2016 was a year that waited with bated breath as the market watchers were keen to see how the startup environment in India panned out. Sluggish in the beginning and disappointing as we head to the end, this was a year that saw many well-known names fold up or ramp down. Peppertap, which was founded amid much fanfare, died an anonymous death while the likes of Grofers had to wind up their operations in ten cities to beat the cash burn. The giants in this sector were not spared too. Flipkart struggled to keep pace with Amazon's aggressive growth and Snapdeal fell further behind and is risking anonymity following its failure to acquire Jabong. The likes of Ola are on the wrong end of the power struggle in the Indian market share as Uber is flush with funds and full focussed following its merger with the Chinese rivals Didi Chuxing. Thus, to fathom the idea of forming a startup looks foolhardy. However, while the big names may falter, there remains a dearth of options that remain for the startups to solve.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision is one of the long-term and many of his decisions clearly reflect it. Be it Swachh Bharat or Digital India, he is a man with an eye on the future. His program, Startup India, then is a chip off the same block. While there are challenges in starting your own venture in today's market scenario, there is also an abundance of opportunity that is available to be taken advantage of. Many fields in India still do not have many entrepreneurs focusing on it and therein lies the opportunity.
For example, the gap that exists between the prices paid to the farmer and the one that is sheled out by the consumer. The likes of Walmart and others have been set at bay, but the problem persists. A gap exists which can be solved, a potential untapped and a solution undelivered. Another example is the field of Transport, in particular Packers and Movers. Every time a person is asked to relocate, the prospect of dealing with the hassles of moving make us shriek silently. Untrained professionals lacking the communication skills to commute, the paucity of the option to track your package, an option that is a must when shipping your package via reliable options like Blue Dart and DHL, here is a market that is awaited to be revolutionized and milked .
There are many reasons that have been attributed to the faltering Indian startups this year, their dismal performances, putting potential investors from loosing their loan strings. However, the launch of Startup India signaled the government's intention to embrace the solutions that the startups create and usher in a new era of development. Therefore, while there may be talk of reaching a saturation point, slowing down expansion plans among other things; Indian startups have only achieved only a fraction of what they can. And looking at what can be achieved, only sky's the limit for the ones who dare to begin.