India has one of the youngest populations in an ageing world; Start-up promoters bud from the 62% of our population who are in the age group of 15-59 years, and we have a generation of young, energetic, aspirational, goal focused and risk-taking human resource.
A Start-up is a vehicle carrying an idea, to solve a problem, manoeuvred by an engaged and determined promoter or promoters driven by a purpose to bring about significant change to the status quo. These vehicles and the people driving them majorly influence our everyday lives today. Be it getting home by a cab after a tiring day at work or ordering food online from a cloud kitchen or stocking up your groceries or upgrading your wardrobe; each of these activities were very cumbersome about fifteen years back. Today, you can have all of it at the click of a few but- tons. From Tech- Start-ups to Manufacturing Start-ups – each is reshaping our civilization and helping realise our dreams as a nation.
India with its over 61,000 start-ups is the third largest start-up eco-system in the world. It is estimated that about 2-3 tech start-ups are born every single day. Each of these start-ups are trying to solve a problem. In India, we define a start-up as a company, which engages in developing, producing or distributing new products, processes or services. This company should be turning around a revenue of less than INR 25 Cr and incorporated for three years or less. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recognised around fourteen thousand start-ups in the fiscal 2022. Since the launch of the Start-up program in India in 2016 by the honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the number of recognised start-ups has increased to 14000 in 2022 from about 733 in 2016. Around 83 start-ups have achieved unicorn status in the past years. As on January 2022, these start-ups raised INR 26250 crore ($ 3.5 billion) in 130 deals. These numbers not only give hope but they also strongly portray the determination and aspirations of 1.3 billion Indians.
The textile sector in India is also riding the start-up wave. With a major focus on manufacturing are ser- vices, entrepreneurs are providing solutions in do- mains which were known as sunrise domains until 2010. Domains such as additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing, mass-customised garmenting, tech- nical textiles, green energy, recycling, environment conservation, disaster management, quality-based sourcing and many others are seeing a surge in start- ups, which are challenging the status quo. As is evi- dent from the domains, promoters with a textile back- ground are engaging with sectors beyond their own to create value with fibre and textile-based solutions. This not only requires the comprehension of textile processing but also thorough understanding of the do- main of application. Today, sectors ranging from rail, road and infrastructure to mobility, medicine, space and industry are achieving their sustainability quotient by the use of fibres and textiles. The acceptance of fibre and textile-based solutions in these sectors, are seeing an exponential surge. Applications such as PPE kits, soil stabilization products, crop-protection kits, non-corrosive reinforcements for infrastructure and fibre reinforced polymers provide solutions to facilitate the growth of our nation and protect the inter ests of the nation. They also help the nation contribute towards the Global Sustainable Development Goals. While the current focus is on creating near net shaped textile-based structures, the country is also now looking at avenues of entering domains of speciality fibre manufacturing from the self-reliant India perspective.
The urgent need for indigenization of the speciality fibre-based industry will push a number of fresh graduates to take their formulations from their research labs to commercialization and help cater domains of national interest.
India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. Start-up promoters bud from the 62% of our population who are in the age group of 15-59 years. We have a generation of young, energetic, aspirational, goal focused and risk-taking human resource. This human resource is not afraid of failure and is determined to develop beyond the present circumstances. Apart from having a solution to an existing problem, the most important virtue required for the growth of a start-up is the determination and persistence of its promoters. In the endeavour of theirs, the Government of India is providing exceptional support via its various departments and schemes to hand hold the entrepreneurs. The Start-up India Campaign provides entrepreneurs with the Seed Fund Scheme to encourage profession- als to take the leap and create their own organisations. In addition to the Start-up India campaign, the Minis- try of Textiles, Government of India with its schemes such as National Technical Textile Mission, Incubation Centres in Apparel Manufacturing, Handloom Cluster Schemes, Handicraft Cluster Schemes are prompting entrepreneurs to come forward to help develop the textile sector and provide solutions to allied sectors. Organisations such as the Technology Development Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India also provides significant support for commercialising new technologies. Apart from these offerings, a number of incubation centres, across the country have been formed, to handhold and help nurture young start-ups.
With the opportunity that a country with 1.3 billion individuals provides; every young entrepreneur, every young start-up should reflect on the words of Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons and Chairman of Tata Trusts Mr. Ratan Tata from an interview with Ms. Shradha Sharma focusing on entrepreneurship, “To put it all together, we must ask ourselves, can we make a difference? Can we be innovative and creative? And not just after the money value of what we’ve done, but the contribution it has made to our humanity, our human population in India. So, we should be humble, at the same time, attentive to the needs, looking for opportunities.”