According to the latest IMF projections (Jan/2022), India’s real GDP is expected to grow by 9% in 2021-22 and 2022-23 and 7.1% in 2023-24. This projects India as the biggest fastest growing economy in the world in all these three years.
Following the waves of Information Technology, consumerism and innovation, in the last few decades, India has evolved from the world’s center of IT outsourcing, services and business processes, to a major center of R&D, with more than 1200 global multinationals establishing their R&D centers in the country (More than half in Bangalore alone).
Digital India has been a major initiative by the Indian government over the past decade to move the country from being a country poor in digital infrastructure to being a leader. Today India is a digital economy with over 833 million internet subscribers.
With the development of the digital infrastructure of public goods known as the ‘IndiaStack’ – more than 1.2 billion Indians have received their biometric identifications — Aadhaar — and integrated the Universal Identification Project (UiD). This was the fastest rate of reaching a billion users, surpassing the growth of giants like Facebook, WhatsApp or even cell phones.
This infrastructure has facilitated the opening of more than 500 million bank accounts for citizens who have never had one before and the country quickly transitioned from an all-cash economy to cashless digital transactions.
Besides that, additional layers of infrastructure are being built into IndiaStack facilitating from health insurance, uniform single taxation norms and electronically signed documents to drones and small plane flight plan authorizations.
Riding on the growth wave and the government’s push for digitization, India’s startup ecosystem now stands firmly with over 94 unicorns. The country birthed more unicorns in 2021 than all previous years together and the pace has continued in 2022 with 12 new ones by the beginning of March/22.
But how to continue on this journey being the second largest country in population but number 129 In the Human Development Index Ranking?
How to govern a population of 1.3 billion being number 135 in the Education Index and number 140 in the World Happiness Report?
Which direction should the largest and fastest-growing economy in the world take?
The answer is Deep Technology
DeepTech solutions can form the foundation for future industries that emerging markets, such as India, need and require. Leveraging what these solutions offer to boost growth in some specific sectors is no longer an option but an undeniable need.
And the beauty of this is that, when it comes to Deep Tech, India has as many needs as opportunities and benefits to offer.
First, solutions based on deep tech solve real-life problems in areas like healthcare, fintech, agriculture, and water management. India also has its share of challenges when it comes to food, energy, water and national security.
Second, deep tech companies can offer alternative job opportunities. And third, they will help ensure the sovereignty of the country’s data. The concerns around data localization are genuine and growing and one way to deal with this is to create an environment that allows Indian deep tech companies to flourish.
The Indian education system needs to reduce costs. Live online teaching can replace expensive offline colleges for the masses and, more than that, also reach remote areas, thus ensuring that the talents that flourish there are not forced to migrate to the cities.
It is not even necessary to elaborate on how a population with the characteristics of India needs deep tech solutions in the Healthcare area.
In the Indian agricultural sector, which is expected to grow to US$24 billion by 2025, deep tech also plays a crucial role. This year, the Government of India has embarked on agricultural reforms, and IoT devices, for example, integrated into the agricultural network – with the data in the farmer’s hands via his mobile phone – can lead to real transformation.
With a huge and young population, one of India’s trump cards is the smartphone that has been adopted even by rural India and mobile broadband usage is among the highest in the world. For Indian citizens, mobile phones can function as an I-card, educational devices, healthcare portals and e-governance solutions for everything.
Besides that, in the Global Electricity Index, India has been jumping positions and is almost reaching 100% electrification, which can be the gateway to all other technologies.
When a DeepTech solution works, it creates a platform technology that can cause disruption across markets, jumpstart new industries, and address existing bottlenecks in traditional sectors. The sectors and technologies included in DeepTech are broad and ever-shifting.
India has countless opportunities for startups applying Deep Tech to create solutions across sectors, as well as those applying next-gen technology that can address deep and complex challenges of inclusion and livelihoods in the country.
In addition, the Indian startup ecosystem has gained a lot from actions such as the Atal Innovation Mission and the Department of Science and Technology led by Startup India and Niti Aayog.
India is the 4th largest country by size of venture funding – In 2021 startups raise 3x the number raised in 2020. Around 60% of this funding went to the 42 unicorns born in 2021.
There are many initiatives to discover, promote and invest in startups related to AI, ML, augmented/virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), robotics, blockchain, natural language processing (NLP), Drones & Robotics, Agritech, CyberSecurity, etc., indicating a strong demand for startups focused on disruptive technology that can solve complex global problems.
So, India offers a cohesive and welcoming ecosystem, not only with the possibility of finding investors, but also the availability of talents and a skilled workforce.
The Eu- India Innocenter prepares European startups at different stages of maturity to expand their business to India.
We provide training, planning and networking through a free guiding journey through all phases of the internationalisation process and entry to the Indian market.
If you are a European startup with innovative Deep tech solutions, India can be the perfect country to expand your business.
Check out our various programmes and count on us at every step of this journey – from discovering business opportunities to building a strategic local network in India.