India with Huge Talent Pool Set to Play Key Role

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The apex body of India’s tech business, NASSCOM, said in a report that the country is set to emerge as a key player in the global web3 landscape, thanks to the rapid adoption of emerging technologies, a vibrant startup ecosystem, and a digitally skilled talent pool. In a study jointly prepared by web3 venture capital firm Hashed Emergent, NASSCOM said the Indian web3 firms received $1.3 billion in venture capital in two years between 2020 and April 2022, media reports said.

The study — The India Web3 Startup Landscape: An Emerging Technology Leadership Frontier – further stated that India has got 450 startups in the web3 space, with four of them having achieved unicorn status in the last one year.

“India’s rapid adoption of new-age technologies, its growing start-up ecosystem, and large-scale digitally skilled talent potential is cementing the country’s position in the global Web3 landscape,” Debjani, President, Nasscom, said at the release of the report in Bengaluru.

Fast-paced adoption of new technologies positions India on a high growth trajectory in the global web3 market. The growth of web3 startups is about six times since 2015 when the launch of the Ethereum network galvanized global interest in this field. Although 82% of the web3 startups are concentrated in tier-I cities, even tier-II and tier-III cities are witnessing rapid growth in the web3 ecosystem, the report mentions.

“One-third of these startups have come up in the past year alone, and several of them have a B2B model. A lot of them are also working on areas outside cryptocurrency like Defi (decentralized finance) and entertainment,” Achyuta Ghosh, senior director, and head- of insights, at Nasscom, said.

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The NASSCOM singles out India’s tech talent pool as the major driver of its web3 push. Despite policy uncertainty, India’s position in the global web3 ecosystem has become important thanks to the domestic talent pool. Its web3 and blockchain talent pool accounts for 11% of the global market, making it the third-largest. While 60% of the crypto startups are registered outside India, they source talent from India. “India’s Web3 talent pool is growing at the fastest rate worldwide, at around 120 per cent likely in the next 1-2 years,” the report said.

India’s web3 ecosystem is driven by GenZ and millennial people that constitute 77% of the population.

Web3 startups are engaged in Defi, NFT, and metaverse projects and employ nearly 75,000 professionals. India has also scored high on Defi activities with $88 billion worth of value received on-chain.

The NASSCOM report also predicts that the global crypto user base is set to reach 1 billion by 2030 from the current 320 million. Globally, blockchain and crypto firms have raised $30.5 billion in venture funding in 2021.

“The lack of policy clarity around Virtual Digital Assets (VDAs), leading to a lack of confidence in founders and innovators, thereby forcing them to move their base to other countries, is not only taking the market away but also the critical talent and expertise needed in this area,” the report points out.

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) is the apex body for the $227 billion Indian technology industry.

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