The country will soon build a century of unicorns, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, citing the establishment of 42 unicorn start-ups last year and India’s race to one billion internet users. He also stated that from now on, January 16 would be celebrated as National Start-up Day. Officials claim that the country now has 82 unicorns, each worth more than $1 billion, making it the world’s third largest unicorn population. 

While addressing the inaugural Startup India Innovation Week, PM Modi observed that even in the good old days, only a few enterprises would grow to be large. However, now 42 unicorns have been created in the last year. These billion-dollar businesses are testimony of India’s Aatmanirbharta (self-sufficiency) and Aatmavishwasta (self-assurance), he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with around 150 start-ups to help the country’s start-up ecosystem. He emphasized the importance of start-ups having global goals and expertise catering to a broad and diversified market like India, rather than limiting themselves to the country. He remarked that our strength is India’s diversity. It’s a part of our worldwide identity and the messengers of this variety are our unicorns and start-ups. He mentioned three major parts of the improvements that the government is undertaking to enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, and the start-up ecosystem, recalling the conception of the current decade as India’s “techade.” To begin, entrepreneurship and innovation must be freed from the maze of government protocols and bureaucratic silos. The second step is to put in place an institutional system to encourage innovation. Third, he stated, he will assist young inventors and businesses.

The PM went on to declare that the new drone program is starting to yield results, with the Army, Navy, and Air Force placing contracts worth over Rs 500 crore with drone businesses. According to him, India’s innovation indices are increasing at an exponential rate. Last year, nearly 28 thousand patents were issued, compared to 4,000 patents approved in 2013-14. Around 70,000 trademarks were registered in 2013-14. In 2020-21, however, more than 2.5 lakh trademarks were registered. Only 4,000 copyrights were given in 2013-14, compared to more than 16,000 the previous fiscal year, he claimed.

Lastly, the Prime Minister urged entrepreneurs to focus on fixing problems in the rural economy and industrial sector. He said that the efforts of the young people, companies, job generation, and wealth development are all for the good of the country. He added that he wants to work side by side with the youth to turn their excitement into the enthusiasm of the country.