India celebrates National Startup Day 2024

India celebrates National Startup Day 2024

The day signifies a beacon for entrepreneurial excellence!

National Startup Day 2024

Mumbai: In a world that is increasingly driven by innovation and technology, startups play a pivotal role in shaping the future. Recognizing the importance of fostering entrepreneurship and supporting the growth of innovative ventures, India celebrates National Startup Day in 2024. This annual event serves as a testament to the nation's commitment to creating a thriving ecosystem for startups, providing them with the necessary resources and encouragement to flourish.

The inception of National Startup Day took place on 16 January 2023, as declared by prime minister Narendra Modi. The inaugural celebration of National Startup Day occurred on the same date.

Even back then, the Indian government has been actively involved in promoting the startup ecosystem through various initiatives and policies. The introduction of Startup India, a flagship initiative launched in 2016, has played a crucial role in providing a supportive framework for startups. The program offers financial incentives, tax benefits, and simplified regulatory processes, making it easier for entrepreneurs to kickstart their ventures.

Brace yourselves as Indiantelevision reached out to as many industry leaders from across sectors who have expressed their opinions regarding this day. Let’s see what they all got to say!

Edited excerpts

Social Panga co-founder Himanshu Arora

My biggest takeaway would be to focus on 2 P’s: People & Product.

Exceptional individuals in your team lead to outstanding products.

In the startup realm, the concept of compounding is profoundly significant. While progress may seem incremental daily, the real MAGIC unfolds over time – day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year.

Focus on the long term but execute on the short term.

The synergy between a talented team, a stellar product, and a well-managed timeframe is the formula for sustainable success in the dynamic world of startups

The recipe for disaster, if you are starting to become a Unicorn. While achieving unicorn status is often a byproduct of consumer approval, it should not be the sole focus. The concept of consumer-centricity is frequently discussed but proves challenging to execute.

Admatazz founder & stragetist Yash Chandiramani

My advice to entrepreneurs who are just kicking off will be:

To focus on building a team first. From the onset of your journey, focus on building a work culture and place where the team feels welcomed. Business, growth, expansion, and revenue will all follow if you have a strong base - the core team. The culture of a company plays a pivotal role in the long run. Cultivate resilience and prepare for a challenging yet fulfilling journey.

Do not forget your passion and mission. If you are someone in the creative field, strengthen your skills and crafts on a daily basis.

Zoomcar CEO & co-founder Greg Moran

Zoomcar, a homegrown success story that is currently listed on NASDAQ, is celebrating its journey with pride on this National Startup Day. A pioneer in the car-sharing industry, Zoomcar has revolutionized mobility solutions in emerging markets. Not only has our creative approach been a game-changer for travel, but it has also greatly aided in the expansion of the sharing economy. Being listed on NASDAQ underscores our unwavering dedication to quality and openness and demonstrates investors' faith in our mission. Zoomcar reaffirms its commitment to influencing urban mobility in the future, encouraging entrepreneurship, and bringing about positive change in the global transport system as we commemorate this occasion.

Tresa Motors CEO & founder Rohan Shravan

India has demonstrated tremendous entrepreneurial talent, with startups at the forefront of transformative change across industries. National Startup Day celebrates this spirit of innovation that enables ideas to become reality. We at Tresa Motors applaud India's vibrant culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. As pioneers in the EV sector, we are proud to be part of the startup ecosystem that is propelling our nation towards a $5 trillion economy.

Our mission aligns with the promise of this day - to revolutionize and lead India's medium and heavy commercial EV market while also setting global benchmarks for auto sector innovation. We firmly believe startups will steer India's journey to becoming a cardinal leader on the world stage. We hope this day serves as an inspiration to turn promising visions into tangible ventures that elevate India. Together, we can unleash the power of startups and shape the future of our nation.

ZebPay CEO Rahul Pagidipati

India has emerged as a global powerhouse in the startup ecosystem, showcasing phenomenal growth and fostering innovation across diverse sectors. The nation’s vibrant entrepreneurial spirit has led to a remarkable surge in the creation of startups, contributing significantly to broader economic growth.

