Think of a bubbling economy, low costs, stable government, a huge, young and growing population with high-level education, speaking English, open to innovation and easy to relate to.
Currently, very few countries have as many positive and attractive features as India. The country has been reacting well to the impacts of the Corona crisis and has surprising rates of recovery and growth.
At this moment, having the Lotus Flower as one of its most representative symbols does not seem to be a mere coincidence. Regardless of spiritual connections, the flower emerges from obscurity to bloom in full light and comes out of the mud, strong and beautiful without getting dirty, with seeds that can resist up to 5,000 years without water, waiting for the right conditions to germinate.
Because of the threats it surpasses to flourish, the flower represents wisdom and knowledge, development, growth and perpetuation, resilience and strength, characteristics that could not be more suitable for India at this time.
According to the International Monetary Fund, India will have 11.5% of growth this year. With a huge domestic market, a middle class with more than 350 million people and the third-largest higher education system in the world, the country is expected to become the third-largest consumer economy by 2025.
India also has the second-largest internet consumer market in the world with over 740 million subscribers. And the cost of high-speed mobile internet is one of the world’s lowest (US$0.26/GB compared to US$9.89/GB in China).
Besides the growing and young workforce, India offers a low cost of living and a large pool of technical talent in the IT field, with the third-largest group of scientists and technicians in the world. In other words, many technology workers with a high level of education, the advantage of English being one of their official languages and the wage differential.
There are more than 7 million university graduates per year and, according to surveys with young people in the country, the majority prefers to work in startups than in corporations.
It is not by coincidence that India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, with more than 50,000 startups and more than 40 unicorns.
The long-lasting and stable government made the country a safe investment option. It also recognises the role of startups in stimulating the economy and creates various programmes to help cultivate the ecosystem.
India has rapidly achieved growing numbers in this sector. Bangalore is among the top 20 global startup ecosystems and is also ranked as one of the five fastest-growing startup cities in the world. Delhi is among the top 40 global startup ecosystems and according to the Global Innovation Index 2020, India ranks 48th, jumping 33 positions in 5 years.
Besides the funding pool of US $1.38bn for startups, the governmental initiatives include:
- More than 70 Atal Incubation Centres across India
- Reduction in Patent Registration fees
- Tax and compliance leniency for the first 3 years of operation and simplified regulations in general
- 5 years visas for foreign nationals travelling to India for business purposes
- Ease compliances
It is also very interesting to note the government’s effort to maintain the continuity of this path, with more than 7,000 ATLs (Atal Tinkering Labs) encouraging children from 12 years old in school programs to inspire creativity and innovation.
With an average of 12 jobs generated per startup, 43% of all Indian startups have one or more women on the board, proving that India has been able to improve and modernize its standards and follows global trends and requirements as gender inclusion.
The ecosystem is supported by an increasing number of angels, funds, support organizations and academic programs. In 2020, a growing presence of investors injected about $ 9.3 billion into Indian startups, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is undeniable that India will continue to stand out as a safe destination for entrepreneurs and investors, offering unique advantages and opportunities for those looking to expand internationally. Areas such as cleantech, health, mobility, renewable energy and urban development present urgent needs and the country is ready to receive and benefit from external solutions.
Even with all these advantages, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that India has very specific characteristics and its various social classes may represent several countries within the country.
Expanding to such a unique market must be a well-studied initiative and with the right partners and advisers.
The EU-India Innovation Center brings together the best specialists in internationalization, the biggest names in the European and Indian innovation market and the best local partners in strategic business sectors.
With a program that will train around 500 European startups, the EU India Innocenter offers technology companies the opportunity to launch and expand their activities in India, supporting their market entry strategies and creating a strong local network.
Be part of this community and be ready to take your business to the next level.
Text: Roberta Mellis – Pictures: Pixabay – Sources: Boston Consulting Group – BCG, International Monetary Fund, United Nations Population Fund, Global Innovation Index – World Intellectual Property Organization – United Nations.