Why Rajan Anandan of Google Told His 12-year-old Daughter to Start Up
The next few years of the Indian startup ecosystem are going to be completely different, he believes.
When Rajan Anandan, Vice President, South East Asia and India, Google walks into a room, people take notice. Not just because he heads the South East Asia and India operations of one of the world’s biggest technology companies or is one of the most sought-after investors in India, but because when he gets up to speak, he has the room’s attention.
At the launch of the partnership between 91Springboard and Google for Entrepreneurs, the scenario was the same. Here are the interesting snippets of his speech.
The Indian Startup Ecosystem is a Test Match Series
The head of Google India believes that it’s an incredible time to be starting up in India. He said that we are already the world’s third largest startup ecosystem and second largest internet users. However, he also believes that in many ways we are just getting started. “I have often said this, building a startup ecosystem in a country as big as India is like playing a test series not an IPL match,” he said and added, “Given the Flipkart deal, India’s first big exit, we can say that the first match has ended. But we are starting the second match of a 5-match series. We are already the third largest startup ecosystem so you can imagine where we are headed.”
Start-ups Are Working for India 2.0 and India 3.0
The next few years of the Indian startup ecosystem are going to be completely different. One way is that a lot of startups now going forward are going to build for India 2.0 and 3.0, he said. “We believe that that is where the biggest companies are going to be built – by solving the biggest problems or capturing the biggest opportunity. In India, we don’t have shortage of problems – agriculture, sanitation, pollution, healthcare, fintech – each of these sectors is a massive sector, with gaps in the market. Find a gap and solve it. Google’s Solve for India was created keeping in mind that the next wave of startups will solve big Indian problems,” he said.
Rajan believes that we don’t have to wait for long for India’s next major unicorns and those will be founded by women.
The Not-So-Secret Reason Why He Asked His Daughter to Startup
On a personal note, Rajan said that he grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. His father was an entrepreneur , who passed away when he was young. And then his mother took over the business. “My mother spent the next decade turning around the business. I grew up in that environment and now my wife is also an entrepreneur,” he said.
With the whirlwind of changes that have shrouded the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem, Rajan too is of the belief that jobs the way we see it are going to change. “In the next 10 or 20 years, there are going to be fewer and fewer jobs. So I told my daughter when you graduate there are going to be no jobs, let’s assume that so you have to startup and she has taken that to heart now and now she has started reading all about entrepreneurship,” he said.
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