March 2018 was marked as a golden period where the government had announced its plans to set up a $1 billion venture fund that would be seeded by Silicon Valley heroes of ethnic Indian origin. The role of new technologies in generating a multiplicity of options for new business models has been spawning a generation of Indian businesses in the outsourcing arena during the nineties. But the internet and smart connectivity are generating new ventures to a degree that will dwarf that outsourcing boom. Internet penetration is finally gathering steam, to an extent that Manoj Kohli, Country Head, Softbank India believes that today there might not be proper roads in the remotest part of our countries but will easily find 2G/3G/4G connectivity.
Actually, this is the moment entrepreneurs have been waiting for. Professional opportunities today are at the peak as compared to the times when success was measured amongst people of the level of IAS, engineers, doctors or employee of few brands like DCM Shriram or Unilevers.
Kohli claims that past 5-7 years has been a considerable time since entrepreneurial opportunities have started to flood markets. “Seems a big change when I see today’s purpose-driven youth becoming creators, rather than applying for jobs,” states Kohli. According to him, there have been 3 major changes which has provoked this big change:
- Technology today has been massified. Earlier it was for those few who were at the top of the pyramid. And today it has reached to very bottom, giving full access to all. Remembering the times at Airtel, Kohli reminisces having covered over 5 lakh small villages where there weren’t proper road constructions but availability of 2G/3G/4G connectivity.
- Capital availability- for the very first time private equity, venture funds are available to all young entrepreneurs. If those young entrepreneurs possess good ideas, good business model and appealing product for serving the customer base then he/she will be able to convert that idea into reality through immense capital support.
- Lastly, the government has now realised that the net wave of transformation is coming through young entrepreneurs. They are known to have been possessing fantastic middle class values as they come from a less known town and work hard to make a big name in market.
Today this country is crying out for better healthcare, education, job opportunities, etc. Now is the time for these young minds to do well and do good. In return, there is gamut in front of them to back them with capital availability if they succeed in showcasing the problems upon which they are building brands to solve them and get their customer base at ease.
Such outburst of contstructive thoughts was the result of Kohli’s interaction with BW Businessworld and Exchange4Media’s Editor-in-Chief Dr. Anurag Batra on BW Young Entrepreneur Summit & Awards 2021, organised by BW Disrupt.