Why India’s startups are bleeding

Flipkart and Ola
Flipkart and Ola

The government must work in order to create a level ground for all the startups in the country. With Uber selling its business in China, some serious questions about protectionist policies come into play.

“We need to address this bias and create a level-playing field for domestic startups,” said Sharad Sharma, cofounder of product software think-tank iSPIRT. “Our domestic stars — Flipkart and Ola — have suffered from this unintended bias in favour for foreign startups.”

Online marketplace Flipkart, India’s most-valuable consumer internet company at an estimated worth of $15 billion, is locked in an attritional battle for market dominance with Jeff Bezos-led Amazon and the news extends to all the startups that are in competition with cash flooded companies from around the world.

The country’s largest ride-hailing app Ola is competing with Uber, which post its exit from China is bound to double down on its business in India. “The government must have an explicit policy for providing a level-playing field to our domestic startups, a necessary condition for having open markets,” Sharma said. “This absence of a level-playing field for domestic startups is resulting in digital colonisation. This has serious consequences for the future.”

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