Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme in December 2015 has promised to unveil the action plan for ‘Startup India, Standup India!’ on January 16. This could be a reason to cheer for the Indian startup community. We have a promise of difficulties coming to an end when it comes to starting up.

Here are few reasons why India is the next start up nation.

1.Indian rail is the largest public sector enterprise in the country. It is also the eighth biggest employer in the world, with over 1.4 million people. Inefficient reservations, streamlining the process, catering are still some of the problems which can be looked at as opportunities and can warrant startups of a different scale.

2.India is home to 5.7 per cent of the world’s Unicorns – startups that are valued at over $1 billion. When compared to the amount of funding available overseas, a very small portion of it is available to India and the amount is still growing. India’s Unicorns are Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ola, Paytm, Quikr, Zomato, Mu Sigma, and InMobi.

3.Seventeen finance companies received funding in 2015, of over $290 million, making this one of the most funded sectors of last year and also one showing great promise. With relaxed RBI guidelines in relation to payments banks, this is a new avenue for startups to innovate.

4.Eleven companies in the B2C commerce space received funding to the tune of $3.377 billion, which also means that over 33 per cent of the funding last year was in these companies and over 50 per cent of these were Unicorns.

5.Rural India is a huge market for startups, and the only way to tap this market is to go local. Going into vernacular languages is one of the best ways to capture this market. Presenting the same solutions, be it hyperlocal or e-commerce or even payments, in a different packaging around local languages will help people in Tier-III and rural areas adopt it. Indian entrepreneurs are at a distinct advantage in comparison to foreign players entering the space and trying the same solutions.

6.According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report, India was ranked 120 in 2008 and has slowed to 132 in 2014. The ranking has improved to 130 in 2016 and is poised to improve further considering a startup-friendly government.

7.This year, the total funding in India is about $ 9 billion, which is more than the GDP of Andaman and Nicobar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur combined.

8.If Flipkart, our poster boy for e-commerce, were an Indian State, its valuation would be higher than the GDP of 13 States (Union Territories included). That is more than nearly half of the Indian States and Union Territories combined.

9.India has the ninth largest GDP in the world, with around $2.07 trillion. With over 70 per cent of the population still living in villages, a huge portion of our GDP comes from Tier I and II cities, which means we still have huge potential to be tapped in villages.

10.Snapdeal’s valuation is more than Vedanta or Grasim or GSK, companies which have been in existence for decades now.