The success of Shark Tank India has brought the start-up culture prevalent in India into limelight.
A startup ecosystem is defined as a society of founders with ideas and skills, young companies at early stages with talent, incubators with mentors and capital, early adopters and the media. India ranks third in the global list of countries with the largest startup ecosystems, right after the U.S. and U.K.
Brockling and Brown write that the entrepreneur is therefore envisioned as a trailblazer, who is continuously looking for new opportunities. This echoes the depiction of the postindustrial ideal citizen, who is construed as proactive, calculative and entrepreneurial in terms of self-reliance and rational choice.
Relationship processes are redefined and reformulated in the start-up culture. The friends and social circle and the emotional connect surrounding them is based on the passion and value of the idea. The social media connects have taken away the necessity of face to face meetings and ushered in an ‘alone yet connected’ paradigm that the society is grappling with.
A research paper from Dublin City University in Ireland, reviewing India’s entrepreneurial policy Startup India, affirmed its positive impact in reducing regional entrepreneurial disparities. However, it cited shortcomings in addressing the under- representation of women and marginalized caste groups in the national startup ecosystem.
Numerous scholars have pointed out the masculinity of these entrepreneurial ideals, and indeed, the heroes of the global startup culture–such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Steve Jobs, and Tesla’s Elon Musk–are almost exclusively male. Hence, Startup culture remains altogether gendered and characterized by a masculine ethos.
Yyes Marie Rault; Shawn Mathew too observes that the start-up ecosystem has unevenly developed across cities and economic sectors, and has failed to empower the overall population, so far. The venture capital concentrates amongst graduates stemming from a handful of prestigious education institutes in India and abroad too. Hence, there is a need for more inclusive start-up ecosystem.
The governments’ policy choices shape institutions that play a crucial role in determining entrepreneurial behavior (Minniti 2008), both by promoting productive entrepreneurship (Baumol 1996) and reducing the constraints on entrepreneurship (Braunerhjelm et al 2010).Likewise, GOI initiatives like Start up India have helped boost Start up culture in India.
Egan-Wyer et al. (2018) highlight the linguistic aspect of the dissemination of startup culture: cultural jargon and terminology of startups, such as ‘scalability’ and ‘disruption’, have spread to, and are widely circulated in, mainstream media and popular culture.
J Kohlenberger writes that in American popular culture, the tech-entrepreneurial subject is seen as a practical, learning-by-doing character, instead of a theoretical thinker. Correspondingly, many of the heroes of startup culture, such as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, are university dropouts. Thus, in startup discourse, academics are often construed as ‘stifling’ with its focus on intellectual knowledge production, which hinders true innovation.
The rise of entrepreneurial spirit is also associated with notions of nationalism and national pride. Hoffman calls this ‘patriotic professionalism’, by which she means that ‘the new professional is a self-enterprising subject who also is decidedly concerned with, and has an affinity for, the nation’