How To Start A Startup In India? A Complete Guide [2021]

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There is a thin line of difference between the dreamers and the Doers. Today, if you have taken an interest in how to start a startup in India, you have taken that leap of faith to become a Doer. 

A startup is just growing a crop. You need to sow the seed, nurture it, give it the right set of conditions, and take good care. In the end, you will reap the fruits of your labor.

This brings us to the question, how to start a startup in India? 

Don’t worry, that is exactly why we are here. What follows is a comprehensive guide listing all the steps to do it. We will talk about ideas, networking, partnerships, legalities, funding, building your startup, and growing it. 

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In every section, you will find a load of links to useful resources. More importantly, the whole debate will be focussed on the Indian Startup Ecosystem. 

Surely, India may not be the first choice of starting a startup, but it is certainly rising to the occasion. With this in mind, let’s begin our amazing journey together from the first step, The Basics. 

Chapter 1: The Basics

According to Indian startup governance, a startup is an entity that is younger than 7 years with an annual turnover of less than INR 250 Million. More importantly, it must be registered in India. 

Behind every startup, there is a story. This story has one or more than one person who is inspired to bring about a change in society. Startup founders are connected with their idea very deeply. They work on this idea, mold it, and shape it to form a useful product or service. 

In technical terms, a startup personifies a young company that is established by entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs are looking for various sources of funding to launch their product and develop it into a business. 

But, how did the startups come into existence? The first evidence of startups is linked to Silicon Valley. But the fact is that we cannot place the pin on a particular year.

Defining startups is not straightforward. Different economies have accorded a different definition to a startup. Where India has set 7 years as the benchmark, Europe has set it at 10 years. In the USA, startups are called a shoestring operation, meaning something that starts with a tight budget. 

Similarly, there is no direct way to tell when was the first startup launched. A book named Silicon Valley Fever traces the startup origin to 1976. 

But, the word startup was used first in a Forbes article back in 1976. So, all things point to the era of the 1970s as the origin of the concept of startups. 

History of Startup in India

Since we are on the topic of how to start a startup in India, it is important to know when India saw the emergence of these young companies. 

The emergence of startups is linked with entrepreneurship. In India, the entrepreneurial spirits were low before Independence. Those who wanted to go down this road were confined to several impractical rules and regulations. 

After Independence, the Indian economy’s dream to become self-reliant did act as fuel for the entrepreneurs. Added to this, the newly found freedom provided confidence and cleared a path for the entrepreneurs. 

However, in this era, the primary focus was on developing large scale industries so that the economy could thrive with the help of the Trickle-Down Effect. 

But after the Liberalization reforms, the concept of startups began taking shape. As the Indian economy started to realize the benefits of privatization. Interestingly, the real spike in the startup ecosystem was realized after the 2008 recession

Some Facts about Indian Startups:

Here are some facts you must know about the Indian Startup ecosystem:

Indian Startups Stats

Moving forward, when we talk about the top startups in India, names like Paytm, Flipkart, Zomato, Ola, Cure.Fit cannot be missed. These are the applications that have picked India up from a lower position and taken it to the top spot in the startup ecosystem of the globe. 

Every startup that has become successful was not able to achieve it overnight. Becoming a success and transcending from every single stage of a startup is a gradual process. An amazing anecdote for this gradual expansion is Salesfusion. 

The founder of Salesfusion shares his success story of how he failed 3 times before building a startup that generates $400K per month in revenue today. Harishanker’s story is one of the aptest personifications of how to start a startup in India. 

Did you note the point where it said that Harishanker failed 3 times?

In every startup ecosystem, failure is as much a part as it is a success. But, don’t be discouraged or disheartened. You can ask any entrepreneur, and they will proudly tell you their failure story. Before a success story, there is always a failure story. 

If you treat failure like a stepping stone, you will always know how to move up. 

Now that we have established the outer lining of building a startup company in India, let’s move on to understand the innate fabric. Before you hire people, or rent a space, or even ask for funding, what you do have except for one idea. 

Every startup begins with one idea backed by a vision, and with that vision, we can build an empire. But, let’s focus on the idea first. 

Chapter 2: The Idea

The key to every successful business lies in a unique idea. Now, how can you get an idea about beginning a startup? What made Jamsetji Tata go on finding one of the best motor giants in the world? What led Dhirubhai Ambani into setting up a company whose current value is in billions?

You will find one thing common if you take a closer look at all these industries and their founders and that is they understood an issue that many people around them had. They analyzed the problem and worked on a solution. That’s how they started!

How to Hunt for a Startup Idea?

Here’s a quick 3-step process to identify great ideas for your startup company in India, similar to the process Tata and Ambani probably carried out:

  1. Look for problems: The key to getting ideas is to look for every small or big problem in your daily life. You can note these problems on paper or a notebook for the record. Go through these problems every day to find that one idea that will bring out the best result. Here are some of the startup ideas that may ring some bells.
  2. Find a problem that messes with your mind: While going through your list of problems, look for those that interest you more. For example, if you love to do craftwork, look for a problem that consists of decorative items. Business is not only about making a lot of money, but it also involves the factor of passion and interest. Do what you love to do and that will turn out to be your greatest success.
  3. Find an innovative solution: Well, if you have a problem that you can solve, and it is also of interest. It is crucial for you to look for an out of the box solution. For example, everyone can use a hammer to drive nails into the wood, but a nail gun makes it much easier and faster. Just like that, do your research about the solutions to the problem that is already there (if any) and find a better one.

How to Analyze your Solution?

You have found a problem: people love downloading videos from Instagram but it’s hard to do it. You’ve thought about a solution: an app that helps them do that.

How do you know that solution is the correct one? Here’re some things you should continue to research:

1. Product or Service Analysis

Well, the very first thing that you need to check is what your product offers the people. There might be some similar products in the market that tend to offer the same services as you. Hence, as mentioned above, you need to make your product or service a bit unique. India is a densely populated country, so your product quality matters a lot.

For example, if you are developing a video download app for Instagram, you can also add other platforms. This means that you can add the ability to download videos from Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc.

2. Does the Market Need your Product or Service?

This is also one of the crucial questions to ask yourself. After all, if your product or service is not liked or required in the market, it will be a dead-end for you. So, you need to make sure that your product or service is essential for the people. 

If we take the same example, a lot of people love to download and share content from Instagram. So, if you conduct a comprehensive research of the market (included in detail in the next section), you will get an idea about the demand for the product you are about to develop.

3. Are you Enjoying What you are Doing?

At last, all of this is not going to last long unless you love it by your heart. Many of us have tried to work on a startup but could not carry it forward. The only reason behind this is the lack of interest and passion for it.

For example, if you are not fond of coding, then building an app may not work well for you. So, try working on developing a product or service that you are passionate about. Here are some benefits of doing something that you love.

Validating the Idea

So far, you have thoroughly analyzed your solution. Now, it is time to closely analyze the market. This means that you need to make absolutely certain how your product will perform in the market.

The content in the above article is researched , published and managed by Content Team at Dealicopter. Please mail to for any queries.

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