If one thought 2021 was simply a golden aberration for the Indian startup ecosystem and it had achieved its peak, then sorry to burst your bubble but the story of Indian startups has only just begun. The year 2021 saw India churning one unicorn startup after another with a breakneck speed and now in 2022, those startups in addition to the ones looking to take the big, next step are expected to put their foot firmly on the ‘hiring pedal’. With no dearth of funding and rising consumer affinity for new-age products and services, startups are expected to be the largest employment generators of 2022.
And we are not making such claims for the sake of it, the industry experts believe the same as well. Nicolas Dumoulin, senior managing director, Michael Page India and Thailand — a top recruitment service agency in an interview to Financial Express remarked that India will see a 30 percent growth in hiring through the startup ecosystem vis-a-vis 2021.
Nicolas stated, “Leadership hiring is expected to grow at 20-25%. Mid-level hiring will grow at 30-40%. Both traditional and new-age businesses will focus on strengthening leadership teams. Increased business activity will lead to expansion and growth at both mid- and junior-level hires. Overall, 2022 is expected to see 30-40% growth in hirings vs 2021.”
Nicolas also remarked that another area that will notice a boost in hiring is manufacturing (both Indian and multinational companies) due to the ‘Make in India’ push by the government.
Startups announce ambitious hiring plans for 2022
Such is the confidence of startups in their abilities and expansion plans that several old and new companies have already chalked out their bold hiring plans for the year 2022.
Reportedly, Razorpay intends to double its intake across IITs this year. The firm will hire 600 employees in all, said Chitbhanu Nagri, senior vice-president, people operations. “This year, competition has intensified, and Razorpay has doubled down on efforts to recruit good students. We are growing rapidly and the increase in hiring is in line with our growth targets,” added Nagri.
Meanwhile, Kolkata-based Fintech startup mPokket has already announced that it will hire 1,500 people in 2022, amid a growing user base for its instant loan app that caters to college students and young working professionals.
Social commerce startup DealShare will add more than 5,000 staff in 2022. A large part of the fresh recruits will be used to build on its tech capabilities. Khatabook, a user-friendly app used to record transactions and maintain a digital record will be doubling its employee base in 2022.
Similarly, slice, a fintech startup, is gearing to hire almost 800 people for various roles across its operations, design, product, and engineering verticals in the new year. It aims to expand its team to twice the present size in 2022.
Investors pouring the green in Indian startups
And why wouldn’t the startups form the major source of employment generation, after all, they are receiving a major tinge of green from international as well as domestic investors.
As reported by TFI, a UK-based Investment data platform Preqin in its report stated that India’s burgeoning startup system received a record investment of nearly $36 billion in privately held companies in the year 2021.
The seed-funding in nearly 396 deals contributed to $705.86 million while about 166 investments at series A amounted to about $1.67 billion.
2021 — the year of unicorns in the Indian startup ecosystem
It’s barely been two weeks since 2021 came to a draw but it certainly was a sensational year for the Indian startup ecosystem, which surpassed all projections — both in terms of the number of unicorns and the funding raised.
Till December, 43 unicorns had been born in the country with Pristyn Care being the latest. Among these 43 startups, most were from Software as a Service (SaaS), Fintech, EdTech, Healthtech, e-commerce, and Business to Business sector. Overall, India now houses 79 unicorn startups. Not only this, but the unicorns have also been able to take the next step by going public as well.
A slew of IPOs released by Dalal Street last year found interest of the ‘no-nothing-investors’. Paytm became the country’s largest IPO ever with an issue size of 18,300 crores, with other companies like Zomato, Policy Bazaar, PharmEasy, and Nykaa also coming up with their respective IPOs.
The newly minted sectors like Healthtech, EdTech, which got a big boom due to the pandemic, are yet in early-stage and expected to take at least four to five years to reach maturity.
E-commerce is going through a lot of churns as traditional e-commerce is now dominated by Amazon and Flipkart, but many new players are emerging which are reimaging the whole business model of the sector.
Government providing the support
Schemes like Startup India, Digital India, Production Linked Incentive launched by the current administration has encouraged entrepreneurship and helped create more high paying jobs within India. The impact of these schemes is already visible as the number of unicorns suggests. Thanks to schemes like Startup India, the country has emerged as the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, with more than 50,000 startup companies.
The students at premier institutions now prefer to run and own a company in India, rather than becoming cheap labour for MNCs. The PLI scheme is encouraging foreign companies as well as Indian companies to manufacture in India, for domestic consumption as well as exports. Many foreign companies which used to export goods to India are now opening up factories in India and providing job opportunities to thousands.
In 2021, India produced around one unicorn every week and in the coming years, the number is expected to move northwards. With the government focusing on deep-tech technologies like semiconductors and telecom products, a new wave of startups is expected to emerge in the next few years with government support and infrastructure.
India’s startup climate is its golden period. The investors are willing to risk high, even if it means betting on promising and exciting ideas. However, the best part about the ongoing developments is that it is just the beginning. The year 2022 might be the biggest in terms of investment flowing into the country’s startups, leading to exponential hiring of professionals.