A profitable unicorn founder from India is most definitely to be a male graduate from one of many high IITs (Indian Institutes of Expertise) who began his agency at a really early age, a Mint evaluation of the profiles of unicorn founders exhibits.
The listing of unicorns thought of right here have been sourced from a latest report by Neelkanth Mishra and his colleagues at Credit score Suisse, which confirmed that India already has 100 unicorns (unlisted companies with valuations above $1 billion), greater than twice the quantity others had beforehand reported. Two-thirds of those companies began after 2005, the remainder are previous companies such because the nation’s largest bourse, Nationwide Inventory Alternate.
The 100 unicorns function from cities all throughout the nation, and in a variety of companies — from gaming to biotech. However the founders of those companies look like a really homogenous lot. About half had a level from one of many IITs or IIMs (Indian Institutes of Administration), a 3rd had a level from an elite international college. Amongst Indian establishments, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IIT Kanpur have produced the best variety of unicorn founders. Amongst international universities, Harvard College has the best tally, with a number of founders graduating from Harvard’s enterprise faculty.
A level from an elite faculty permits easy accessibility to a well-connected alumni community, which helps in hiring the fitting expertise, and securing enough funding. Elevating the preliminary seed funding is way simpler for individuals who are from IITs, IIMs, or high international universities, mentioned Nithin Kamath, a co-founder of Zerodha Broking Ltd, one of many few unicorn founders from a lesser-known faculty. “However this benefit of with the ability to increase cash primarily based in your background slowly begins disappearing because the startup begins constructing out the product,” he mentioned.
Engineers & MBAs
A big proportion of the 100 unicorns are know-how or tech-enabled firms. A fourth are both IT or Software program-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies. One in ten are in chemical substances, vitality, industrials or telecom. So it’s no shock that 38% of unicorn founders have bachelors in engineering. One other 12% have masters in engineering or sciences.
MBAs will not be behind. 37% of founders of those billion-plus firms have a masters in enterprise administration. Amongst this lot, a number of had an engineering diploma earlier than they went for an MBA.
Many could have opted for a B-school with the ambition of launching their very own enterprise, provided that it is a perfect setting to discover a co-founder and take a look at one’s enterprise concepts. Many colleges even have their very own incubator or accelerator program to assist start-up founders. Since most funding companions are additionally B-school graduates, an MBA additionally serves as a sign of competence.
Those that obtain scale of their enterprise sometimes begin early. Ritesh Agarwal, as an example, began Oyo rooms even earlier than he turned 20. Gaurav Munjal, the co-founder of Unacademy, began importing YouTube tutorial movies whereas he was nonetheless in faculty. Together with Roman Saini and Hemesh Kumar Singh, he lastly based his firm at simply 24. Over 40% unicorn founders, whose age information was accessible, began their firm earlier than turning 25.
Being a younger founder permits one to dedicate extra time to their agency. It additionally permits one to do issues in an unconventional manner.
Nonetheless, the youth benefit doesn’t maintain within the wider start-up ecosystem, an earlier evaluation of a wider set of companies suggests. A 2018 Plain Facts evaluation of 560 founders throughout 330 start-ups by Shailesh Chitnis of knowledge intelligence agency Compile Inc confirmed that start-ups the place founders had 10 or extra years of expertise have been more likely to scale up than these with lesser expertise.
True to stereotype, the unicorn listing is sort of solely a male one. Amongst single-founder unicorns, there are not any ladies in any respect. Amongst these with a number of founders, 4% are ladies.
Total, the illustration of girls founders is abysmally low at 3.8%. That is even decrease than the proportion of girls CEOs in BSE 500 companies, which is 4.8%.
The shortage of girls is a wider downside within the start-up ecosystem, not simply within the elite membership of unicorns. India ranked a lowly forty ninth amongst 58 nations on Mastercard’s newest index of women entrepreneurs.
A 2019 ORF research by Sabrina Korreck recognized 5 important causes for the gender-gap in start-ups: unconscious bias, low confidence in enterprise abilities, lack of entry to finance, lack of household help or child-care choices, and lack of safety in workplaces.
India’s unicorns have come a good distance. They nonetheless have a protracted option to go by way of social inclusion.
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