India’s burgeoning startup economy has generated lakhs of jobs. Rajan Anandan, managing director of Sequoia India & Surge believes that startups in India can generate 100 million new jobs.
Anandan said, “China has already created 200 million jobs. There is no reason why we cannot create over 100 million new jobs leveraging the digital economy.”
He said that both large tech companies and startups, be it in food delivery, ride-hailing, or agritech have the potential to create not just 1,2,3, or 4 million jobs, but over 100 million new jobs.
Anandan was speaking to Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari at the Redmond giant’s Future Ready startup virtual event on June 21.
Startups in India have so far generated 6.5 lakh jobs, according to a January 6 statement by Anurag Jain, secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Jain also said that his department is hoping to create 2 million new jobs by 2025 by officially registering 50,000 new startups.
Anandan further said that last year India had over $40 billion worth of funding. This year the environment has changed due to inflation and rising interest rates.
“The second half of 2020 and 2021, was an era of growth for many companies at any cost. Now it's all about balanced growth,” he added.
He pointed out that companies are now much more realistic about what it takes to raise funds and also how much they can raise, and at what kind of valuation. But they're also becoming much more rigorous and focused on optimizing their cost structure, making sure that the growth that they get is growth driven with strong underlying unit economics.
“I think it's very, very healthy. So, over the next, I think 12,18, 24 months, we will see the underlying financial health of the startup ecosystem get much, much better,” said Anandan.
Anandan feels that the most important thing for any startup is to build a product or service that users love. He added that though Indian startups focus a lot on hiring talent, they “don't focus as much on culture.” He said that during seed-stage programs his company spends enormous amounts of time with founders on how to build a great culture.