Geographies in Depth

India's astonishing start-up boom – all you need to know in 5 charts

A view of the new house (C) of Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Indian energy company Reliance Industries, in Mumbai October 23, 2010. Ambani, his wife and three children have moved into the 27-story building, named Antilia, after a mythical island, local media reported. The building which contains a health club, swimming pool, three helipads and a 50 seater cinema is estimated to be worth over $1 billion, according to media reports. Picture taken October 23, 2010. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: SOCIETY BUSINESS) - RTXTSF7

India: from job seekers to job creators Image: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Joe Myers
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India is a key topic at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting 2017. Watch the session on India’s Turn to Transform

India is in the midst of a start-up boom. Supported by a range of government initiatives, new companies are popping up all over the country.

In fact, for the sheer number of new tech outfits, India is now the third largest tech start-up hotspot in the world, according to a report by NASSCOM and Zinnov. Investment is rising, with the surge generating employment and providing solutions in areas from healthcare to agriculture.

The government’s Start-up India initiative promotes entrepreneurship and innovation across the country. It aims to turn India into “a nation of job creators instead of a nation of job seekers”.

These five charts explore the Indian start-up boom.

1. India is the third largest tech start-up location globally

 India is the third largest tech start-up location globally
Image: NASSCOM/Zinnov

India has moved to third on the global list, and now has more tech-driven start-ups than Israel and China. Only the United Kingdom and United States stand ahead of it.

The number of new start-ups is rising every year. By 2020, there are projected to be around 2,100 in the country altogether.



2. Indian start-ups are going global

 The 10 most valuable start-ups in the world
Image: Statista

As this chart from March 2016 shows, Indian firms are now breaking into global lists. Flipkart, the e-commerce company headquartered in Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore), takes ninth place on the list, with a 2015 valuation of $15 billion dollars.

3. Funding is concentrated in just three urban areas

 2016 half year: amount of dollar flow in Indian cities
Image: Your Story Research

In the first half of this year, well over three-quarters of financing was towards just three urban areas – Bengaluru, the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Delhi; and Mumbai – saw over $2 billion in the first six months of 2016.

4. Two-thirds are in three cities

 66% of start-ups are concentrated in the top 3 cities of Bangalore, NCR and Mumbai
Image: NASSCOM/Zinnov

The bulk of Indian start-ups is also found in these three places. Over a quarter are in Bangalore, 23% in the National Capital Region, and nearly one in five in Mumbai.

5. Founders are young – the youngest in the world

 India is the youngest start-up nation in the world - 72% if the founders are less than 35 years old
Image: NASSCOM/Zinnov

Nearly three-quarters of start-up founders in India are younger than 35. Over a third come from an engineering background.

However, as the graphic shows, only around 9% are women. There is some good news, though: according to the report there was a 50% rise in the share of female entrepreneurs between 2014 and 2015.


The World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2016 will take place from 6-7 October.

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Geographies in DepthFourth Industrial RevolutionBusiness
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