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‘No Better Time Than Now To Build In India’, Say Founders Through Elevation Founder Pulse 2023

50 per cent of founders surveyed expect fundraising to get easier in coming months; 66.5 per cent currently operate with a runway of at least a year

‘No Better Time Than Now To Build In India’, Say Founders Through Elevation Founder Pulse 2023
POSTED ON December 15, 2023 1:39 PM

Based on a survey with founders from the Indian startup ecosystem, Elevation Capital has released the inaugural edition of ‘Founder Pulse’, a comprehensive report deciphering the essence of what it means to be an entrepreneur in 2023. The report consolidated insights from 250+ founders across stages and sectors, capturing over 20,000 data points on India’s funding landscape, business outlook, operational challenges, recruitment and culture, and regulatory environment. 

According to the Elevation Founder Pulse 2023 report, 83 per cent of surveyed founders opined that now is a good time to be starting up a business in India, with 50 per cent feeling there has never been a better time than the current moment to pursue entrepreneurship. This flies in the face of the recent doom and gloom picture being painted about the startup ecosystem and is a powerful endorsement of the confidence in the India growth story and the strong fundamentals underpinning it. With India projected to grow from a $3.5 Trillion GDP nation to $7-7.5 Trillion GDP by FY 2030/31, founders seem to be excited about catalysing this shift and creating value for all stakeholders. 

Profitability emerged as one of the biggest priority areas for founders in the survey, with 18 per cent of founders stating they are already profitable and an additional 58 per cent aspiring to achieve profitability in the near to medium term. This signals a concerted move towards greater financial sustainability and improved economics within the Indian startup ecosystem. 

Founders seek to make necessary cost cuts to attain sustainable profitability by streamlining operations and enhancing fiscal prudence. 38 per cent identified marketing as the area where spending was most curtailed in the recent 12 months. Meanwhile, in 20 per cent of startups, engineering and product development expenditures were the most significantly reduced. 

Mridul Arora, Partner, Elevation Capital, said, “Amidst the recent challenges faced by the startup ecosystem, founders have undergone a profound learning curve. The confidence in India's narrative and strong economic fundamentals have never been stronger. Founders are emerging more resilient and wiser from these challenges, reinforcing positive shifts across funding, talent acquisition, profitability and liquidity events. The current landscape reaffirms our belief that there is no better time to go ‘All In On India’.”

65 per cent of those surveyed highlighted revenue growth among their most pressing concerns. A closer examination across sectors reveals nuanced priorities: 45 per cent of Consumer founders are focused on managing burn; 55 per cent of B2B & SaaS founders are solving for longer and more challenging sales cycles. While 50 per cent of the founders advocate for a fully on-site work environment, of which 90 per cent were able to execute a smooth transition, only 4.8 per cent supported a fully remote work setup. Founders are hopeful that the next five years will see all-time highs in terms of IPOs and M&As. With 66 per cent expecting more IPOs in the next five years, it paints a promising picture for continued growth and success in India's startup world.

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