India has served as a startup hub for a growing number of entrepreneurs across the nation. However, when it comes to the reality of entrepreneurship in India, startups continue to face multiple obstacles. The primary obstacles faced by entrepreneurs are a lack of skilled resources, inadequate capital, and a dearth of effective strategies. The Indian government has taken numerous steps to overcome these obstacles and create entrepreneurial opportunities. Establishing incubation centers in various cities and institutions is one such effort. India has more than 250 incubators, ranking it third in the world in terms of incubator density.
Business incubators provide the most versatile platform for entrepreneurial success.The government has consistently provided support to create a startup ecosystem in India, as they result into a big number of direct and indirect employments.Economic Survey 2021-22 report presented in the parliament states the number of new recognized startups grew from 733 in 2016-17 to 14,000 in 2021-22. India has 100 unicorns in 2022 with a total value of around $333 billion.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, officially declared January 16 as “National Startup Day” to recognize and encourage the growing number of startups in India. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has introduced a framework to foster entrepreneurship in India and promote startup ecosystems in states and union territories. This will encourage regions to work proactively and assist them in identifying, learning, and adopting best practices. Incubators provide these skills that could only be acquired through experience: planning, investments, patience, risk management, and problem-solving. A vibrant community that includes insiders can play a crucial role in assisting businesses in regions with limited resources. Incubators add value to startups and enable young entrepreneurs to bring their innovative and creative ideas to life. Start-ups are an essential factor of economic growth, which in necessitates a resourceful environment. Incubators provide access to mentors, financial influencers, and entrepreneurs with a similar mindset, as well as a vast networking platform. Incubators facilitate the connection of individuals from diverse backgrounds who share similar interests and objectives, making them an ideal forum for discussion, collaboration, and the development of new ideas. Moreover, incubators help entrepreneurs develop soft skills so that they can articulate their ideas and vision more eloquently in order to attract investors.
It is clear that incubators play a significant role in establishing the startup ecosystem in India by providing the necessary strategic and financial assistance to those in need. Working with an incubator, where they can find the right individuals, people, and committed partners to help them realize their company’s vision, can significantly accelerate a startup’s path to success. This assistance has expanded in many dimensions, including office space and infrastructure, business support, and financial capital. The combined i-factor of incubators provide optimism that India’s startup culture will continue to develop. Despite this, Indian startups still face numerous obstacles that can be overcome through the combined efforts of all stakeholders.
Kanika Malik*, Mridula Sinha, Krishanshu Garg, Dr. Bindu Singh