Startups lie at the heart of every economy, they touch every aspect of our lives and are instrumental in driving the future of innovation and recalibrating traditional business models. According to Ketan Patel, Managing Director at HP, 2021 will be, “the decade of collaboration, where entrepreneurs will engage more with not just peers, but corporates, government and manufacturers, to help realise India’s dreams of becoming a $5 trillion economy. “
He was delivering a keynote address, titled ‘The unprecedented role of technology in business and its impact on our lives’ on Day 2 of the Future of Work 2021 summit. Indian startups cumulatively raised $11.5 billion last year, which makes it the third largest ecosystem in the world, and is expected to grow around 12-15 percent per annum, Ketan highlighted.
“The pandemic has increased the adoption of digital business, which has led to a surge of SaaS (software-as-a-service) business models, and reshaped the conventional business landscape, paving the way to the ‘phygital’ world, and widespread digitisation,” he said.
It has pushed all companies to an inflection point where embracing technology is no longer an option, but a clear necessity, as digital capabilities are opening up organisations to new revenue streams and new service opportunities, he added.
“Digital transformation is becoming digital inclusion. Tech adoption will enable them to deploy automated business processes across a plethora of digital opportunities, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will help businesses to improve workflows, gain customer insights, predict business models and optimising costs, while building scale.”
He listed out three factors which help startups to effectively acquire, manufacture and consume technology. First, cloud and lifecycle managed IT hardware, which is asset light and infinitely scalable on demand. “This is cost-effective, as they pay for infrastructure they use and needn’t worry about maintenance costs”, he said. Second, embracing mobility, as it has evolved as a primary driver of digital adoption. In fact, Ketan added that 70 percent of CIOs are considering a mobile-first approach. Third, the growing prominence of the Internet of Things (IoT) means there is a growing demand for artificial, virtual, and mixed reality solutions across sectors.
He then went on to list out the top areas of focus needed from startups. For starters, a good partner for sizing IT requirements, followed by the simplification of IT procurement. “Easy financing solutions and Opex models now ensure that startups can remain nimble with unstressed Capex.” Next up, easy plug-and-play deployment of IT infrastructure and modern device management. “It is very important to embrace the right level of security suite to take care of your privacy and security challenges.” Finally, it is very important to choose the right partner who will manage the IT, from device and security management end-to-end, he said. “The partner should also provide the right level of insights to have proactive intervention on technology productivity.” He added they should also be able to help manage the complete lifecycle of digital services, which include providing the right devices for the right personas, the right repair services, and other hassle free lifecycle services.
By 2025 the number of startups in India is expected to cross more than 100,000, creating 3.25 million jobs in the process, Ketan Pointed out. Funding in Indian startups is expected to increase to more than $150 billion, and overall value creation exceeding $500 billion. He also mentioned that HP is committed to the growth of startups with HP Tech Ventures (the venture capital arm of HP). It is dedicated to finding early-stage companies with cutting edge technology, and fostering the system of innovation and reinvention.
His final word of advice to startups? “Technology has to be at the core of your strategy and not just implementing for the sake of it.”
A big shout out to our Future of Work 2021 Co-presenting Sponsors Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Unique Solutions; Digital Excellence Partner, Google Cloud; Associate Sponsor HP and Intel; and Sponsors: Atlassian, Freight Tiger, Archon I Cohesity, TeamViewer, and Pocket Aces.