ADIF Narrative Note

Written for the ADIF blog:

The Indian startup ecosystem is at the cusp and is now entering into its next phase of growth. What we as an ecosystem have managed to achieve in the first phase – spanning 12-15 years – is nothing short of phenomenal. We are now the third-largest startup market globally and are home to over 50 unicorn startups, only behind the US (122) & China (92). 

I have had the fortunate opportunity to both bear witness and participate in this evolution right from its early days. My first startup, MobME happened in 2006 and later, Startup Village began in 2012. Even then, had anyone claimed that we would reach 50 unicorns within the next 10 years, it would have seemed far-fetched and unbelievable. 

Now that we are here, it's time to take stock, acknowledge where we are and set sights on our next goal. While we are the third-largest in terms of size, the Indian startup ecosystem hovers around the 20s in terms of rankings. We even slipped a few places over the last couple of years. If we are third-largest in size, we should aim to be at least third in terms of ranking as well.

Therein the purpose and mission of ADIF. 

ADIF has been formed with the mission to catapult India into one of the best startup ecosystems in the world. Our goal is to get to the top 10 by 2025 and top 3 by 2030. We aim to achieve this by bringing diverse participants and stakeholders vested in the success of Digital India/the Indus Valley ecosystem into an alliance and building a joint roadmap. Our initiates will be focused on championing the sector, celebrating wealth creators, advocating for progressive enabling policies and truly being the voice of the Indian startup ecosystem. 

I have been a beneficiary of the startup ecosystem; as have been several of you. It is our responsibility and also in our best interest, that each of us steps forward to provide strength and leadership to the mission. It is leadership and imagination that is needed for us to fully realise the potential and the promise of the sector.

The path we craft here in India will become the blueprint for other startup ecosystems all over the world as they also transition into a digital-first economy. 

We invite each and everyone who believes in the Indian startup ecosystem and are vested in its success, to come join hands with us in this mission by being part of the alliance!