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Entrepreneurship and innovation in India

India belongs to the fastest growing and potentially the biggest economies in the world. How are innovation and entrepreneurship brought to life in this 1.4 billion population country? We spoke with Prof. Dr. Kirti Dutta, Associate Dean of the School of Entrepreneurship of Rishihood University, Sonipat, National Capital Region, India.

How would you describe the entrepreneurial climate in your country?

The entrepreneurial climate is continuously improving in India, especially over the last five years with the launch of the Startup India initiative by the Government. India is also showing continuous improvement in World Banks ‘ease of doing business’ rankings. Globally, India ranks ninth in the list of the hundred most entrepreneurial countries in 2021 according to the CEOWorld Magazine.

There are various Government schemes to help startups by providing easy loans, technological innovations, training, mentorship, e-commerce platforms, and vocational education to enhance their skills. In the last five years, 41’317 startups were recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India which resulted in the generation of 470’000 jobs. There is a special thrust on women entrepreneurs, startups, and micro-manufacturing units.

What is the importance of entrepreneurship for the development of your country?

The fact that India is one of the fastest-growing global economies motivates startups. Entrepreneurship has been given a particular focus and thrust to achieve the 10 trillion USD economy by 2032. India also attracts foreign investments due to its growth prospects, extensive consumer base, and young demographic. Entrepreneurship enhances the independence of the economy and improves the quality of life by offering innovative products and providing employment.

Even difficult times like the pandemic witnessed an increase in entrepreneurial activities. According to a Nielsen report, the fast-moving consumer goods sector alone saw the launch of 9700 new products from April to September 2020. This increased by approximately 35% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Which is the role of innovation in entrepreneurship in your country?

India has one of the most significant innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems globally integrated in terms of technology, financing, human capital, and administration. Innovation enables differentiation in a highly competitive world and keeps organizations relevant for a more extended period of time. Besides solving problems and raising productivity, it also helps meet the increased customer expectations.

The Government is playing a key role in promoting innovation culture and “giving expression to the innovative and entrepreneurial ideas of startups to enable the development of one of the most Innovative Nations of the world”. This is further evidenced by the advancement of India to the 48th position in 2020 (from the 81st position in 2015) in the Global Innovation Index rankings.

As a university how are you promoting and supporting entrepreneurship in your country?

Rishihood University (RU) supports and promotes Entrepreneurship through its School of Entrepreneurship (SoEn) and its various activities at national and international levels. The undergraduate program at SoEn has inbuilt core courses to help students start their own venture once they graduate. The MBA-Entrepreneurship course has a hands-on approach where the students not only work towards earning a degree over the two years, but they are also working on their own venture from the day they enter the program.

Besides the academic rigor, the first semester is about generating their idea in the “Idea Factory”, the second semester focuses on the refinement of their idea via the “Validation Lab”; the third semester is about “Prototype Development”, and in the fourth semester they enter the “Launchpad” stage where they pitch their ideas to venture capitalists. Thus, at the end of two years, each student would be ready with their start-up.

Apart from this, RU has an ecosystem approach and being an “impact” university, we deliver lectures to School and College students in India and abroad to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship. We also encourage school faculty to be entrepreneurial in their approach and guide students to be entrepreneurs by delivering sessions to them through our Innovation Centre.


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