According to a recent report by Zinnov, India has the third-largest tech startup industry in the world with over 950 tech firms founded in 2023.  This trend highlights the nation’s dynamic and resilient entrepreneurial ecosystem, making it a focal point for innovation and investment on the global stage.

As an entrepreneur and investor, I strongly believe in the game-changing potential of startups to innovate and reshape industries. I'm here to back and champion pioneers who dream big and disrupt, as they are the ones leading the charge toward the next big wave of change.

The growth of the Web 3 industry in India has also been remarkable over the past few years. India is emerging as a strong force in the Web 3 space with more than 450+ start-ups. This reinforces the fact that the potential of Indian startups and talent pool continues to be strong and is only going to grow further in the years to come.

Simpl founder and CEO Nitya Sharma

In the era of Unbundling of E-commerce, startups play a vital role in creating a level playing field and bringing market access to millions for small businesses led by MSMEs and D2C merchants in the country. They also help in building customers’ trust on merchants online or offline, resulting in a significant acceleration in the trade of goods and services and contributing to India’s objective of achieving a $5 trillion economy by 2028. This National Startup Day should set the tone for the growth of this ecosystem over the next 10 years where governments, industry and the academia pool their knowledge and resources together to build a truly digital first nation, powering the world’s economy.

Perfora co-founder Jatan Bawa

Start ups are playing a very important role in driving growth for our country. Across different domains, there is a massive opportunity for start ups to address problems for people in India. Pre pandemic, there was a lot of focus on convenience enabled by technology however post pandemic, the focus has been primarily on improving health & wellness.Over the last 3 years, our government has been proactively encouraging startups and promoting entrepreneurship. Our experience has been good while building a start up as a lot of initiatives are in favor of young companies.

The Government of India has played a crucial role in accelerating growth in our industry. Policies promoting ease of doing business, financial incentives, and initiatives like "Startup India" have provided the necessary support.

Looking ahead, the future of our industry in India appears promising. With a continued focus on health and wellness, there are ample opportunities for startups to innovate and address evolving needs. The government's sustained commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, coupled with emerging technologies, positions the Indian startup ecosystem for robust growth. As we move forward, collaboration between startups, industry players, and the government will be pivotal in realizing the full potential of this dynamic landscape.

Perfora co-founder Tushar Khurana

A decade earlier it would have been impossible to start and build a start up in a seamless way as we are doing it now. The government has been super supportive concerning its policies related to startups and I'm quite optimistic about the future as there are so many problems to solve. This is the decade of start ups.For India, this is the decade of entrepreneurship and I would strongly suggest people think about how they can add value to our country.

In the course of our startup journey, the evolution of India's startup ecosystem has been truly transformative. A mere decade ago, the seamless initiation and growth we now experience with Perfora would have been deemed implausible. The government's support, underscored by startup-friendly policies, has been instrumental in this paradigm shift. This decade unequivocally marks a flourishing era for startups, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship that is reshaping the Indian business landscape.

As we navigate myriad challenges, startups find themselves uniquely positioned to offer innovative solutions. The prevailing trend of fostering entrepreneurship aligns seamlessly with the vast potential for creative problem-solving. Moving forward, a continued partnership between the government and startups will be pivotal, cultivating an ecosystem where ideas can germinate and contribute substantially to the nation's trajectory. Embracing setbacks, cherishing minor victories, and valuing the entrepreneurial journey will be the linchpin for shaping success in this dynamic era of Indian entrepreneurship.

Athena Education co-founder Poshak Agrawal

In 2014, my co-founder Rahul Subramaniam and I set out to make a meaningful impact within the Indian education landscape. Mentors at heart, we interacted with the children of acquaintances and reflected on the gaps in their academic experiences. We discovered that they lacked structured avenues for academic and extracurricular exploration. Beyond that, we learned that there were far more Indian applicants to foreign universities than there was guidance available to them. Thus, we started Athena, a holistic education consultancy modeled after the interdisciplinary, liberal arts ethos of our alma mater, Princeton University.

