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Nandan Nilekani

India will be data-rich before it becomes economically rich: Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani

As India’s startup sector gears up for its next phase of growth, Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys and the architect of Aadhaar thinks that the future business models emerging in India will be from online data.

“The business models that will emerge in India will be those that allow people to take their digital wealth and convert that into economic wealth, and that is the trickle-up,” said Nandan Nilekani at The Economic Times Startup Awards while discussing a subject -`Growing Pains: Managing Culture, Scale and Returns.’

More Data helps create better products. Better products have more users, who in turn, create more Data. This property of Data creates winner-take-all scenarios, he explains in a blog post.

Startups scenario in India has also undergone changes with the global capital influx.

“There is a certain mental model not historically practiced in businesses in India. But I can see that certainly at the startup and scale up level, there is a lot of Indian capital now willing to invest,” he added.

In July, Nandan Nilekani had joined hands with Helion Venture’s Sanjeev Aggarwal to launch an investment fund called Fundamentum with a corpus of $100 million to back startups looking for growth capital.  The fund has so far closed $50 million and will see one-third of the corpus coming from Nilekani and Aggarwal.

He also emphasized that startups, who want build good product would always get backing from him.

“ I prefer to work with entrepreneurs who want to run marathons, who want to build big companies. If they really have the vision to do something great and transformational, they are the kind of people I support,” Nilekani added.

Angel investor at the event, Rajan Anandan talking about a metric of startup success, said,” The success of a startup depends on the life-stage. Success happens when you get three things right. A great Team, product-market, it can fit into and Traction to grow big.”

The future consumer will be online and will be very, very active online, he adds. In India, according to him internet users will grow to 650 million by 2020.

India had moved from 10 million smartphones in 2011 to 300 million in 2017 and with the current growth rate would likely touch 500 million by 2020.

India’s top entrepreneurs and investors also appreciated Indian government effort in providing early-stage support.


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