India is today a flourishing ground to explore entrepreneurship. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge in 2014, he had been an encouraging force for startups. The government has been trying to ease the rules to encourage entrepreneurs and in turn, help the economy. Right from easing compliances and introducing initiatives, PM Modi earlier this year announced that January 16 will be observed as celebrated as National Startup Day.
The government recently in yet another remarkable step to encourage entrepreneurship, launched an initiative called Supporting Entrepreneurs in Transformation and Upskilling (SETU). The initiative was launched by Union Minister Piyush Goyal in San Francisco.
The objective of SETU is to provide mentorship and guidance to Indian startup leaders. It will connect startups to US-based investors and startup ecosystem leaders for mentorship and assistance in various areas like funding, market access and commercialisation.
India, which is home to 100+ unicorns (third largest after the US and China) with a valuation that goes in billions, is an attractive market for investors around the globe, especially in the US.
Piyush Goyal said that India’s market has huge potential and that the initiative will encourage investments in India and also provide a competitive place to do business. SETU, he said, is designed to break the geographical barriers between mentors based in the US that are willing to invest in entrepreneurship and sunrise startups in India.
Speaking about the SETU, Nidhi Aggarwal, founder, SpaceMantra, said that it is a great initiative for budding entrepreneurs who are constantly on the lookout for good investors for their ventures. There is no dearth of brilliant minds in India and inviting American entrepreneurs to engage in Indian startups will be a catalyst.
“Highlighting the country’s enormous market potential value, the economies of scale will encourage more investment in India,” she said.
Lokendra Singh Ranawat, founder & CEO, WoodenStreet, said that it will encourage the startup ecosystem and people will feel more motivated. “This programme will surely make India witness a brand-new sunshine and build more unicorns in the future,” he said.
According to a Nasscom-Zinnov report, the Indian startup base continues to witness steady growth. Going by the data, since 2016, 60,000 new startups have been established in 56 different sectors and more than 6 lakh jobs have been created by these startups. In 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 40 unicorn startups emerged in India.
Ankur Aggarwal, co-founder & MD, LaunchMyCareer, said that SETU will play a significant role in the realisation of the Iron Pillar Report’s prediction that India will have over 250 unicorns by 2025.
“With the right kind of mentorship, aspiring entrepreneurs can upskill themselves in a technically advanced ecosystem, access investors from any part of the country and enhance their chances of attracting top investors for their startup businesses,” Delphin Varghese, co-founder & CBO, Adcounty India, said.
The government, on its part, has been working on introducing massive changes to strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem.