Wednesday, 3 January 2018

What are Pune’s startups expecting from 2018?

2017 is now behind us and 2018 brings us fresh expectations and new hopes. For the startups in Pune, the year 2017 was a tumultuous one with some being able to find their feet in the market while some still struggling to do so.

1.To scale globally

Though some startups in Pune have made it big, there are only a few startups that have truly made it on the international scene. It’s true that some local startups fail to scale globally because they aren’t ready for it. For a startup to smoothly transition into the international market is needs an international-quality pool of talent. Startups in Pune are hoping to choose from some fresh and talented pool of candidates to scale into the foreign markets. Internationally-skilled labour could really help Pune startups enter into foreign markets and add a fresh perspective to the way of doing business in 2018.

2.To encourage and support female entrepreneurs

While it’s necessary to take risks in business, but taking too many could really hurt a startup. According to Dutch neurobiologist Ruud van den Bos’s research, men took increasingly higher risks when they were under pressure leading to a spike in the cortisol levels. Women on the other hand, actually handled a slight increase in cortisol much better, leading to better decision-making. Is that a strong enough case for more women entrepreneurs?With a lot of upcoming and talented female entrepreneurs in the city, it’s important to encourage and support them. This will lead to a very healthy startup ecosystem in Pune. Woman-power could be the secret ingredient that takes Pune to the top startup totem in India, in the coming years.

3.Work-life balance

The entrepreneurs of many leading startups are hoping to spend some more time on themselves. Taking care of themselves will allow them to be healthy which in turn would enable them to give their hundred percent to the startup. A good work-life balance reduces the levels of stress and also brings out the creativity in a person. Also, healthy work-life balance gives entrepreneurs time to introspect, offering them with a fresh perspective to handle various challenges related to their startup. Pune’s entrepreneurs want 2018 to be their healthiest year yet!

4.The role of the government

Pune’s startups are hoping that the government will offer more support. Many startups are yet to benefit from the government’s Startup India programme. Recently startups have also become concerned by the IT notices related to the funding they have received. In a sign of the lower-than-expected impact of Startup India, the programme launched in early 2016, has so far seen only 5,350startups officially recognized under it, of which only 74 have availed tax benefits so far. Startups are hoping to get more support from the government in the form of incentives and subsidies, as it would lead to a healthy economy driven by innovation and enterprise. They hope the government will look at having dedicated support for start-ups that would provide incubators at zero or low cost, training facilities for potential employees or consultants, concessions in sales tax and other local taxes, and so on

5.Skill development programmes

Startups hope that a new way is established in our city (as well as others!) where training is provided across levels to young people who aspire to open startups. This means opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to gain valuable insight into the world of startups. With this knowledge, not only will more and more young people venture into startups but also will understand the steps they need to take to become successful. Creative solutions are needed – for eg. universities could insist that their students do an internships at a startup. This would mean a win-win for both the students, who will learn and grow a lot from this experience, and the startup ecosystem.

6.Backing the growth of startups for India’s digital transformation

The Indian government truly understands the impact that digitization will have on India and the people of the country. The government knows that digitization will drive the economy and also fuel innovation. With nearly 200 million smartphones users, 331 million Internet users, and 219.3 million bank accounts, India is very much on its way to a digital economy. Beyond e-commerce, a whole range of startups is working in almost every sector and contributing to the process of digital transformation.

The problem that startups face is delivering in scale across the country. This is where the government can step in. They can offer point solutions like setting up intelligent data centers and intelligent cloud system, all across the country with the security system to protect them. With such support, India’s startups will undoubtedly help the government achieve the objective of digitally connecting the entire population. They will accelerate the process of digitization and create the backbone for future smart cities. It is these tech startups with their machine learning and analytics capabilities will be able to provide real-time value and information that will make the cities Smart. They will create the ecosystem for IoT enabled devices to interact with Bots and deliver a completely digital experience.

India’s startups in general and Pune’s startups, in particular, have the passion, the energy, and the vision to make 2018 truly transformational. The ride will be an exciting one – strap yourself in & enjoy!

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