Our approach was far from conventional for the Indian market at the time–we went straight to the heart of each student’s deep driving desire to understand what makes them truly unique. We believe that every child has the innate potential to attain excellence, yet they require strategic guidance to build an outstanding profile and mindset that will make them stand out in the highly competitive admissions process. We discarded the one-size-fits-all approach, embracing tailored strategies for individual students. We believe in not just shaping scholar profiles, but also nurturing holistic development. Our team of mentors’ hail from prestigious institutions like Princeton, Williams, Michigan, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and bring unparalleled expertise to the students’ personal transformation.

Athena's innovation is enabled by our 360-degree experiential Academies. Our in-house robotics lab, design atelier, and state-of-the-art recording studio empower scholars to learn by doing. The future is AI, and we're at the forefront, producing top-tier projects and research papers and exposing our students to the best. Athena’s mission is to build the scholars of today into the leaders of tomorrow. Guided by our core values of integrity, growth, synthesis, and impact, we are confident that Athena scholars will usher in a better future for us all.

Locus CEO & founder Nishith Rastogi

National Startup Day is a powerful testament to the boundless potential of entrepreneurship, which is instrumental in creating jobs, driving innovation, and fueling economic growth in India. As an entrepreneur, I am deeply thankful for the consistent support extended by the Government of India to our entrepreneurial landscape. The success story of the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) is particularly inspiring in the logistics field, demonstrating how innovative startups can transform entire industries. At Locus, we firmly believe that the government's visionary initiatives, exemplified by programs like Digital India, act as ideal launch pads for Indian entrepreneurs. These initiatives encourage them to push boundaries, making a significant impact continually. We actively promote a culture that nurtures entrepreneurship and innovation for the greater good.

Erekrut HR Automation Solution Pvt Ltd co-founder  Ravinder Goyal

On this National Startup Day, amidst a funding winter, India’s HR tech landscape shines with resilience. Despite global headwinds, 2023 witnessed nearly 1,000 HR tech startups raising over $11 billion, underscoring the vast potential in transforming workplace operations. This success is attributed to a focus on fundamentals, with 60% of founders reporting increased revenues, validating the resilience fostered by timely innovations such as AI in recruiting and flexible work policies.

However, challenges persist, including regulatory hurdles and the need for guidance in navigating market access and scaling funds. Addressing these could solidify India’s position as a global HR tech powerhouse. The future blueprint involves the nimble evaluation of emerging work models and addressing ecosystem-specific pain points. As work paradigms and employee expectations evolve, HR tech must drive disruption while enhancing organizational health.

At such a crucial juncture, the key to innovation lies in understanding and responding quickly to the unique needs of India’s startups. By learning from the past year’s progress and strategically investing in problem-solving for tomorrow, we can reshape global workforces.

Creduce founder & MD Shailendra Singh Rao

National Startup Day is an unprecedented endeavor that will significantly contribute to the promotion of entrepreneurship-related consciousness and enthusiasm. Inspiring individuals and attracting a greater quantity of talent and ideas into the ecosystem, it will also draw attention to the realm of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and other stakeholders will have additional opportunities to network and collaborate as a result. This can encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and resiliency of established startups while boosting morale. In summary, it is anticipated to have a beneficial effect on society. It is imperative to exercise caution in order to avoid reducing the effort to a spectacle and oversimplification through mere commendation and demonstration of achievement.

The Hosteller founder & CEO Pranav Dangi

The travel and hospitality industry is expected to experience a dramatic increase in Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) startups that use cutting-edge technology in 2024. These innovative startups are changing the way the industry looks by providing services that are immersive and offer unmatched value for money. As we commemorate National Startup Day, we must acknowledge the critical role that these innovative businesses have played in transforming the travel experience. These startups, with their AI-powered personalized itineraries and seamless booking platforms, are leading the way in revolutionising the traveler experience. Let's celebrate the creativity that is causing this significant change in the tourism industry and look forward to an unprecedented year of expansion and connectivity in the true spirit of entrepreneurship.

