Image: Republic World
On Friday, elite names from the startup space joined Republic Economic Summit 2021 and talked about ‘how to keep up the momentum in the entrepreneurial race and benefit India in the world platform’ in ‘The Unicorn Race’ event moderated by YourStory team.
Unicorn is a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a private start-up company with a value of over $1 billion. India has the third-largest number of unicorns, with 30 new unicorns added recently.
Panelists like Sanjiv Bhikchandani (Founder & Executive Vice-Chairman, Info Edge), Ronnie Screwvala (Chairperson & Co-founder upGrad, Founder of UTV & Venture Capitalist), Aditya Ghosh (Co-Founder, Akasa Air), and Gajendra Jangid (Co-Founder and CMO, CARS24) took part in the summit.
During the event, Ronnie Screwvala explained India needs to be ‘Unicorn Pace’ rather than ‘Unicorn Race’.
“Every entrepreneur needs a pat on the back. It’s a very lonely job, therefore I think it’s an inspirational title. I think that is where it should stop. All I can say is it’s a good pat on the back but what is the message we are sending out to everyone? The word here which is the Unicorn Race, I think we should pace it a bit so maybe it is a Unicorn Pace,” said Ronnie Screwvala
“I don’t mean the pace on which we are hurdling through but how important is it to pace it. So it is incredible that for a non-entrepreneurial country that we were and from job seekers we are job creators. There’s a lot to celebrate about. But there is also a land of plenty in many senses. I think the opportunities are going to be huge as we go forward,”he added.
Aditya Ghosh, co-founder of Akasa Air said, “The way I look at it is that business should be about solving hard problems. Now, how the market or how investors look at you is like a fleeting moment in time. If you go back a few hundred years, India in the 17th century was close to 38% of the world GDP but in 1947 we could not manufacture a penny. What we have to understand is we as unicorn owners, participants we are standing on the 70 years of that brought India to a point where we can say that yes India has a double digital share of GDP in the world.
#RepublicSummit If you go back a few 100 years, India in the 17th century was about 38% of world’s economy, but in 1947 we couldn’t manufacture a penny. We startups are standing on the back of 70 years of entrepreneurship that brought us back: Aditya Ghosh, co-Founder, Akasa Air pic.twitter.com/Dwu1RhXJqJ
On being asked about the Indian start-ups and the feeling of getting a unicorn tag, Gajendra Jangid said, “Cars24 became unicorn last year in 2020. When we became unicorns, India had 38 unicorns. Then fast forward almost one year India just added close to 38 more in the last 12 months. So you can see the pace at which the start-up story is evolving.”
“Being a unicorn is overwhelming but with great power comes greater responsibilities. Investors have shown trust, so for us it’s exciting but at the same, we are nervous as well because there is so much of trust given by our investors, customers and now the presure is mounting upon us, even more, to make sure we deliver.,” he added.
#RepublicSummit | In the last 12 months, India has added close to 38 unicorns. This shows the pace of the Startup industry and their growth: Gajendra Jangid, Co-Founder and CMO, CARS24 https://t.co/xYp0ndV6Ts pic.twitter.com/ovUrawfkTt
On being asked about the feeling of becoming a unicorn, Sanjiv Bhikchandani shared what advice he generally gives to young entrepreneurs.
“The advice we give to all the start-ups we back we invest in or any young start-up founder I meet is don’t obsess with becoming a unicorn. Obsess with stuff like customer satisfaction, revenue, cash-flow, collections. Valuation is something the market gives you and market changes. Just focus on your real value. So it’s probably a good feeling (becoming a unicorn) but beyond that just forget about it and focus on the customer.”
#RepublicSummit | The advice we give to all the startups is don’t be obsessed with becoming a unicorn at all, obsess with stuff like customer satisfaction, revenue, cash flow, collections: Sanjiv Bhikchandani, Founder & Executive Vice-Chairman, Info Edge https://t.co/POzXbcH8iR pic.twitter.com/BNPaLKNVAv