Once India’s startup industry is able to solve real-world problems for local conditions, scale is likely to come from places like Africa and South-East Asia, where the solutions can be replicated.

One of the earliest stories (with a maxim) we all heard must be the one about a hare and a tortoise. From a startup’s standpoint today, the loudest cheer may well be reserved for the hare instead, in case of a ‘re-run’.

To be fair to IT startups, it is speed which has got them where they are today – nearly 5,000 of them in India, growing in double digits (10–12 percent CAGR), and in third position globally.

But now, we are riding wave number two. Which means startups have to look beyond that fair-weather friend called GMV and focus on unit economics, bottom-line growth, create brand loyalty and stickiness factor. Simply put, it is about reducing the characteristic dependency on funding and be able to focus on fundamentals which will make ventures self-sustainable.