Startups should focus on India’s smaller cities where there are huge business opportunities, said Anurag Jain, secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), on Thursday.
“We should not forget the rural markets, tier two and three cities. Rural market will grow very fast… In our solutions, we should always remember whether my solution is sustainable or not,” Jain said at CII’s Global Unicorn Summit.
According to government data, around 45 per cent startups in India are from tier-two and three cities and 623 districts have at least one recognized startup. From 2018 to 2021, almost 5.9 lakh jobs have been created by startups, out of which 1.9 lakh jobs have been created in 2021.
India’s startup ecosystem is the third largest in the world and the country is second highest in adding the number of unicorns. “Now we are adding 80 startups every day. That pace is the highest in the world. What does it mean…Our pace of adding startups, unicorns is faster than the rest. So we can reasonably hope to become the largest startup ecosystem in the times to come,” Jain said.
Jain asked startups to look for sustainable solutions for the problems the society faces.
Ritesh Agarwal, founder and group chief executive officer at OYO, said that small towns in India are exposed to the world more than ever before. “Tier two and three towns are hotbeds of new entrepreneurs being created…they are coming for at least the entire national market and ideally for the world. So that’s a structural shift happening in small towns,” he said.
He also said that since India has a large rural population, the use of technology to integrate them can be quite significant.