With India becoming the fourth largest base for young businesses in the world, the year gone by has provided many reasons to cheer for first generation home grown entrepreneurs. With the rise in the number of angel funds and incubators, increased private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funding backed by a conducive ecosystem, Indian start ups reached record high valuations and crossed new milestones in 2014. Be it the Flipkart valuation of US$ 11 billion, investment by Mr Ratan Tata in ecommerce ventures like Snapdeal and UrbanLadder.com or the US$ 10 billion investment commitment made by Japan’s SoftBank towards the Indian market, the Indian entrepreneurial circuit witnessed a lot of action during the past year. Private equity (PE) investments in India touched a four year high in 2014, with PE funds investing US$ 10.9 billion across 436 deals, as compared to US$ 7.4 billion invested in 2013 across 433 deals. Similarly, overall investments by venture capital (VC) funds increased sharply in 2014, both in terms of value and volume, touching US$ 2.1 billion across 1,108 deals, an increase of 47.7 per cent compared to 2013 when VC funds invested US$ 1.4 billion across 246 deals.
Industry experts believe that Indian entrepreneurs are likely to sustain the growth momentum with new ventures emerging in traditional and modern businesses like Internet of Things, augmented reality, smart hardware and BI (business intelligence). The outlook for private equity funds is also positive for 2015 with sectors like IT, logistics, warehousing, healthcare and ecommerce expected to receive significant PE attention. Venture capital funds focused on the social sector alone are planning to raise close to Rs 5,000 crore (US$ 788.4 million) in 2015. With the government also backing the entrepreneurial revolution by facilitating an encouraging environment for Indian entrepreneurs through policy initiatives that include the setting up of a separate Ministry for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development, 2015 is expected to be a positive year for Indian entrepreneurs with first generation ventures touching new highs and strengthening their foothold in the domestic market and beyond.
In the long run, the entrepreneurial revolution in India is only expected to gather further momentum with the number of tech start-ups in the country projected to touch 11,500 by 2020. India is currently home to over 3,000 tech start-ups. IBEF spotted the entrepreneurial revolution in India early and has already launched a dedicated video series and publication titled Ordinary Indians, Extraordinary Enterprise, capturing the journeys of 25 new age Indian entrepreneurs.