startups or Unicorns in the world today. With the number rising each year, the time between 2020 and 2021 saw a 2x increase in the number of unicorns. With a conducive environment and entrepreneurship being considered as a less risky career path than in the future, the surge in the quality and volume of startups globally is likely to scale in the coming years.

The major innovation and growth is expected to come from developing countries going forward with an increase in use of digital channels and overall technology capabilities on challenges that are unique but have a global impact. Furthermore, there will be an increase in the momentum of startup accelerators and incubators providing startups more support than ever to grow and thrive.

Even on the investment front, the boom is likely to grow from 2021 which saw startups attracting $675 billion of venture capital (VC) funding globally, double the previous record set in 2020. At the same time, a self sustainable investment circle journey is being observed globally with successful startups who have had an impressive exit and our cash rich, investing in new age ideas, closing the loop. Invariably, the era of the startups will only see an upward tide, both globally and nationally, with India being a hotbed for startups to grow and thrive.

India Startup landscape

May 2022 marked a landmark milestone for India touching 100 Unicorns. As the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world and the sixth largest economy, India’s growth over the past two years in the startup space has been phenomenal, to say the least. From a Unicorn lens, 44 startups in India gained the Unicorn status. Starting off from where 2021 left off, 2022 has already added 16 new startups to its Unicorn club in just 6 months of the year. Furthermore, the fiscal year of 2022 saw an addition of 14,000 startups to the ecosystem.

While this growth has been exceptional, investors, experts and startup advisors believe, this is just the beginning and the startup ecosystem in India is likely to see an exponential growth on its already accelerated journey. In fact, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, believes that India will see a surge in the number of Unicorns with an expected 10x growth in the next 2-3 years, touching a mark of 1000 in its Unicorn club. The e-commerce and SaaS startups will continue to be the center of attention and their growth will skyrocket.

Furthermore, the Indian startup ecosystem will see an inflow of entrepreneurial ideas and business from tier 2 and tier 3 which have largely been untapped so far. On the investment front, the next 2-3 years are likely to see a rapid increase with a key focus on deep tech expertise focusing on its applications along diverse sectors including education, healthcare, agriculture, etc. Finally, this period will see a growth in the partnerships between startups, corporates and the public sector with the former bringing in breakthrough innovations and the latter providing a multitude of support, resources and infrastructure.

Invariably, almost all sectors and industries will see a growth in the number of startups. However, some industry verticals will take precedence over others, based on the market context and demands. Furthermore, SaaS solutions will see a massive spike in the coming years. These largely include:

With these major industry verticals in the center, the startup ecosystem in India will focus on addressing emerging challenges and give an opportunity for global startups to enter the Indian markets. Increasingly, the focus will be on the iron triangle of affordability, accessibility and availability of solutions for people across the world.

StrategINK: Catalyzing market activation for startups

Undoubtedly, India’s startup ecosystem is flourishing and booming at an exponential rate. However, the challenge of sustainability is also now bigger than ever. While we are adding new startups to the Unicorn club, their profitability and ability to scale is still in question. In fact, apprehensions arising from the mass layoffs by a few Unicorn startups continues to be a threat to India’s startup ecosystem.

Fortunately, if startups are able to identify and address key challenges preemptively, chances for scale and success grow manifold. Here, a focus on the right marketing strategy plays an important role. Research shows that only 10% of startups are successful. According to CBInsights, the number one reason why startups (42%) fail is due to misreading market demand. Furthermore, 22% of startups that fail don’t have a sound marketing strategy, clearly illustrating the need for a robust Go-To-Market strategy.

In such a situation, a market activation catalyst like StrategINK can help startups change the game. As an enabler, StrategINK seeks to catalyze go-to-market support for growing startups by enhancing visibility, supporting meaningful collaborations and fostering an ecosystem for robust market activation. It is our endeavor to leverage our years of experience and expertise in ‘Business Innovation & Go-to-Market’ pursuits to empower startups with the right resources, connect and support facilitated diverse & hybrid models of digital and physical tools, techniques and proven frameworks and best practices. With StrategINK, startups can build and execute a comprehensive and compelling Go-To-Market strategy and get unparalleled opportunities for:

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this feature article are of the author. This is not meant to be an advisory to purchase or invest in products, services or solutions of a particular type or, those promoted and sold by a particular company, their legal subsidiary in India or their channel partners. No warranty or any other liability is either expressed or implied.
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