In 2012, a startup revolution, like the one in Silicon Valley had begun taking shape in India when Flipkart and other online retail marketplaces became popular. They led the way for other startups, but the path was littered with challenges such as an unsupportive legal framework and lack of a platform to generate funds, to name a few. The biggest hurdle was that startups didn’t have recognition in the collective conscience of the Indian society where college education and a job are as important as a horoscope marriage. People just could not comprehend why a youngster would turn down a lucrative salary just to program a code on his computer. PM Narendra Modi’s earnest efforts to revolutionise the startup ecosystem in India solved this. An average India was acquainted about startups that had been thus far not much a part of the general conversation.
Jan 6, 2016, was the historic day when Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi announced the Startup India Programme which has unequivocally the biggest contribution of the present government towards the growth of our youthful nation. Youthful energy if not diverted toward a useful pursuit can either dissipate into a rather sad waste of an opportunity or can take a hostile, insurgent turn. But this does not mean they need to be disciplined by confining them to cubicles where they’ll slave away their lives trying to win bread for their family. They should get the opportunity to do what they want to so that working isn’t something that they have to go through to survive, but an ongoing exercise in creating.
The Startup India programme has given a concrete structure to the haphazard way startups had been working like lone rangers, without any assistance in developing their business. By giving a definition to startup, many hurdles such as the compliances and clearances have been rooted out.
First off, defining what a startup is establishes it as an entity, which is critical to any organization. Startup means an entity, incorporated or registered in India not prior to five years, with an annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 crore in any preceding financial year, working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property. This sets the eligibility criteria for the startups to avail the various tax benefits and concessions they’ll receive in a bid to foment entrepreneurship in India. The often prolonged environmental clearances and other the requisite of other such compliance certificates have been waived off by the government and the startup can now self-certify itself. A dedicated portal to answer all startup related queries and to streamline registration process all this smoothens the surface for the startups to begin their journey. Number of schemes has been launched under the umbrella project to fund, incubate and promote the startups, much has been written about the facts and you can all the factual information here:
The point that this blog is trying to make is that there’s a shift in the current of how our country is choosing to work, and that the government has been discerning enough to not only acknowledge this, but also foster its development, trying to shield it by undertaking various reforms to regulate how the system works, tightening the clogs such that the wheel doesn’t come off, but not asserting so much control that it’ll eventually be smothering. A fine balance has been struck where the market forces of demand and supply will act on how a startup fares, but a protective layer has been created by way of startup India programme that’ll ensure that when things don’t work, it isn’t bad enough and that the entrepreneur can restart without feeling beaten.