Editor's Note

How India's Start-up Poster Boy Went Out of Job Overnight

Despite fueling the start-up wave, the Indian government fails to see the potential in the homegrown companies
How India's Start-up Poster Boy Went Out of Job Overnight
Image credit: Flipkart
Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Media (APAC & India)
3 min read
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A bit late in the day but I had to say it here. While there is much rejoice in the start-up world, celebrating Flipkart sellout to Walmart, I could not
personally find a reason to cheer. The billionaire poster boy Sachin Bansal went out of business overnight and the India-based corporate became an American company.
Flipkart will always be credited for igniting business aspirations among start-ups. In 2007, it set the precedent of starting up a technology business and in 2018, it set yet another precedent of building companies to sell. Is this what Ola, OYO, Paytm, InMobi, Freshdesk or Zomato too should be aiming at? Is this going to be the fate of all invested tech companies?
Call me old school but if Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Mahindras or the Times Group would have thought the same, then, we would have had no India-owned or India-based companies to showcase to the world. These home-grown companies
acquired international companies, went global and built corporations. It sure wasn't easy for them either.
What surprises me more, however, is the fact that how the Government of India failed to see a Jack Ma or a Nandan Nilekani's potential in Sachin Bansal, who could be the face of India for the world. Why not use his intelligence and expertise for the betterment of the country? For a government that initiated the Indian start-up wave, their silence on allying with Bansal baffles me. Not only are the Indian start-ups not being protected from free competition unlike China (openly) and the US (guarded), the Indian government has neither any participation nor interest beyond the start-up manifesto appeal.
While start-ups are finding their feet, there is a community of youngsters emerging in India who will be helming the family-owned businesses of India. Entrepreneur takes a deep dive into Indian family business sector that is ranked at three, next only to China and the US, with a larger proportion of them in a
relatively mature (third generation) stage. Armed with business degrees and top-notch knowledge from global universities, friends and peer groups from across the world, the only purpose that drives them is innovation. They have a difficult and an exciting journey ahead of them - to lead but not fully in charge, to change but not completely in control, to fix what is not broken. This calls for shifting the 'Okay Plateau' culture in an organization that will bring turmoil like never before. They are the Tomorrow Inc, the CEOs of the Change Factory.
This power-packed edition touches on issues of current relevance - from Facebook fallout, Flipkart buyout to bank frauds to launch of OnePlus 6. It is a conscious decision - as during our editorial meet we decided to concentrate more on topics that concern the everyday life of our readers. On the other hand, in our quest for the future of technology, we bring you Tangle - but the question is does it have the potential to become Blockchain 2.0.

(This article was first published in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

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