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Last updated: 16 Aug, 2022  

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Bikky Khosla | 16 Aug, 2022

India now ranks third globally both in terms of startup ecosystem and number of unicorns. Addressing the “DST StartUp Utsav” last week, Union Minister Jitendra Singh stated this information, adding that the country today has 105 unicorns and out of them 63 were born in last two years - 44 in 2021 and 19 in 2022. At present, India reportedly has some 75,000 startups against only 471 in 2016. These figures are impressive.

The Startup India initiative, under which a host of benefits -including tax benefits and easier compliance -are provided to startups recognised by DPIIT -was launched in 2015, and its results are now clearly evident. It is noteworthy that while startups were confined previously only to metros or big cities, today 49 percent of them are from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Also, startups are now scattered across sectors, like IT, aviation, education, energy, agriculture, health and space sectors.

Meanwhile, a recent report, ‘The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem Report 2022’ adds that the number of India’s unicorn will increase to 250 by 2025, thus surpassing China, which currently has 174 unicorns and becoming 2nd to the US, which has 618 unicorns. At present, our 105 unicorns are valued collectively at $341 bn and the pace at which this sector has been growing signals that this estimate seems reasonable.

Not an iota of doubt, innovation is important to startups, and India has witnessed transformational changes for science, technology and innovation during the last few years. From the 76th position in 2014 to the 46th in 2021, India has climbed the Global Innovation Index quite impressively, and the key reason behind this meteoric rise is our startups which, in turn, are being effectively promoted by government interventions like Startup India and Digital India.

I invite your opinions.
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