Two important changes are currently taking place in India’s much-discussed startup ecosystem. After the irrational exuberance in valuations witnessed a few years ago, where startups raised money and failed to show investors a clear path to profits, today’s environment is more realistic with both entrepreneurs and investors realising the need for a line of sight on how much money a venture can make in the future. As startups—and valuations—get more realistic, a new breed of entrepreneurs is coming to the fore. The earlier days of me-too ventures, particularly in ecommerce, are giving way to exciting new enterprises in the technology space. Importantly, young entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of technology and carving out new businesses which aim to solve real problems. Even within the broad category of ‘technology’, action is hectic in the ‘deep tech’ segment—areas like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning—where entrepreneurs are spotting opportunities.
This Startups Special issue, put together by Assistant Editor Anshul Dhamija, examines these trends in detail and also delves into some of the issues concerning India’s startup ecosystem today. We bring you new deep-tech ventures like Fluid AI, our cover story, where the young Aggarwal brothers Abhinav and Raghav, both in their twenties, are leveraging AI to roll out products which make even banking fun and engaging for customers. The brothers are dreaming big, telling Forbes India
that they want to be the plug and play AI engine for the world. Then there are tech ventures which can have deep-rooted impact, like Osteo3d, which uses 3D printing to make surgeries easier, and TeamIndus, the bold venture which aims to land an autonomous rover on the moon.
An important element of this year’s Startups Special is Startup Square, the panel discussion Forbes India
conducted in partnership with accelerator Axilor in Bengaluru on May 25. Some of India’s best-known names got together to deliberate on key issues relating to India’s startups space, debating emerging trends and deconstructing the investor-entrepreneur dynamic in the current scenario. This apart, the most engaging chat also dwelt on the rise of startups which are focussed on enterprise and how the consumer boom in India and the country’s population can still spawn successful B2C startups. Typical of the kind of frenetic discussions we have witnessed over the years whenever the topic is startups, there aren’t any clear answers just yet to many of these issues. But there is enough indication that despite the hiccups, the country’s startups ecosystem is still robust and Indian entrepreneurship is alive and very well.Forbes India
Elsewhere in this issue, we also bring you the wildly popular Forbes
listing of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. These 60 women—entrepreneurs, entertainers and innovators—are worth a total of $61.5 billion this year, a figure which has risen by 17 percent from a year ago. That’s one inspiring set.
Editor, Forbes India
(This story appears in the 23 June, 2017 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)