WazirX VP Rajagopal Menon

National Startup Day, celebrated on 16 January, is a tribute to India's entrepreneurial spirit. We in the crypto space believe that startups are playing a crucial role in shaping the future of Digital India. This day provides a reminder for all of us to acknowledge the importance of entrepreneurship. One entrepreneur provides jobs to at least 5 others besides generating jobs for an entire allied eco-sytem. PM Narendra Modi announced that January 16th will be celebrated as National Startup Day. He stated that startups will be the backbone of the new India and will have an important role to play as the country completes 100 years of independence. India become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. The Indian government has actively fostered this environment, recognizing over 98,000 startups by April 2023, eligible for benefits under the Startup India scheme. Initiatives like the Fund of Funds for Startups, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme, and Credit Guarantee Scheme provide multifaceted support.

Prime minister Narendra Modi envisions startups as the cornerstone of India's progress, particularly as the nation approaches its centenary of independence. This aligns with India's emergence as the third-largest startup ecosystem globally. To nurture this growth, the government has recognized over 98,000 startups by April 2023, extending benefits under the Startup India initiative. Supportive measures like the Fund of Funds for Startups, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme, and Credit Guarantee Scheme bolster these enterprises at various developmental stages.

We live in a time when industry is rapidly evolving and startups are at the forefront of driving this change. As entrepreneurs, we must firmly resolve to contribute to make India a five trillion dollar economy and work towards making that dream a reality.

Green Mantis director Saahil Garg

Celebrating National Startup Day 2024, we proudly showcase the vibrant tapestry of vegetarian Pan-Asian cuisine. Fueled by an unwavering passion for vegetarianism, our culinary journey blends traditional Asian flavours with inventive plant-based alternatives. The fusion of ancient recipes and contemporary ethics, embodying a culinary revolution that transcends boundaries. Here's to a future where innovation meets tradition on the plate, embodying the spirit of startups and the richness of a plant-powered lifestyle, one delicious bite at a time.

Mandakini founder Anita Katti

As we celebrate National Startup Day 2024, let us embrace the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that defines our journey. Like the intricate weave of a silk saree, each startup thread contributes to the vibrant fabric of our economy. Today, we honor the visionaries who dared to dream, the risk-takers who turned ideas into reality, and the resilience that fuels their success. May this day inspire aspiring entrepreneurs to embark on their own silk saree of possibilities, weaving together passion, perseverance, and progress. Here's to a future where every startup thread adds richness to the tapestry of our collective success.

Rosemoore director Ridhima Kansal

India's startup landscape has shown tremendous resilience despite external shocks. As we mark National Startup Day, policy efforts must continue nurturing innovation. Beyond metros, building incubation channels for rural youth with contextual solutions know-how can promote inclusive entrepreneurship. Optimizing registration and tax processes alongside compliance guidance can further level the playing field for early-stage ventures. With targeted support, startups can become the job creators fueling a self-reliant India.

Saraf Furniture founder Raghunandan Saraf

Entrepreneurship is an ongoing evolution.National Startup Day celebrates the spirit of innovation, acknowledging the transformative power of entrepreneurship. It signifies the courage to dream big and take risks, creating opportunities for growth. While the journey is challenging, the initial vision must drive relentless hard work. Entrepreneurs, starting with a dream, navigate through difficulties, learning and evolving. The celebration emphasizes the importance of persistence, as success requires continuous dedication. Entrepreneurship is both rewarding and demanding, pushing individuals to surpass day one aspirations. In the face of obstacles, it is the unwavering commitment that propels startups forward. Starting a start-up reminds us that every challenge is an opportunity, and the pursuit of excellence is a journey worth celebrating.

Tagglabs founder Hariom Seth

On National Startup Day, let's applaud the vibrant ecosystem of 112,718 startups, where visionary change-makers persevered against the odds. While the government's initiatives have streamlined company registration, fundraising, and GST processes, there's a call for a shift in policy mindset from regulation to fostering creative collaboration. Enhancing knowledge sharing through public-private mechanisms can empower startups to leverage technology and skills, paving the way for groundbreaking products.

