Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hailed India’s startups ecosystem, acknowledging 42 startups turned unicorns, or a startup valued at $1 billion or more, in 2021. He announced that January 16 will be celebrated as National Startup day.
“Five years ago, there were less than 500 startups in India, today there are close to 60,000 startups in the country. Startups will be the backbone of new India,” Modi said in an interaction with youngsters from the startup ecosystem.
The prime minister asked startups to follow the mantra: “Let us innovate for India, innovate from India,” as he said the country is inching close to 100 unicorns.
“Our startups are changing the rules of the game. That’s why startups are going to be the backbone of new India,” he said.
He said this decade is being called the ‘techade’ of India. He added that the massive changes that the government is making to strengthen the innovation, entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem have three important aspects- first, liberating entrepreneurship and innovation from the web of government processes, second, creating an institutional mechanism to promote innovation and third, young innovators handholding of youth enterprise.
PM Modi said half the startups in India are in tier two and three cities and urge them to enter India's villages. “Rural and semi-urban areas will see the next wave of expansion,” he said.
The prime minister pointed out innovation campaign going on in India has helped improve the country’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index. In 2015, India was at number 81 in this ranking and it now ranks 46 in Innovation Index, he said.