This may come as a surprise to many but the government (both central and state authorities) has helped entrepreneurs in India in an unexpected manner – by failing in some functions, which it is expected to perform by default. I have been analyzing the start-up ecosystem in India for some time now and have come across many entrepreneurs who succeeded just because the government failed to provide the required services to the citizens. Not only did these entrepreneurs step in to fill the gap, but they also provided livelihood and jobs to many others. In this article, I have tried to bring out 4 such areas where the enterprising minds found their opportunities.
Every morning, we see scores of pick-up vehicles laden with plastic canisters supplying drinking water to homes and offices. The failure of the government to provide sufficient and quality potable water has provided an opportunity to entrepreneurs to step in. Over a period of time, supplying potable water has become such a lucrative business that it has created gold for companies ranging from billion-dollar corporations to small-time entrepreneurs – thus creating a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Power generators and inverters
The power situation in India is far from satisfactory and with the rising consumption of electricity, the gap between demand and supply is getting wider by the day. Many entrepreneurs have seen an opportunity there and now provide a number of solutions – from solar lanterns suitable for one-room huts in villages to huge power generators installed in factories and offices.
Security of life and property should be the prior concern of the government. But with the rapid rise in urbanization across India, the security set-up has failed to cope up with the requirements of the growing population in the cities. The government agencies have failed to provide the required level of security and this has given a chance to private security agencies to provide services to home, offices, factories and apartment buildings. Thousands of people are employed by these private security agencies, providing security services to lakhs and more. So much so that a few Indian private security agencies have started taking up international assignments as well.
Of late, the best of the sports people in India do not come from government academies. Majority of the Indian boxers, who have been dominating world boxing, have come from the private sports clubs in Haryana. Similarly, Indian shuttlers, who have recently made their mark in world badminton, have all trained at a private academy in Hyderabad. And there are scores of private academies honing cricketers and other sports people in India.
Also, most of us are aware of the mess created by the government agencies in managing the Commonwealth Games. In stark contrast is the organisation and management of the Indian Grand Prix, held at Budh International Circuit or even the recently started Indian Badminton League. The success of such sports events have inspired many other entrepreneurs to come forward and they are now planning similar events for other disciplines as well.
But the Indian entrepreneurs’ ability to make the best of the situation (where we find below-average services) is not limited to the four areas I have picked up to discuss. If we look around, we will find many such areas where entrepreneurs have picked up the loose ends and provided the missing links.
So there is a ray of hope for other entrepreneurs as similar opportunities are waiting to be explored. Just look around and you might be able to identify the next big start-up for such services.
“Harshdeep Rapal is the CEO & Co-Founder of the Feelance Co. He has proven expertise in business expansion across international markets for both startups and large organizations. He has rich experience in Enterprise Strategy and CIO Advisory Consulting for various organizations.”