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Long time ago.

Indian startups have existed much longer than you realize

By Itika Sharma Punit

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):

Microsoft Accelerator
The history of Indian startup ecosystem.