Reviving Undervalued Professions Startup Ecosystem Of India


When the world was reeling from the deadly pandemic and businesses were closing every day, India emerged as the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world.

Over the past few years, the start-up ecosystem has grown exponentially in India, paving the way for a highly diverse field of employment. Until a few decades ago, there was a widespread phenomenon in terms of segregation of professions, engineering or a medical or scientific profession were considered as the main career paths. Then came professions such as teaching or coming from business studies like CA or other professions in accounting or management studies, the most studious had the choice of opting for the civil service or other roles led by the government. Since school, children have been conditioned in a way that they were supposed to choose from.

Professions like hotel management, cabin crew jobs, or vocations in the fashion and camera industries were considered unconventional and often below the mark. Fortunately, however, there has been a visible transformation in this widespread mindset. The emphasis is now on skill-based education and parents are also open to accepting their children as vets, fashion designers, chefs, or even social media influencers, so to speak.

Much of this may be due to the emerging and ever-evolving start-up industry, in 2019, when the world was reeling from the deadly pandemic and businesses were closing every day, India became the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world. Indian startups have received over $14.5 billion in funding and the country had 26 unicorns till January 1, 2020. The startup ecosystem is also expected to create 7 to 7.5 lakh direct jobs and 26 to 28 lakh indirect jobs in total.

In addition to strengthening the economy, these start-ups have also fueled job creation in all professions, for example, start-ups like Urban Company. UC has provided a commendable platform for mechanics, plumbers, cleaners, and handymen. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that these professions were underrated and not worth the respect and money. But now, this evolved system has created a new demand for skilled workers. The same goes for start-ups that focus exclusively on saloon services, until a while ago beauticians or hairdressers were given little consideration, but now emerging Gen Z people deliberately enter these professions as part of an informed choice. It’s also because start-ups have glamorized many of these professions by renaming them and advertising on glossy paper.

It helps to integrate underestimated professions and open up new paths. The Covid 19 has further underlined the importance of this new age professional world. During the pandemic, almost all sectors have accepted the integration of technology and the shift to digital consumption has provided the necessary tailwind to sectors such as commerce, education and health. As a result, several start-ups have blossomed. In the area of ​​’education’, growing users have attracted venture capital (VC) funds, thus generating many employment opportunities. According to the numbers, Unacademy alone increased its membership from 600 in April 2020 to 4,000 in April 2021; similarly, upGrad went from 500 to 2,000 over the same period; and Byju’s has hired over 5,000 employees, with plans to hire up to 8,000 more.

Covid-19 has also given prominence to many previously unknown careers – such as virologists. Hardly did people know or talk about virologists, let it be a popular professional choice. The pandemic has brought a lot of attention to the terms “immunity” and healthy “foods,” opening up new avenues for start-ups to rise to the challenge and bring the “healthiest” options to the dinner table.

Citing this gap between demand and supply, several professionals, including IT managers, have ventured into the start-up space and started working on nutrition and by-products. For example, e-Feed is a start-up that works to provide healthy feed for farm animals so that the quality of animal-based foods can be assured. The start-up also aims to provide an ecosystem of innovation and lucrative opportunities for scientists and researchers who are not only passionate about animal and human health, but who also want to work to save the environment by reducing the methane emissions from the cattle industry.

Start-ups therefore play an important role in mainstreaming underappreciated professions while providing a balance in terms of overall employee and societal development.

(The donated article is attributed to Kumar Ranjan, CEO and Founder, eFeed and was created exclusively for BW Disrupt)


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