Entrepreneurship is tremendously empowering, says Anjali Bansal, Founding Partner, Avaana Climate Fund Board, Member ONDC, Member, Niti Aayog Evolution Review Committee at a panel discussion at Fortune India's Most Powerful Women in the Business event today. She was speaking at a discussion on the entrepreneurial explosion across India.
“Entrepreneurship is tremendously empowering. It has so much responsibility. At the same time, it has a huge opportunity to create an impact. In a market like India, entrepreneurship is a responsibility to build very successful commercially-scaled businesses,” says Bansal.
India currently has 85,000 startups in the world, and of that 18% have women in the position of founders and co-founders. Entrepreneurial explosion is taking place across the country with women leaders founding and leading their businesses, often breaking new frontiers in the industry.
Divya Gokulnath, co-founder, Byju’s says that the entrepreneurial explosion is happening because it is the age of digital entrepreneurs. “Literally, we can start from anywhere we want. Today anywhere, with the right mindset we can start business. So this boom which is happening is the reason for the entrepreneurial explosion. And entrepreneurial explosion is possible, inclusive and diverse because it can also start from home but not necessarily from the workplace,” she says.
“As a country, we are the third largest startup ecosystem in the world today. We are third in terms of the number of unicorns, second in terms of the number of start-ups, and first in terms of start-ups every day. This shows that the country has a great appetite for start-ups,” Gokulnath says.
Devika Bhagat, founder Adventurist Spirits feels that entrepreneurship allows delegating responsibilities. “The biggest learning has been not to do everything on my own, to be a team leader, to delegate responsibilities, and to let go.”
Ghazal Alagh, co-founder and chief innovation officer, Mamaearth feels that entrepreneurship has the capability to experience more, fail forward, and move forward faster.“As you keep growing rather than focusing on the bigger milestones if you set up milestones and with every milestone achieved you have the capability to experience more, fail forward, and move forward faster. And that I think it's not the cost of failure but it is the right way to learn how to run the business. So that even if that idea is not working, you are able to get to a stage where you have not invested too much capital,” Alagh says.
Vivek Gambhir, CEO, boAT Lifestyle, however, feels that while the country is witnessing an explosion of business, having diversity across segments especially in investments and finances still remains an issue that needs to be addressed, “Mindsets are changing. But if you look at the U.S. data, only 2% of venture capitalists funding went to women, the EU has only 0.7%. Now the great thing is India has 15 million women-owned enterprises, which is the highest number in the world. India ranks 20th percentile on the global women entrepreneurship Index. So while there has been some positive movement, I think a lot more needs to be done.”
“A lot of initiatives are there but to really put focus we need a national mission on women ownership. There is also a significant change required in the investment community,” Gambhir says.
Regarding learnings from entrepreneurship, Devika Bhagat, founder Adventurist Spirits says “The biggest learning has been not to do everything on my own, to be a team leader, to delegate responsibilities and to let go.”