How do I start startups in India

India: we introduce you to the startup nation

A guest contribution by Eileen Trenkmann


Opinions have been divided on the Indian market for years. “Too bureaucratic!”, “Politically too insecure!”, “Huge market potential!” Are just some of the contradicting statements that one regularly hears in connection with India.


With around 1.3 billion people, India is the country with the second largest population and not only has many skilled workers, but also a large market of potential consumers. The Indian market has moved directly into the mobile age with a giant step and has z. B. literally skipped the desktop phase. According to various projections, there will be around 730 million Internet access points and a high level of smartphone penetration in India in the coming years. As a result, many new ideas and creative solutions can be found in the field of mobile apps. In addition, India is a young nation. More than half of the population is younger than 25 and two thirds are under 35. These circumstances and the growing middle class make India extremely attractive as a growth country for startups.


Lengthy bureaucracy processes and inadequate infrastructure have so far prevented India from benefiting from its locational advantages.

The Indian government has recognized the importance of companies and startups for building their own economy and has simplified legal regulations step by step in recent years. This also includes the “Start-up India Action Plan”, which Prime Minister Modi presented at the beginning of 2016: a 19-point list that promises considerable support for start-ups, for example in the form of a start-up fund, tax rebates and relief in the area of ​​start-ups and financing. The Startup India Hub was founded under the guise of InvestIndias, a platform that brings together startups, investors, incubators, accelerators, service providers and political actors and provides various startup-relevant information.

At the same time, the Indian government has made a number of efforts to promote its own economic power and has set up a ministry specially set up for entrepreneurship and vocational training to support startups in particular. Initiatives such as 'Skill India', 'Make in India' and 'Startup India' have been launched and are intended to underline these ambitions. This was the first time that efforts were made to harmonize the laws for startups and to promote more entrepreneurship.

In the meantime, the startup culture in India continues to flourish and is also becoming increasingly interesting for entrepreneurs from Europe. The tech metropolises Delhi and Bengaluru in particular - already known today as the "new Silicon Valley" - attract many international and national startups. But cities like Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai are also becoming more and more attractive. At the same time, there are now a large number of well-functioning incubators and accelerator programs. As a result, India is becoming more and more interesting as a location for international startups as well. It is not for nothing that incubators such as T-Hub or Zone Startups are already running market entry programs for international startups. Nevertheless, many companies and startups continue to fail because of the local Indian bureaucracy.

While the Indian startup sector has been characterized by many start-ups in the last 10 years, some indicators now suggest that the Indian startup ecosystem has become more mature. With the acquisition of Flipkarts by Walmart, an Indian e-commerce startup made a billion dollar exit for the first time. Further major exits will follow in the coming years.



The German Indian Startup Exchange Program (GINSEP) is a non-monetary platform of the Federal Association of German Startups e.V. (Startup Association), which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The aim of GINSEP is the structured networking of the Indian and German startup ecosystems. The pilot project runs from October 2017 to August 2019.



INSIDE is the magazine of the Federal Association of German Startups e.V. (Startup Association). The Startup Association is the representative and voice of startups in Germany and is committed to creating a framework that is friendly to founders. In dialogue with decision-makers in politics, he develops proposals that promote a culture of independence and lower the hurdles for business start-ups. The startup association promotes innovative entrepreneurship and carries the startup mentality into society. As a network, it connects founders, startups and their friends.

If you are interested in membership in the startup association, you can find out something about the advantages of membership here and apply for membership here.