The pressing need for entrepreneurship in India
So far India has mainly viewed entrepreneurship as a vent for the ideas that the entrepreneur has. It is a way to transform such novel ideas into sustainable businesses and then carrying it forward. Another common perception is that those who decide to start something on their own are the ones who are either fed up working for somebody else or do not choose to do so at all. They are valiant risk-takers, excellent negotiators, and perseverance is their middle name. Now, how true these actually are or if they are true at all, is a debate for some other day. Today, I am here to shed light on two responsibilities that every entrepreneur out there has, and are, according to me, of prime importance. They are namely – Job Creation and Wealth Creation.
– Job Creation – India has always been a country that has struggled with exceptionally high rates of unemployment. Last time I checked, the number stood at a staggering 8.8% (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_unemployment_rate). This is happening in a country with a whopping 1.25 billion people, of which a sizeable chunk fall in the employable category, unlike China. To put in simpler words, we have plenty of people queuing up for jobs, but we do not have jobs to offer them. There is a demand for work and it is the entrepreneurs who have to step up and supply it. The Indian corporate sector is not large enough to accommodate all of the unemployed and truth to be told, not all of them are competent yet to be employed there. The onus is once again on the start-ups to provide suitable employment to those who need it. They should also take care of training those who need polishing before they can enter the workforce. If India is to bid unemployment goodbye once and for all, entrepreneurship has to assume a frontline position.
– Wealth Creation – When somebody asks India’s position on the GDP ladder, our chest swells with pride as we say that it’s 10th with a nominal GDP value of $2.047 trillion. But what stays hidden or rather unsaid is that when the time comes to compute the GDP per capita, we are lost somewhere at the 130th position with a value of $1,625 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_India)! This is happening because a person who is earning is practically funding somebody else who is not. Though the GDP growth rate is around 4.7%, the overall trend has been a declining one over the past decade (http://ventureburn.com/2013/11/potential-vs-politics-can-india-rise-above-to-become-a-powerhouse/). Logic suggests that the income per person needs a serious boost and that can only happen when every single person can contribute to the GDP. Once again it is entrepreneurship that is responsible for ensuring that not only the size of the pie is increased for everyone, but also that each person gets a larger slice of it than what she/he is receiving currently. This can be made possible if the start-ups which are born in India remain within the country, employing people from this nation. Even if the ventures are to be sold off, the entrepreneurs can ensure that they go to Indian buyers, albeit keeping their own profitability in mind.
Having said all this, we also need to make sure that entrepreneurs are given an environment where they can thrive prosperously. But once again, the story here is not a very happy one. According to a study by The World Bank and its private sector investment arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) called Doing Business 2013, India currently ranks a paltry 173 out of a total survey of 185 countries (http://techcircle.vccircle.com/2012/10/23/india-slips-in-global-ranking-for-ease-of-starting-up-biz-pegged-at-the-bottom-heap/), when it comes to the ease of starting a business here. Another statistic reveals that the country has two start-ups being launched every day (http://ventureburn.com/2013/11/potential-vs-politics-can-india-rise-above-to-become-a-powerhouse/). Hence, the conclusion is that though there are no dearth of ideas or business plans, the conditions to support them or see them to fruition are somewhat lacking in India.
Here is where the government needs to step in with favourable policies, regulations, and tax benefits not only for the budding entrepreneurs but also for venture capitalists, angel investors, and banks, who are in actuality working in tandem to ease the burden off the federal’s shoulders. Another thing that has been long overdue is motivating and encouraging women entrepreneurs to enter the market by providing them the necessary support. On the other hand, the entrepreneurs must not think that whatever they are doing is simply for fulfilling their quota of social responsibility. They must feel assured that the true purpose of their start-ups will always be giving shape and form to their vision and dream. They do not have to compromise for the sake of society and nothing is to be gained at the cost of their plans. It is just that while they surge ahead in their paths, they should take along a few others, and consequently the country, with them.