India: Opening Up Opportunities
Finding a job can be a daunting task; building a long-term career seems even more impossible. Imagine your typical Toronto job search and how competitive it is because every budding business major, scientist, lawyer, philanthropist, and writer is looking for their one shot. Now imagine doing that in a country of 1.3 billion people.
India is a rapidly growing nation that ranks in the top 10 largest economies in the world. However, innovation and entrepreneurship have not always been a priority for the nation. That is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Start Up India policy, with its Stand Up program, is so encouraging. In his words, “Stand Up India aims to empower every Indian and enable them to stand on their own feet. Today’s job seekers will be job creators of tomorrow.”
Firstly, the new plan aims to streamline the communication process of starting one’s own business by means of a new app and digital portal. The previous startup administrative process was just not developed enough to manage the growing entrepreneurial scene. Furthermore, more sector-specific incubators will be launched to ensure that new businesses are well-developed from the start and have a real chance at being successful in their field. Possibly one of the biggest and most vital changes is the new allocation of additional funds for startups. At the end of the day, entrepreneurs need the financial support to develop their product or service and see it come to fruition. They may have all the skill and market research in the world, but without seed funding, business launch becomes extremely difficult. Finally, startups will not be taxed on profits for the first 3 years of operations, creating a huge incentive for entrepreneurs to focus their efforts on sustainable profitability.
The Start Up India program has the potential to be a real game changer for the nation’s economically disadvantaged populations. Fostering a supportive environment for innovation and technological development in India is key, and the Prime Minister’s plan is a step in the right direction. Once entrepreneurial efforts get started, it won’t be long before a sector of social enterprises sweeps the nation, ultimately bringing long-lasting changes to the social landscape of the country.
While this is maybe an optimistic view of India’s growth potential, it is clear that its attitude towards entrepreneurs has been transformed in the past few decades. It will be interesting to see the impact of Start Up India on social enterprise, female entrepreneurs, and start ups by the economically disadvantaged, and how entrepreneurship can form a vital part of a sustainable employment program to meet the needs of the Indian people.
This article was contributed by Srobona Podder.