India’s startup community, the third largest in the world, is facing an existential crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
A month-long survey released last week by the Indian trade association Nasscom revealed that 70 percent of startups in India have less than three months of money left in the bank, with almost a quarter (22 percent) stating that they might not make it to the end of the year.
In stark contrast to its immediate future, last year the Indian startup community raised a record $14.5bn following consistent growth since 2017.
Despite the $266bn stimulus package the government announced earlier this month to help breathe life back into its coronavirus-crippled economy, two-thirds of the startups surveyed believe that Covid-19 would impact the industry for up to another 12 months, with retail, manufacturing, and travel & transport startups being the most pessimistic.
Amidst the turmoil, the foreword to the report notes that 54 percent of startups are seeking new ways to pivot their business to help cope with the pandemic.
Debjani Ghosh, the president of Nasscom, believes that “there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” For many businesses around the world, however, it depends on how long that tunnel will be.
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