(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Startups as the Engine of Growth for North-East India

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Startups as the Engine of Growth for North-East India


Startups as the Engine of Growth for North-East India


Startups will play an important role in helping India become the third-largest economy in the world. The last decade has seen an exceptional transformation in the startup landscape in India, which has emerged as the third-largest ecosystem globally, with over 1.12 lakh startups presently recognised by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) across 763 districts. A total of 49% of the startups are from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. Along with the rest of India, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North-East India has also evolved, though not at the same pace as other startup hubs in the country. Each state in the region has come up with its own startup policies, and the ecosystem is evolving. 

Startups in North-East are found primarily in the following sectors:

  • Agriculture and allied
  • Handloom and Textiles
  • Tourism
  • Retail and Logistics
  • Health and Wellness
  • Edutech
  • Waste management and Renewables
  • Media and Entertainment

In NER, owing to the still evolving and growing ecosystem, the challenges faced by the startups are much bigger compared to the startups in more mature ecosystems of the metros. Some of the common challenges are listed below:

  • Access to funds
  • Access to new markets
  • Lack of skilled manpower
  • Continued mentorship support
  • Access to professional support services like regulatory compliances, liasoning, patent filing, etc.

The startup ecosystem should be viewed as a continuum that supports and incentivises all stages of the life cycle of a startup. This includes intermediaries that support:

  • Innovation and commercialization in higher education and in small business
  • Aspiring entrepreneurs via a pre-incubation preparatory phase to build a strong pipeline of emerging entrepreneurs
  • Idea and early stage startups so that more of them can survive and go to the market
  • Growth startups and small businesses so that they are able to continue to innovate and build regionally, nationally, globally competitive and scalable business models

Way forward:

  • Build a wide pipeline of innovative, entrepreneurially skilled young people with inspiration, idea application, and confidence to startup with the right opportunity;
  • Evolve outcome oriented sustainable incubation modes that support competitive businesses that may not be venture-funded. This will be the key to health of local economies;
  • Build Leaders of incubators and accelerators, Expert mentors, consultants, Lawyers, accountants and other technical experts and vendors.
  • Integrate information, infrastructure, funding, and other efforts across the stakeholder groups that  include government agencies, private incubator and funding institutions.


  • India’s commitment to sustainability and its active involvement in global discussions on issues such as climate change, renewable energy, and responsible business practices align with the evolving global SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) priorities. Indian startups with a focus on sustainability can leverage this commitment to shape their business models and engage in international partnerships that emphasise responsible practices. The global landscape is ripe with opportunities for Indian startups, with the potential to drive innovation, growth, and sustainability through international collaboration. This path aligns with NorthEast India’s journey to be the gateway to Southeast Asia through the Act East Policy and offers startups a remarkable platform for success.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra