The Evolution of Startups in India — The Story Up Until Now
Before we take a plunge into the Startup culture of India, let us first try understanding what exactly a startup is, and how does it function? Then we will tell the evolution of startups in India and the story until now.
What is a Startup?
Investopedia defines a startup as “a young company that is just beginning to develop.” A startups seeds are sown and sprouted either because the founder(s) have come up with a unique solution with a product (like a software or a physical product) or service. Usually, a product or service is to erase a complicated problem.
Many times the startups product or service is to provide a more efficient way around recreating and distributing a product or service that is already a business.
Success has its age-old formula inscribed in golden letters on every wall that reads:
“In order to become the one percent, you must execute the right idea, in the right direction, at the right time.”
When these three elements work in tandem, the output increases, the customer base expands, and the company automatically starts to grow exponentially.
Why do certain start-ups succeed when others fail?
Looking deeply into what does and doesn’t work for a startup, you will find that there is a lot more to a startup’s success than mere good luck and excellent conditions and coincidences.
Having good luck, having favorable conditions, and experiencing great coincidences are only a small part of the business. You will need to:
- Have an idea that is exciting, effective, and feasible.
- Hard-working management that knows how to bring the best in their employees.
- Ability to anticipate future trends and adapt quickly to the rapidly changing business environment.
- Presence of experienced Mentors who can effortlessly guide the team through tough times is always beneficial.
- Building a workplace that values purpose before profits
Failures, on the other hand, occur majorly due to the following reasons:
- Quitting too early in the process; lack of persistence
- Running out of money.
- Conceiving a wrong notion about the market: incorrect pricing, too slow on pick up, late in execution, etc.
- Afraid of taking risks, experimenting, and diving all forces in.
- Fearful of changes; inability to adapt.
Now that we know what sets a successful startup apart from an unsuccessful one let’s take a peek into India’s work ecosystem.
How did India utilize its resources to become a startup generating machine?
India is a young country with 65 percent of its population falling under the age bracket of 25 to 35 years. The rise of startups in India didn’t happen overnight but slowly, over a gradual period. It was in the year 2008, after a global recession hit the world, that the first startup revolution began to take shape.
The Great Recession caused businesses to reallocate their resources and lay off employees in large numbers. In India, it mostly affected the IT professionals, who grew extremely fearful for their jobs. This little fear, along with an insatiable aspiration to prove one’s mettle, shook the young nation. It didn’t take the countrymen long to break the shackles of mediocrity and rise above the challenge.
The Startup Ecosystem as it is TODAY.
Successful Startups almost always follow the same ideology:
“Chase the vision, not the money, and the money will end up following you.” – Tony Hsieh
In India, Startups are known for their flexible work culture, late-night parties, and an impartial and transparent work environment. According to, “India boasts more than 6,000 startups, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is confident that 44 percent of these startups are based in Tier II and Tier III cities. And their numbers are only rising.” At the moment, India is the second-largest startup ecosystem in the world.
According to a survey report by, the major factors that make India one of the world’s most startup-friendly nations are:
- Cost of doing business is pretty low.
- Customers and vendors live nearby.
- With 7 million graduates passing out every year, the size of the domestic market is pretty encouraging.
- India has the 2nd largest internet user-base in the world.
- Earlier, the best talent was limited to big corporations only.
- The element and potential of entrepreneurship are seeping into Indian culture.
- More individuals and professionals have started to dissociate themselves from the more prominent brands.
As Sanjay Nath, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Blume Ventures, tells
“Indian entrepreneurs never lacked imagination. But, in the last 10 years, the best talent has been limited to corporations. Now, that gap is being bridged. This reverse flow of talent is the most inspiring thing about the B2B startup sector right now.”
List of 5 Indian startups that have done exceptionally well for their size and age.
Take a look at these picks — as described in their websites. As a startup, you can always learn and imitate a successful business to build your own success. I have chosen these sites for their excellence.
1.– delivers milk, bread, eggs, butter, juices, and other daily need items every morning, right at your doorstep, free of charge.
2.– is a Greek Yogurt brand that has taken the yogurt shelves in India by storm.
3.– a Techstars-backed company, is an end-to-end video marketing platform that enables brands and retailers to convert their e-commerce product catalogs into videos at a fraction of the time and cost as compared to traditional video production houses.
4.– is an authentic, traditional skincare brand with its foundations in the ancient science of Ayurveda. A pioneer in the Luxury Ayurveda segment, today it has become the quintessential Indian beauty brand that combines the ancient beauty rituals of Ayurveda with a stylish, modern aesthetic for a more relevant emphasis on efficacy, sensorial experience, and pleasure of usage
5.– is India’s largest leading payment gateway that offers comprehensive payment services for customer and merchants. We offer mobile payment solutions to over 7 million merchants and allow consumers to make seamless mobile payments from Cards, Bank Accounts, and Digital Credit, among others.
The Indian youth and community aren’t afraid of casting aside their 9 to 5 jobs.
These entrepreneurs are all set to break the glass ceiling and attain powerful leadership roles in their businesses, cities, and globally. As more Indian startups and entrepreneur become professionals, they look for increasing ways to succeed. New entrepreneurs and companies are encouraging their employees to express themselves freely. The new freedom to speak up and share ideas is allowing the Indian culture to get all manner of ideas for their success. Success builds on success. After all, even more than having an idea is the culture of the freedom to voice your ideas. The generation of new ideas in the workplace will decide whether or not that startup is going to succeed.