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BT MindRush: Indian start-ups resilient despite challenging macroeconomic climate, say top founders

BT MindRush: Indian start-ups resilient despite challenging macroeconomic climate, say top founders

Gathered at the BT MindRush event, top start-up founders asserted that there is no proof of Indian start-up ecosystem floundering. And that despite macroeconomic headwinds, the ecosystem is still flourishing.

In a brainstorming panel titled 'Deep Freeze - A long winter for Start-ups?' at Business Today's MindRush event, several noted founders participated and discussed about what is coming next for the Indian start-up ecosystem. (Photo: Hemant Rawat) In a brainstorming panel titled 'Deep Freeze - A long winter for Start-ups?' at Business Today's MindRush event, several noted founders participated and discussed about what is coming next for the Indian start-up ecosystem. (Photo: Hemant Rawat)

With Covid-19 pandemic receding and economy reviving, Indian start-ups expect their businesses to come back on track with a big boom.

In a brainstorming panel titled 'Deep Freeze - A long winter for Start-ups?' at Business Today's MindRush event, several noted founders participated and discussed about what is coming next for the Indian start-up ecosystem.

"Last year we saw huge euphoria with high funding and high-ticket sizes. Compared to that gluttony, this year looks like real winter. But to quote PB Shelley: "When winter comes, can spring be far behind?"," said K. Ganesh, Serial Entrepreneur, Partner - GrowthStory.in.

Ganesh said that it is being talked that so many jobs were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, but their creation of jobs have been ignored.

"We talk about lakhs of jobs lost but over 6 lakhs new jobs were also created by DPIIT-registered start-ups," said Ganesh.

Rahul Garg, CEO & founder of e-commerce firm Moglix, believed that this year, instead of being a gloomy period, can prove to be a year of boom for the start-up industry.

"Industries are backbone of the economy. India will become truly formidable as a voice in the global supply chain in the next 5-7 years," said Garg. He added that steady businesses attract investors and his company has been doing well.

The founder and Group CEO of hospitality platform OYO, Ritesh Agarwal too agreed with Garg. Agarwal pointed out that with the post-pandemic phase now kicking in, many start-ups have witnessed their businesses reviving. He gave the example from the sector OYO operates in and said that travel has fully revived now, leading to companies coming up with new business designs and costing.

"Travel is coming back very strong, with 1.7 lakh bookings every day. On one side, there are macroeconomic challenges, and on the other, travel is growing like never before," he said.

Fintech platform MobiKwik's co-founder and CEO, Bipin Preet Singh said that his start-up grew 86 per cent last year on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Singh's outlook for financial services was highly bullish.  Singh said that technology in a country like India will have to play an important role. And financial services are a fertile ground to observe the neat marriage of tech and finance, be it in the sectors like insurance, banking, or payments.

"The financial sector is growing and evolving with partnerships and it will grow further. We need to stop thinking about valuation but [focus on] value creation," said Singh.

When asked how resilient does the start-up ecosystem remain during the time of rising inflation and geopolitical tensions, Kaivalya Vohra from the quick commerce start-up Zepto said that from Day 1, unit economics should be the primary focus area.

"As much as economic scenario changes, life at Zepto doesn't change much," he asserted.

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