Emphasising that every crisis can be converted into an opportunity like that of Covid-19, Union Minister Piyush Goyal urged the country's startup ecosystem to come up with novel ideas that would help reduce India's energy dependence on other countries.
Goyal said that the present Russia-Ukraine crisis is a wakeup call underscoring the need to reduce dependence on crude oil and defence equipment. He asked the startups to help India become self-reliant in energy needs.
Speaking at the ET Startup awards in Bengaluru, Goyal who is in charge of ministries including Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles said that the Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be the biggest crisis of the century but it was converted into an opportunity, with several youngsters coming up with innovative solutions to the problems.
Some of the startups are looking for innovative ways for indigenization of defence equipment, the minister said, assuring entrepreneurs that the government would take the necessary measures to address their issues.
In 2021, more than 30 startups in India made it to the prestigious Unicorn list—a startup with valuation of $1 billion or more and estimates suggest that about $35 billion has already been pumped into these firms.
According to Inc42, a media platform tracking Indian startups and entrepreneurs, if the current trend continues, “India will manage to get more than 100 unicorns by 2022, much earlier than the previous estimation of 2023.”
Invest India added that the Indian unicorns have not only contributed to innovations, but have become important for employment generation. “Till FY 2016-17, approximately one unicorn was being added every year. Over the past four years (since FY 2017-18), this number has been increasing exponentially, with a whopping 66% Year-on-Year growth in the number of additional unicorns being added every year,” it said.