Indian start-ups should look to create an additional 75 unicorns in 2022, continuing last year’s momentum, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. Unicorn is a privately-held start-up, with a valuation exceeding $1 billion. India is now home to 82 unicorns, with more than half of them joining the club in 2021 alone.
“Let us make India the top 100 destinations for the world. The destination for innovation and invention. Let us target to nurture an additional 75 unicorns by the end of this year,” Goyal said at the virtual inauguration session of the Start-up India Innovation Week.
The week-long event aims to bring together the country’s key start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, funding entities, banks, policymakers, and other national and international stakeholders. It will promote innovation, exchange knowledge on nurturing start-up ecosystems, develop entrepreneurial ecosystem capacities, mobilise global and domestic capital and provide market access opportunities.
At a time when the world is grappling with the pandemic, start-ups can play a key role to socialise and democratise the availability of healthcare across the globe, he felt.
“As the world is facing successive waves of this pandemic, our entrepreneurs must start thinking of making our start-ups more resilient. I think our start-ups can play a very important role to socialise and democratise the availability of healthcare across the world,” the minister said.
Venture capitalists and financers can also play a key role in mentoring young start-ups across the country, particularly in tier 2 and 3 cities, he added.
The minister called upon stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem to strive to take India to the top 25 in the Global Innovation Index.
“Our start-ups are the key reason behind India’s meteoric rise in Global Innovation Index from 76 in 2014 to 46 in 2021,” he said.
The proposed Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative will be a game changer and help entrepreneurs save cost as well as build trust, Goyal said. He added, ONDC will help bridge the gap between large corporations and small start-ups, bringing in equity in the business ecosystem.