Deep tech startups taking brave risks – The Great Indian Startup Boom and the Potential for Deep Tech Entrepreneurship | 3 August 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • The article discusses the growth and impact of the startup ecosystem in India, particularly in deep technology sectors.


  • GS3: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment;
  • Essay


  • The Great Indian Startup Boom and Entrepreneurship Environment:
    • The Great Indian Startup Boom, fuelled by young entrepreneurs and supported by the government's Startup India movement, has created an environment of entrepreneurship across the country.
    • The startup movement has expanded beyond metro cities and has gained traction in suburban and rural areas as well.
  • Expansion of the Startup Movement Beyond Metro Cities:
    • Currently, there are over one lakh startups recognized by the government, with a significant number coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
    • This has empowered India's youth and given them the freedom to shape their own destinies.

What are deep tech startups?

  • Deep tech startups refer to those startups whose business model is based on high-tech innovation in engineering or significant scientific advances.
  • These startups are based on real innovative technology and are deployed to solve almost intractable problems in the real world.
  • Deep tech startups are likely to be based on artificial intelligence or machine learning, or other innovative applications to new or existing emerging technologies.
  • The main areas deep tech startups are working in are artificial intelligence (AI), life sciences, agriculture, aerospace, chemistry, industry, and clean energy.
  • Deep tech startups often require large investments over a longer term and good amounts of research. Commercial success can also take longer since they are disruptive technologies that might take longer.
  • Focus on Deep Technology Areas:
    • The startup movement has also moved beyond consumer internet and e-commerce, with a focus on deep technology areas such as space and remote sensing, artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, pharma, electric vehicles, drones, defence, telecommunications, and semiconductors.
  • Transfer of Science and Technology Discoveries through Startups:
    • Deep tech entrepreneurship has also facilitated the transfer of science and technology discoveries from public sector labs to the market. Examples of successful deep tech startups include IIT Madras's Research Park, C-CAMP, and the National Chemical Laboratory's Venture Centre.
  • Preference for Deep Tech Startups in the Industry:
    • The article highlights that deep tech startups are taking technology risks and driving innovation in India, while traditional risk-taking sectors like government departments and legacy corporates seem hesitant.
    • The industry has shown a preference for investing in deep tech startups and acquiring successful, scaled technologies.
  • Proposal for Startup India 2.0:
    • To further support the startup ecosystem, the article proposes Startup India 2.0, which focuses on the real sectors mentioned earlier.
    • The government should provide larger risk capital for deep tech startups and encourage mass procurement of indigenously developed technologies.
    • This can be achieved through the existing SIDBI Fund of Funds and increased research funding from the industry.
    • Additionally, there should be a concerted push across the government to enable mass procurement, and industry bodies can play a role in aggregating demand and supporting the co-creation of products and solutions.


  • Overall, the article emphasizes the need for continued support and collaboration between the government, industry, and startups to foster innovation, job creation, and national capabilities in India.

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