Business Standard

Startups generate more employment than big companies: Sanjeev Bikhchandani

Sanjeev Bikhchandani discusses the growth of Info Edge from startup to a tech giant, and the crucial role of startups in India's growth story at Business Standard Manthan

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, co-founder, Info Edge in conversation with Nivedita Mookerji, executive editor of Business Standard, at Business Standard Manthan

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, co-founder, Info Edge in conversation with Nivedita Mookerji, executive editor of Business Standard, at Business Standard Manthan

Vasudha Mukherjee New Delhi

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Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder of Info Edge and co-founder of Ashoka University, discussed the growth of Info Edge from a startup to a tech giant, and the crucial role of startups in India's development during a discussion with Nivedita Mookerji at the Business Standard Manthan event on Thursday.

Reflecting on the transformation of the Indian landscape over the past four decades, Bikhchandani highlighted the significant changes driven by the emergence of new industries and companies. He emphasised the pivotal role played by economic liberalisation in 1991, which unleashed opportunities across various sectors and fuelled the growth of startups.

"Government is the single most important institution in the country," said Bikhchandani when discussing the key factors driving change and allowing economic and market growth in the country. Adding that deregulation in 1991 was crucial to streamlining business processes and fostering growth.

He said, "I could not have predicted this 40 years ago, and I cannot predict what will happen in the next 40 years, but I can say that the change will be driven by the same forces that were responsible for the change in the last four decades."

The factors highlighted were government regulations, technology, capital, entrepreneurship, and talent.

Startups driving economic growth


Sharing insights from his entrepreneurial journey, Bikhchandani recounted the inception of Info Edge and its evolution into a successful startup. He emphasised the role of startups in driving employment generation and innovation, challenging conventional notions of growth and success.

Using Zomato and Policybazaar as examples, Bikhchandani said that they generated thousands of jobs. However, since this was not in the formal sector, they were not counted. "But, that is also livelihood, and it was done by a startup," he said. He added that big companies had a limit to how much employment they could generate.

Referring to the term "unicorn," Bikhchandani said, "I don't like the term 'unicorn'. I think it's rubbish. You measure a company's health by looking at revenue, profits, customer base, and sustainable growth."

In discussing the funding landscape, Bikhchandani debunked the notion of a funding winter. Instead, he said that the market had previously experienced a "funding excess." He added that good companies always had enough money to back them.

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First Published: Mar 28 2024 | 8:07 PM IST

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