Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow
Skip main navigation

Businesses in India: The 5 best startups in India

We explore the current business landscape in India, identity the 5 best startup opportunities and discuss how to be successful within your startup journey.

Best startups in India

There are over 50,000 startups in India. This statistic proves that the Indian business landscape has taken a drastic turn in the past few decades. Beginning with the opening up of the economy, we have seen the rise of mammoth companies from their humble startup roots. 

Indians have proven time and again that they are a country that has immense creative and business potential. With the advent of business-friendly policies, laws supporting entrepreneurship models, and the country’s youth excited about creating a positive change globally, startups in India have taken off on a never-before-seen tangent.

New startups in India are admirable in their tenacity to figure out a venture business model from scratch. According to Inc42, the current Unicorn tally of India stands at over 70, with a whopping $21 billion of total investment. With these astonishing numbers fresh in our minds, let us take a moment to understand why the Indian market is booming with some of the best startups in the world right now.

The business landscape in India

India has been on track to becoming the largest economy in the world for quite some time now. While it was traditionally known for its large industries of textiles, spices, raw materials, and minerals, the past few decades have seen a significant change in the face of the business landscape in India.

For one thing, the MedTech industry has boomed significantly in recent times. The slow but steady investment in cutting-edge technology and a stable financial structure have also enabled many other budding industries like digital agriculture, MSME sectors, and medical tourism to flourish well. 

While it may seem surprising, startups in India have been around for the last four decades. Some believe that the “true” beginning of startups in India came with the opening up of the economy in 1991. 

However, the truth remains that the country has sported a rich history of successful startups. Mant of the best startups in India today have had a long line of entrepreneurs to take inspiration from. 

One look at the Tata Group, the mammoth empire of Reliance Industries, and India’s home brand, AMUL, will confirm the success that new startups in India have had in the past. Not to mention, the ease of establishing a top startup in India has become a veritable plus point in India’s business landscape of late. 

Entrepreneur friendly-laws like the New Companies Act of 2013 introduced the concept of “startup” under company law, and the MUDRA bank helped micro-enterprises and small startups gain access to timely financial aid. This seems to have changed the business atmosphere in India for the better.

Building a successful startup in India

There has never been a better time to begin a startup in India. Investments aside, the sheer size of human resources available in the Indian market makes it an extremely attractive centre of business for budding entrepreneurs looking to make it big. 

Strategy in business is as important as its implementation to achieve a successful startup in India. It is imperative to have a strong business strategy to become a part of the top startups in India. The good news for new entrepreneurs is that they can learn this crucial business sense at any time of the day. Business innovation and entrepreneurship are skills that entrepreneurs can learn online.

Here are a few of the key points to keep in mind while establishing your own startups in India:

 

  • Impactful investment is a non-negotiable requirement

Today’s highly knowledgeable customer base expects a startup to give back something to society. While looking to make profits, most investors have begun to make it a point to engage in impact investing. They prefer seeing the real, tangible social impact of their money, even if it comes at the cost of slightly lower profits.

While this may seem like a bad idea in the short term, it might do wonders to increase the trustworthiness of your brand within customers in the long term.

 

  • Do your market research well

New entrepreneurs in the market often underestimate or overestimate the potential of the market that they decide to conduct their business in. This eventually makes a negative impact on consequent business strategies.

Startups in India should make sure that they have their marketing and market research pat-down. Considering that India hosts nearly a fifth of the population on the planet, it will be helpful to make full use of the target audience you wish to cater to with your business.

 

  • Make sure you update your business knowledge regularly

As entrepreneurs, it becomes imperative to keep up with market trends and consumer behaviour to make the most of your investment. Fortunately, we live in the internet age, and the internet is full of quality business courses. These topics range from understanding the basics of raising startup funds to guiding you in creating the best business plan for your startup.

Top 5 best startups in India right now

If you want to be among the best startups in India, it will help to understand what the current top startups have done right. Here are some familiar names that fulfilled their dream as promising businesses in India.

 

  • CRED: 

Launched in 2018 by Kunal Shah, this company received Unicorn status in record time. With a valuation of $2.2 billion USD, it has quickly climbed up the steep ladder and marked its spot amongst the best startups in India. Needless to say, their cult popularity rose exponentially thanks to their bulletproof brand marketing. Their incredibly creative ads caught the attention of millions of young Indians in the most effective manner.

If there is one thing to learn from CRED, a strong, spearheaded effort to reach your target audience can be achieved with a solid business strategy. Growing a market such as giving credit points for transactions is possible with a sustainable business growth model. 

 

  • Unacademy:

Founded in the city of Bengaluru in 2015, Unacademy quickly made its name in the country. Growing at an unbelievable rate since its inception, this dream startup finds itself valued at $3.44 billion USD. One of its reasons for success stems from the company’s incomparable quality of market research. 

As an online education platform, Unacademy had its massive share of competitors. The fact that it rose out of hundreds of existing startups to become a household name is a testament to its ability to fulfil the requirements of its target population well.

 

  • boAt:

Founded by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta a mere 5 years ago, boAt achieved the success story that every new startup in India dreams of. This household name initially began as any other one of the millions of new businesses in India. However, thanks to its exemplary strategy implementation and creative marketing, it has managed to capture nearly one-third of the audio gadgets market in India. 

With a whopping $1.3 billion USD valuation, there is no doubt that this is a classic tale of an underdog enterprise doing the right things and achieving the spot among the top businesses in the country.

 

  • Urban Company:

Currently valued at $2.2 billion USD, this recent Unicorn business is among the top companies in India right now. The business, offering affordable grooming and cleaning services in the comfort of one’s home, became a cult phenomenon within a few years of its creation.

Many people speculate that the reasos for the success of this humble startup is that the market problem is seemingly solved. Indians across the country have the need for a variety of services day in and day out. By combining all of these and assuring the quality of service, Urban Company tapped into an existing market by turning it around on its head.

 

  • Dunzo:

You know you have made it big when the public begins using your company name as a verb rather than a noun. The “Dunzo it to me” company is an all-in-one delivery startup that caters to hyper-focused delivery requirements. Currently valued at 590 crores, this company has proved that implementing regularly updated business knowledge yields tangible results.

This company which sits among the best startups in India, caters to most major metro cities.

Final thoughts 

There is no shortage of promising businesses in India and the country has shown that the landscape exists for successful companies. With the right knowledge and a lot of hard work, you may be able to convert your lifelong enterprise ideas into tangible action. It is all a matter of figuring out the right target audience and getting the perfect business strategy.

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education

Related stories on FutureLearn