Indian start-up ecosystem to play a key role in making India fifth-largest economy: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India has democratised technology and the “haves and have nots” theory cannot work in this country. He said this was exemplified by the financial inclusion achieved through UPI, which is used for financial transactions even in villages.

Addressing the Startup Mahakumbh event on Wednesday, Modi urged successful founders to mentor young innovators. He also asked MSMEs and industry bodies to identify the problems that they are facing in terms of manufacturing and supply chains and do hackathons so youngsters can not only find solutions for such challenges but also get new ideas for their start-ups.

Stating that India is the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, he said, “This has been possible due to well-thought-out policies. India took the right decision at the right time, Under India’s start-up Abhiyaan initiative, innovative ideas got a platform. The country also been focusing on establishing incubators for start-up at educational institutes.”

He pointed out that today India has a large ecosystem of 1.15 lakh registered start-ups and 110 unicorns. He noted that nearly 45 per cent of the start-ups are led by women. He also added that nearly 12 lakh youth are associated with these start-ups that have filed 12,000 patents. In fact, he encouraged founders to seek patents for their innovations.

Noting that even youth in tier-2 and tier-3 regions have got an opportunity to incubate their ideas, Modi added, ”The country can say with pride that the start-up ecosystem is not limited to big cities but is spread across 600 districts in the country. This indicates that establishing start-ups have become a social culture.” He said that currently start-ups have emerged in a diverse set of fields including agriculture, education, finance, ayurveda, yoga and space.

“In the past, education meant government employment. There were challenges in seeking funds to start a business. The start-up ecosystem has broken that cycle and brought a revolution in the country. Youth have chosen the path of becoming job creators instead of job seekers,” Modi added.

He pointed out that schemes such as Digital India and UPI have led to the emergence of start-ups in the technology and finance sectors. He also mentioned that government’s procurement platform, GeM, has given opportunities for start-ups to do business worth over ₹20,000 crore. Noting that UPI has reduced “urban-rural divide,” he added that India has democratised technology and therefore the theory of haves and have nots does not work here.

“The innovation culture and start-ups of India is not only going to play a key role in achieving the goal of Viksit Bharat by 2047 but will also ensure a better future for the world,” Modi said. He further noted how the G20 declaration acknowledges that start-ups will be engines of growth globally.

Talking about the emergence of AI, he said that the world admits that India will have an “upper hand” in the AI field. He also elaborated on how he is using AI for his election campaign to reach out to voters in various languages such as Tamil and Telugu. Modi also said that the National Quantum Mission and India’s Semi-Conductor Mission will open new doors for opportunities for young innovators. He also pointed to the announcement made in the interim budget of ₹1 lakh crore.

“We have become the fifth-largest economy and the youth have contributed immensely. In my third term, India will become the third-largest economy and I firmly believe start-ups will play a significant role in achieving this goal,” Modi added. 



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