India Needs To Host Its Own Version Of The World Economic Forum: Here’s Why
Indian startups have been generating massive global attention of late. While they may still not be in the same league as Chinese or American startups, India has long been recognized as a global hotbed of innovation. However, technological innovation requires systematic seeding, nurturing and support of this ecosystem. A rising tide raises all boats goes an old saying. As any ecosystem starts growing stronger, several major startups start sprouting. A quick study of China and the USA will tell us why a major chunk of the large, high-tech startups in the world belong to these countries.
Promoting tech startups helps the entire biz community
The natural evolution of strong technology companies helps the whole ecosystem. Non-tech companies become more competitive as homegrown talent migrates and unique technology solutions give them an edge over companies from other markets. Startups in the market find it easier to raise capital as the largest tech companies become the final buyer for most of these startups. In the process, several new technologies are born and the cycle grows stronger and more capital enters the market.
A very strong indicator of a country maturing can be found either in sports or the startup’s ecosystem of that country. There are strong parallels between these two sectors simply because both are driven by individual passion, grit, and a will to be the best in the world. These individual drivers need to be supported by the larger ecosystem in the form of capital, technology, and mentorship. That is how world-class technologies emerge.
For a very long time, commentators have lamented the lack of investment in core technology in India. Never has it been pointed out that the same talent ends up creating awesome technology when they land up in developed ecosystems. The fact is that India has just started investing in technology in the form of government support. India still lacks major home-grown technology companies of the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple or Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and Xiaomi. The major tech companies from India are at least a decade behind in terms of innovation, giving rise to service rather than new technology and focus on other markets rather than India.
Using the World Economic Forum to drive tech innovation in India
Major events such as the World Economic Forum, help drive global knowledge, interest, and capital to India. For early-stage companies, getting global validation, connections, partnerships, and investments from foreign investors makes a huge difference. The reality is that Indian investors are still wary of investing in new technologies until they have been proven. For late-stage companies attending the event, major partnerships help drive the growth of the company globally. For many of these companies, getting global partnerships is very important to sustain growth rates, open up new revenue channels, and help the company become more competitive.
Over 100 private investors and 40 institutional investors across the globe are willing to invest based on the type of technology being developed. Smart investors willing to spend money on Indian startups reflects the fact that besides the huge startups from the US and China, India will be leading the tide. The inflow capital for startups is certainly an indication of the technical and non-technical startups growing in the country. Irrespective of the type of technology being developed, various fields that are growing at an exponential rate are IoT, Ecotech, Edutech, product development, biotech, civil tech, agri-tech, and more.
Up and coming sectors leading the pack
Some of the developments related to the environment and sustainability have been receiving more funding compared to others due to its social benefit and emphasis on mitigating climate change. Medical technological advancement is going strong as well. Talking about the non-technical startups, they are not falling behind in the competition either. With global investments in these, they could certainly reach greater heights. With over 35 startups representing India at these global events, the next startup market revolution is clearly brewing right here.
Gaining global partnerships will secure the survival of Indian startups, and this will ensure a fixed revenue stream to function. The end result would be these startups being purchased by the giants in their respective industries. However, it is very much necessary for these new organizations to grow to that extent and that is possible with global investors supporting them. The technical and non-technical advancements reflect the growth of the country as a whole. The next stream of private investments once grabbed by these Indian startups attending global events will certainly be the talk of the business world.
What is perhaps the most important factor is the technology and mentorship that startups from India receive at these events. Most of our startups are founded by entrepreneurs without knowledge or access to global technology, best practices, and knowledge-sharing. A small coterie of founders are foreign-educated or have worked internationally, and for them, these events give them access to reshape their strategies and processes. Companies in technology do not arise out of a vacuum. As such, finding a mentor who has knowledge of the best technologies in the world can be the difference between building the next big company and failing to scale.
What India really needs is to organize more such events in India, so that more startups will get access to the likes of Sundar Pichai or Jack Ma. What we need is a national platform for the startups who attend the event to share their knowledge with the startups who were not lucky enough to attend the event.
At Eunimart, we will be sharing regular updates about the event and try to open up opportunities not just for ourselves, but for the entire startup community. We welcome startups from India to reach out to us and let us know how we can help them from the event.