It is too early to celebrate starts ups in India, considering they have a long way to go.
Not a particularly good year for Indian start-ups. After some good years of funding and generous valuations, the market is currently dull. Most start-ups fail ending with messy shutdowns and employees left with worthless stock options.
While the risks are high, the fascination with start-ups remains at an all-time high considering they are considered as trendy, cool, open hierarchy workplaces, mixing hard work with play.
The reality however is different for people directly involved in a start-up. There is independence and challenge that motivates and there is hope that the grime and sweat will pay off but the uncertainty can be taxing.
So what is so attractive about a start-up?
It’s great to think about young college graduates suddently striking it big. While most Indians think of a good education and middle class life, starts up offer them an opportunity to think and achieve something bigger.
Start-ups are infectious with their dynamism and audacity and certain positivity in trying to change how business is done in India and moving the country forward. Compared to other businesses, the technology sector and start-ups in particular have a clean image.
They get immense exposure, support and publicity from the media focussing on their achievements, fund raising activities and have their fair share accelerators, incubators and mentors who make sure that the sector gets more than its due.
However, the number of starts up is still low, and success rates are comparatively quite low. Technology-enabled businesses are the future, but the Indian market is still nascent and in spite of deals and acquisitions, liquidity for founders and employees remains exceedingly rare.
Yet, India needs more start-ups; ambitious entrepreneurs who with their wilful ignorance and youthful confidence can bring in change.
As of today, it seems a bit premature to celebrate start-up successes before the sector has proven itself. Start-up founders and employees need to focus on building a product that adds value. Start-ups are associated with fast growth and obsessive thinking on how things can be done better in company building.
The biggest factor between start-ups that succeed and those that fail is persistence. There are rarely any overnight success stories. Most of them are working hard since years. Start-ups are not always about glamour and quick money.