Risk for Start-ups and Small Business in India?

Risk for Start-ups and Small Business in India?


For start-ups and small businesses, risk is an ever-present part of the entrepreneurial journey. In India, where the business landscape is constantly shifting and evolving, the risks have never been greater. The unique cultural and economic factors that characterize Indian economy put businesses at a greater risk than in most other countries. From bureaucratic red tape to unreliable infrastructure and complex labour laws, navigating the complexities of starting or running a business in India can be both thrilling and daunting. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the various types of risk for start-ups and small businesses in India as well as explore strategies to mitigate these risks. We will also discuss how government initiatives such as Make in India have helped reduce some of the underlying risk factors.

What are The Risks For Start-Ups and Small Businesses in India?

There are a number of risks for start-ups and small businesses in India. The most significant risks include:

1) Economic slowdown: India’s economy has been slowing down in recent years, which has had an impact on businesses of all sizes. This has made it difficult for start-ups and small businesses to obtain funding and grow their operations.

2) Political instability: India is a democracy, but there have been periods of political instability in the past which have led to violence and economic disruption. This creates an uncertain environment for businesses, particularly start-ups who may not have the resources to weather a prolonged period of instability.

3) Corruption: Corruption is endemic in India, and this can make it difficult for businesses to operate effectively. Bribery and nepotism are common, and this can lead to unfair competition and favouritism towards larger businesses.

4) Infrastructure deficits: Infrastructure deficits are a major challenge for businesses operating in India. Poor roads, power outages, and water shortages are common, making it difficult to run a business smoothly. These infrastructure deficits also make it difficult for businesses to expand their operations.

5) Social unrest: Social unrest is a frequent occurrence in India, often due to religious or caste tensions. This can lead to violence and property damage, as well as disruptions to supply chains and business operations.

Economic Risks

Starting a business is risky enough, but when you factor in the current state of the economy in India, it becomes even more of a gamble. The country is facing a number of economic risks that could have a serious impact on start-ups and small businesses.

The first and most obvious risk is the ongoing trade war between India and China. This has led to higher tariffs on Chinese imports, which has made doing business with China much more expensive. This has had a ripple effect on other countries in the region as well, as they are now also facing higher prices for Indian goods.

Another major economic risk is the slowdown in global growth. This has hit India particularly hard, as it is heavily reliant on exports. The slowdown has led to lower demand for Indian goods, which has had a negative impact on GDP growth.

Finally, there is the risk of inflation. Inflation has been rising steadily in recent months, eroding away at people’s purchasing power. This is likely to hit businesses hard, as they will have to raise prices in order to keep up with rising costs. All of these factors combine to create a very uncertain economic environment for businesses in India.

Social and Cultural Risks

There are a number of social and cultural risks that can impact start-ups and small businesses in India. One of the most significant is the country’s caste system, which can create disparities in access to education, employment, and business opportunities. Additionally, religious tensions can also lead to risks for start-ups and small businesses, as well as gender inequality. These factors can all create an environment that is not conducive to starting or growing a business.

Political Risks

Small businesses in India are subject to a number of political risks. These include the risk of government policy changes that could adversely impact the business, the risk of corruption and bribery, and the risk of violence and civil unrest.

The Indian government has been known to suddenly change policies that can have a negative impact on businesses. For example, in 2016 the government demonetized high value currency notes, which caused widespread disruptions and losses for small businesses.

Corruption and bribery are also major concerns in India. Small businesses may be asked to pay bribes to secure permits or licenses, or to get contracts or government approvals.

Finally, small businesses in India also face the risk of violence and civil unrest. This can range from protests and riots that disrupt business operations, to terrorist attacks.

Infrastructure Risks

There are a number of infrastructure risks that start-ups and small businesses face in India. These include:

  1. Poor quality infrastructure: This is a major problem in India, where the quality of infrastructure is often poor. This can lead to a number of problems for businesses, including power outages, water shortages and internet disruptions.
  2. Lack of access to infrastructure: Another problem facing businesses in India is lack of access to infrastructure. This can be a major issue for businesses that are located in remote areas or that do not have the resources to build their own infrastructure.
  3. Dependence on external infrastructure: Many businesses in India are heavily dependent on external infrastructure, such as roads, railways and ports. This dependency can be a major risk if these external infrastructure facilities are disrupted or unavailable.
  4. Corruption: Corruption is another big risk for businesses in India, especially when it comes to dealing with government officials. This corruption can lead to delays in approvals, higher costs and other problems.

Legal Risks

There are a number of legal risks that start-ups and small businesses face in India. These include the following:

  1. Lack of Awareness of the Law: Many start-ups and small businesses are not aware of the various laws and regulations that apply to their businesses. This can lead to them inadvertently breaching the law, which can result in penalties or other sanctions.
  2. Compliance with Laws and Regulations: Start-ups and small businesses need to ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Failure to do so can again lead to penalties or other sanctions.
  3. Intellectual Property Rights: Start-ups and small businesses need to be aware of their intellectual property rights and make sure that they do not infringe on the rights of others. Infringement of intellectual property rights can lead to costly litigation.
  4. Contractual Disputes: Start-ups and small businesses often enter into contracts with suppliers, customers or other third parties. Disputes sometimes arise out of these contracts, which can be time-consuming and expensive to resolve.


The risks for start-ups and small businesses in India are varied and often challenging. While the rewards can be great, it is important to weigh all potential risks before making any decisions. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of what is needed to succeed and will be more equipped to mitigate any risks that arise throughout your business journey. With careful planning and execution, however, success in India’s competitive business world can definitely be achieved.

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