Why India is the most entrepreneurial country in the world

By on June 25, 2014

It’s not Silicon Valley that is the centre of the world for startups, but the subcontinent. Those who had pigeonholed Indian business as little more than call centres in Bangalore might be surprised at the conclusion of a new report.

There is a pretty simple explanation though: In a country where an estimated half of GDP and 90 percent of employment is generated by the informal economy, most Indians don’t have any option but to go it alone.

The report, by private wealth managers Oracle Capital, uses pretty wide-ranging methodology, drawing in everything from data on business activity to attitudes to entrepreneurs. India ranked highly for factors including willingness to self-fund and low failure rates. Surprisingly, given its reputation as a ‘Licence Raj’ tangled in red tape, the country came out top for ease of doing business.

Turkey took second place in the rankings, scoring well on attitudes to risk and a low fear of failure. The third-placed US, the only big developed country in the top 10, also ranked highly for fearlessness, fitting with the stereotype of Yanks pursuing the American Dream.

Brazil and China came ahead of Iceland and Ireland (note to Oracle, Iceland is in Europe, despite floating on its own in the middle of the Atlantic). All apart from China came in the top five for the image of entrepreneurs.

The UK put on a poor show, down in 28th place, while Japan brought up the rear in 33rd place behind Belgium and Germany. Brits are also the most risk averse, compounded by the fear of losing homes, according to the research. Overpriced housing (in London and the south east, at least) might actually have some positive side effects.

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