Indian startups have existed much longer than you realize

Long time ago.
Long time ago.
Image: Reuters
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Before the current frenzy around startups, India was mostly known as an IT outsourcing destination that provided cheap labor for back-end jobs of global companies. That misses a rich history.

Technology startups in India date back almost three decades. Microsoft Accelerator in India has compiled the industry’s major landmarks, and published them in an e-book that will be launched on June 23.

“As we analyzed, we came up with four distinct phases of growth and maturity that we have traversed so far: software services and global delivery model, the dotcom era, the rise of product startups and growth of startup ecosystem,” Ravi Narayan, director, Microsoft Accelerator said in a blog post.

Some of the milestones include US-based Texas Instruments’ decision to start an R&D center in Bengaluru in 1985 (this center became an incubator for many of the current entrepreneurs), and the launch of home-grown accounting software Tally in 1986.

Here’s a brief history of the Indian startup ecosystem that explains how technology innovation in India dates back before the founding of present-day posterboys like Flipkart (2007), Snapdeal (2010), and Ola (2010):

The history of Indian startup ecosystem.
Image: Microsoft Accelerator