Can Startups Revive Manufacturing in India?

That India is a fertile land for start-ups is well recognised and acknowledged globally. The start-up behemoth – Sillicon Valley – has primarily catered to consumer internet businesses such as e-commerce, and apps for daily consumption in transport, food, travel, education and media consumption. With the emergence of India as a global services leader, the traditional manufacturing sector’s growth has been slowing down. This is proportionately reflected in the start-ups culture here as well.

But will the emphasis on Make in India and digital economy boost start-ups in hardware and manufacturing domain?

The lack of an enabled ecosystem, labs and market testing facilities are deterrents to founders and investors alike. To add to this, manufacturing hardware is capital intensive making it even harder to enter or scale up. Although some crowdfunding campaigns such as Kickstarter help in the cause, these are predominantly skewed towards gizmo geeks rather than as an enabler for creation of hardware business.

 At Unicorn India Venures, we are focussing on industrial and B2B businesses – hence start-ups dealing in medical devices, Industrial IOT and industrial automation interest us. The emphasis on the India tag has led some specialised Government agencies to seek funding for ESDM projects, and this has brought about nascent change in the past couple of years. Entrepreneurship cells based out of the IITs are beginning to play an active part, and a couple of hardware start-ups have scaled up to in-house engineering. Read more…

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