Start-ups have moved past the traditional territory of consumer products and services to much larger value-added services such as satellites, says the Economic Survey 2022-23 as it highlights key areas where new ventures are set to make a mark in the coming times.
The Economic Survey was tabled in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament a day ahead of the Union Budget.
“India has also emerged as one of the world's most vibrant destinations for start-up ecosystems. Start-ups are being envisioned as the spine of new India, as they encourage the youth to become job creators rather than job seekers,” says the survey report.
The Survey points out that with the highest FinTech adoption rate of 87 per cent among the public compared to the global average of 64 per cent, India has gained the 3rd place in digital payments only after US and China, signifying that India has an untapped market.
These untapped opportunities, along with the favourable ecosystem, creates a large growth potential for FinTechs in India.
“Taking this vision forward, under the government's policy initiative, a world-class FinTech Hub at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) has been developed. This is just an illustration of the opportunities that exist. The massive wave of digitisation, increased penetration of smartphones, and adoption of technology have opened the doors for both traditional and new-age sectors,” says the Survey report.
It adds that the rollout of 5G services can unleash new economic opportunities and help the country leapfrog the traditional barriers to development, spur innovations by start-ups and business enterprises.
The year 2021 marked the completion of five years of the ‘Stand-up India’ scheme (launched in January 2016), and the numbers - with more than 84,000 recognised start-ups - tell the entire story. Start-ups have moved past the traditional territory of consumer products and services to much larger value-added services such as satellites, says the Economic Survey.
It marked out Drone Tech as a key area in this regard.
“Under Mission 'Drone Shakti', the drone start-ups and Drone-as-a-Service (DrAAS) are being promoted. Almost 90 per cent of the airspace has now been opened up as a green zone for flying drones up to 400 feet. A Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone import policy have been notified. Also, the private equity investments in agri-tech space have skyrocketed over the past four years – witnessing an increase of more than 50 per cent per annum to aggregate approximately ₹6600 crore,” says the Economic Survey report.
The 5G Effect
The Survey says that the rollout of 5G services can unleash new economic opportunities and help the country leapfrog the traditional barriers to development, spur innovations by start-ups and business enterprises, and advance the 'Digital India' vision. The journey is far from complete, and a lot remains to be accomplished to realise our true potential.
5G use cases developed by Telecom Service Providers and start-ups in education, health, worker safety, smart agriculture etc., are now being deployed across the country, it says.
The Economic Survey report also looks at the external sector. In this regard, it makes a special mention of how Kashmiri startups are able to sell saffron across the world.
“To initiate agriculture exports from UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, APEDA has linked Kashmir valley start-ups, new entrepreneurs, Farmer Producer Organisations/farmer groups, and exporters of the region with importers. Regular shipments of high-value Kashmir Saffron (GI) are taking place to destinations including the Middle East, EU, and North America,” says the survey report.
Tech companies are increasingly leveraging the power of UPI to expand the digital ecosystem, which has led to a significant acceleration in the pace of financial inclusion. UPI has opened up many opportunities for start-ups and e-Commerce players to develop innovative solutions that elevate the customer experience. The open systems have enabled global players like Google, WhatsApp, Walmart, True Caller, Amazon, Uber, etc., to provide UPI services, says the survey report.