The Start-up Revolution: An Economic Renaissance

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“Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can!”

That seems to be the driving force behind the recent surge in start-ups. The Indian start up eco system is booming. The number of start-ups in India is on the rise. It has gained serious momentum over the last couple of years. The numbers stand testimony- from 3100 start ups in 2014 to a projection of 11500 start-ups by 2020, with over 7.3 billion invested and 300% growth in the first three quarters of 2015, this certainly isn’t some passing phase, this is a revolution of sorts; one that is here to stay.

As per a recent UN report, despite having less population than China, India has world’s largest youth population with 356 million youths. Young India is impatient, unapologetic and unwilling to compromise. They’d slog to build their own dreams rather than someone else’s.

10 years ago if you told someone that you are willing to quit your high paying job to pursue a ‘start-up’ idea, they’d call you a fool. Today you tell someone that and they’ll call you a visionary, That’s how much the scenario has changed!

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Driven by factors such as massive funding, consolidation activities, evolving technology and a proliferating domestic market, the Indian start-up space has been snowballing into a massive sector in itself.

Foreign investors have started viewing India as a country with excellent potential and have funded many such start-ups. SoftBank Group, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners US are some of the major players who are looking to tap the potential that India has to offer through these start-ups.

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Let’s take a look at some of these game changing start-ups-


Ola has changed the way people see cab or taxi services. It’s no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. They managed to penetrate into the Indian market that saw cabs as an overpriced alternative to a convenient and pocket –friendly means of transportation. While the range of services offered like Mini, Sedan, Prime, Auto-rickshaws, Taxis, and Café (food delivery) has continued to increase over the past year, Ola plans to further invest in localizing its offerings for the benefit of customers and driver partners in every market. Ola plans to be in 200 cities by the end of this year.


Even with the thriving existence of travel websites like MakeMyTrip and Yatra, Redbus has managed to carve a niche for itself and has delved into the market of booking buses. Everyone had an option to book flights and trains, so this was a category that wasn’t explored enough. This led to the inception of Redbus, now acquired by Ibibo.


Started in March 2010, by Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda with an idea to create fun and bright Indian souvenirs to a flourishing lifestyle brand today. Using bright colors, quirky designs and a knack for making the unconventional look cool, Chumbak redefined Indian décor. People no longer find it weird to see such abstract designs right in the middle of their living room, in fact it is much appreciated. Vivek says that they realized that the biggest fans of Chumbak were young Indians who wore India on their sleeves. They realized that their customers wanted more and Chumbak went from being a souvenir brand to being representative of this new India.


Lingerie, in India, is still seen as a basic necessity and not something that one needs to experiment with. This is exactly the notion that led Richa Kar, CEO of Zivame to start up a company that solely focused on the intimate yet extremely important market of lingerie. “I realized that lingerie as a category in India is under-served. There is unavailability of sizes, social discomfort and very poor market penetration” she said and went on to make Zivame a house-hold name.

Tiny Owl

They took home delivery one step forward. You can now just flip through the app, select the kind of food you want, the restaurant you want it from, place an order and also pay online, all with just single app. TinyOwl has associations across more than 4,000 restaurants and processes almost 2,000 orders every day. In less than one year, the company has built a team strength of 400 plus employees.



Grofers is an online delivery service that connects consumers with local groceries. From fruits, vegetables and spices to confectionery and dairy products. You name it, they have it and they get it! A smooth app that allows you to choose through a plethora of options and delivers it right to your doorstep. It has come as a blessing in disguise for people who work late and have no time to go grocery shopping, at no added costs.

The start-up sector has led to an increase in entrepreneurial talent as well as to an economy that is looking forward to take full advantage of the infusion of foreign funding and angel investors. These start –ups are slowly but surely changing and paving the way for an economic renaissance in the country.

These are interesting times for India, as the youth today have moved on from the get a ‘decent job’ and stick to it culture, It is passé. They have embraced the ‘Startup Culture’. The ‘dream job’ is now changing to ‘dream start-up’. India is about to undergo an economic evolution and this time dreams are going to be the blueprint to reality!

Shireen Azizi

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