SpacеMantra founder Nidhi Aggarwal

As India celebrates National Startup Day, we should applaud the entrepreneurs driving innovation even in turbulent times. From agritech pioneers building robust supply chains to fintech disruptors making digital finance accessible – startups sit at the epicenter of transformation. This ecosystem deserves nurturing. Beyond laurels, we must channel policy efforts into seed funding access, incubation hubs, and market connectivity to empower startups to improve more lives.

NеtSеtGo co-founder Sundeep Rana

Startup journeys demand grit but unlock immense reward. On National Startup Day, we salute the risk-takers striking out solo, bringing unconventional ideas to fruition. For hopeful founders, solutions-focused thinking, rapid prototyping and grasping real market needs are key. With entrepreneurship contagion sweeping India’s youth, robust mentorship programs, easier credit access and governmental process assistance will empower many more trailblazing startups to emerge.

ILAMED & Dermalyn Aesthetics founder & director Dr. Ajay Rana

Today, on National Startup Day 2024, we celebrate the spirit of innovation and perseverance that drives entrepreneurs in every field. In the realm of healthcare, Dermatologists, Surgeons, and Aesthetic Physicians embody this ethos, blending science with artistry to enhance lives. Their commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing new technologies mirrors the essence of startup culture. As we applaud the pioneers in dermatology and surgery, we recognize that each procedure is a testament to human skill and compassion. Today, let us not only commemorate the achievements of our medical trailblazers but also inspire the next generation to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys, forging a path toward a healthier and more beautiful world.

Vervotech CEO & co-founder Sanjay Ghare

From chai-powered startups in Pune to unicorns in Bengaluru, India is churning out 1,000 SaaS companies a year.

And with an annual growth rate surpassing 30%, Indian SaaS startups have attracted over $6 billion in investments, becoming second largest ecosystem. This numerical surge reflects a paradigm shift, where innovation and entrepreneurship are pushing India to the forefront of the global SaaS revolution.

EaseMyTrip co-founder Rikant Pittie

The world of entrepreneurship is dynamic and can certainly be challenging. Pursuing your passion requires grit, determination, and courage. The recipe for success lies in your hard work and how determined you are to achieve your goals. The journey is about putting in consistent and persistent efforts, embracing challenges, making mistakes, and willingness to learn from failures.

When you are building a business, being agile and flexible is necessary, as changing times will require an innovative, problem-solving approach and a progressive mindset. When my brothers and I decided to establish a business of our own, we did not have any external funding or a mentor who could guide us. We take pride in being a self-made, homegrown company, and have worked over the years to build a brand that is counted among the leading online travel agencies in the country today.  

My advice to aspiring tech entrepreneurs would be to focus on their tech infrastructure, as it will form the robust foundation of your company and will be critical to your growth. Next, I would suggest working with a sustainable approach. Environmental consciousness is no longer a trend but has emerged as the need of the hour. Brands that can operate with this model are likely to gain customers’ trust and loyalty and have greater chances of attaining success. 

VoloFin co-founder & CEO Roshan Shah

India stands as a beacon of entrepreneurial prowess and innovation, fostering economic and societal progress both domestically and globally. As a startup ourselves, our approach is to embrace challenges as a learning tool, fostering a culture of innovation, initiative, and nurturing. We promoted cross-functional collaboration that harnessed diverse perspectives leading us to customer-centric design thinking becoming our focus and disrupting traditional product development. By challenging the traditional methods, startups demonstrated adaptability, unparalleled creativity, innovation, and foresight. This burgeoning startup culture in India not only fuels innovation but also emerges as a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive growth, positioning the nation at the forefront of global economic and technological advancements.

Finvasia co-founder & MD Sarvjeet Virk

Setting up a startup comes with a host of challenges. In our case, setting up a business in a supposed 'small town' like Chandigarh had people doubting us. We faced challenges with limited infrastructure, networking opportunities, and partnerships. However, by hiring and nurturing local talent, we turned these challenges into strengths over time. With proper guidance and opportunities, we found that the local talent was as skilled as their counterparts in bigger cities. After COVID, with more people working remotely, we had access to a broader talent pool. Stay focused on the problem statement, with new technology and innovation as the foundation for your growth.