This year I had a chance to closely look around the startup ecosystem which is developing at a breakneck pace in India. The startup space has been looking bright in India for the past 5 years. With unicorns being born, startups in India are no longer focussing on solving just India’s problems. Rather, they are looking to use India as a case study for a greater global relevance. The startups are taking different paths but one thing that is common across all the startups is the confidence in their ability to deliver solutions across the globe. This year, I had the opportunity to interact with various founders and I am sharing the gist of the conversations I had.
Bhushan of Picoenergy focuses on providing last mile energy solution to those who do not have access to affordable energy. He feels that the challenges these communities face across geographies are the same. He has been working in Myanmar, India and Southern Africa and he feels that at the core, the problem is about the ability to provide better living conditions to the community members. Once you provide good quality and affordable solutions, the differences across geographies disappear.
A new spectrum of tech startups are coming up that are trying to be part of the global blockchain and crypto movement. Startups in India feel that the current opportunity in the blockchain space can propel them to be leaders rather than followers. Praveen who has been into this space says that he got into it to just explore the world. He feels, being in the tech space one should explore to understand it better. He started developing projects like Keysafe (https://keysafe.xyz), Fable Dazzle (https://fabledazzle.site) which are built on decentralised web. He feels that the motivation to innovate comes from the possibilities that could emerge in this space and hence wants to continue tinkering with the process.
Sandeep is working on a hotel booking site, mistay.in, that allows customers to customize their stay options and also gives business travellers chance to pick only select hours for their stay. His team has been expanding their footprints across India and have plans to first expand into southeast-asia and then to other parts of the globe.
The gender gap in the tech space has been a bone of contention for a long time. It is more apparent in the startup space. Lots of initiatives have been taken by various stakeholders. Neha who is the creator of dapps(decentralized applications) like Magic Spoon (https://magicspoon.xyz), Copypaste (https://copypaste.today) feels that one key step that needs to be taken is to encourage and support women founders. She strongly feels having more women founders in the tech space especially less ventured decentralized tech will go a long way in addressing the gender gap.
The year 2019 has been exciting for startup space in India as have been the last 4-5 years. But, the new dimension has been the outward thinking and the confidence exhibited by young founders about global aspirations. What 2020 has in store for them will be an interesting story.