As the global startup ecosystem gears up to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian ecosystem is also very apprehensive. With rampant speculation on consumer behaviour and market reactions, there was a general sense of foreboding about the adverse effects and diminishing investments in startups.
In order to identify and present a comprehensive understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on deeptech startups, CIE-IIITH conducted an online survey to assess and understand how startups are coping, and what assistance they require. The survey was developed around different aspects encompassing operations-as-usual, financial status, areas of adverse impact, lateral activities adopted, survival actions, support from CIE-IIITH’s initiatives during COVID-19, scope for further support from the ecosystem and prospects in arriving months.
According to the survey report, the operations are not usual as nearly 70% startups are able to do lesser than earlier planned. Only 30% of the startups are able to run with their routine planned strategies . Short-term cash flow seems to be the biggest worry for startups, medium-term concerns are smaller. Most startups seem to be struggling with revenue generating activities in sales, marketing and business development. The help sought also is towards connecting with corporates, clients and channels. Most surprising facet was the future outlook. 80% were optimistic about the future and 30% said they see a better prospect than they did pre-lockdown.
Commenting on the report, Prof Ramesh Loganathan, Chief Operating Officer of CIE-IIITH said, “The positive outlook towards the future that many startups have is extremely encouraging. We are very glad that through our ResilienceUnlocked series of activities during lockdown, CIE-IIITH has been able to help some. Specifically towards accelerating COVID-19 related innovations, connecting startups with markets, investor pitches and startup peer experiences sharing”.