Startups Will Drive Our Growth Story in the Coming Decade: Amitabh Kant

The NITI Aayog CEO believes that the startup revolution marks a new phase in the technological and developmental prowess of India

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In the last few years, India's startup ecosystem has gained global recognition. India has also become a hotspot for investments from across the world. "When we started the startup India movement in 2016, we didn't envisage that this movement would expand in such a phenomenal manner," said Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, at the first edition of Confederation of Indian Industry's Global Unicorn Summit on 'Shaping 1,000 Unicorns by 2030',

Summit screenshot

Kant believes that the startup revolution marks a new phase in the technological and developmental prowess of India.

Shattering New Unicorn Records

India is home to about 95 unicorns and the years 2021, 2020 and 2019 saw the birth of the maximum number of unicorns in India. "2020 and 2021 were peak pandemic years. They were a crisis, a period when the world had collapsed. Despite that, our startups have witnessed resounding growth," he said.

Today, India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. "In 2021, India witnessed around 3 to 4 startups turning unicorns every single month and this year 15 startups have already turned unicorns. Every year, we are shattering our own records," said Kant.

The NITI Aayog CEO firmly believes that startups will drive India's growth story in the coming decade. "If we have to be a $5 trillion economy and then a $10 trillion economy, startups have to take the leadership position. Indian unicorns are disrupting the world in many ways. They are seizing opportunities and disrupting the status co," he said.

He also added that startups in India are innovating across sectors, be it health, manufacturing, education, financial inclusion, transport, logistics, sustainability or agriculture. "We are all becoming a global tech garage and India is the world's biggest tech garage simply because from a data-rich country we are becoming a data intelligent country," he said.

Fintech Revolution

Kant spoke about fintech has allowed multiple innovations. With the payment problem solved, he said, the focus has shifted to lending, both consumer and MSME- based lending. "Fintech has allowed innovation, enabling new models to come up such as flow-based lending. This led to the emergence of players such as Lendingkart, Pine Labs, Mobikwik," he said.

With sufficient comfort with payments and lending, there was an increased focus on personal finance, money management, investments, and trading, he said, adding that a plethora of top-class entities came up in this space such as Zerodha, Groww, Upstox. "They have created an environment of modern investment apps. Everything is mobile-based," he said.

Lastly, Kant said that through these innovations that startup founders and their dynamic teams are building, they are creating newer ecosystems and opportunities. "They are generating employment and contributing to the economic progress of the country," he said.