DailyPost 644


As India gets into the startup journey, role models do matter. Israel emerged as a trailblazer. Dan Senor & Saul Singer in their 2009 book rechristened Israel as a “Start-up Nation,” unravelling the story of Israel’s Economic Miracle. Getting independent in 1948, Israel epitomizes courage & conviction with creativity & innovation. With just 7.1 million population, some 63 Israeli companies were listed on the NASDAQ, more than those of any foreign country.

In a constant state of war & no natural resources, it produces more start companies than large, peaceful & stable nations like Japan, China, Korea & UK. Israel has more high-tech startups & a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other country in the world. Undoubtedly, the ideas demonstrated in the book “are highly relevant for innovation capability in general, but for India, especially at this juncture.”

The authors put the causative factors for this phenomenal economic miracle to the culture of the Israeli Defense Forces and the role of Immigration. IDF service helps potential entrepreneurs to develop large number of skills & contacts. It emphasizes on exerting responsibility in a relatively un-heirarchical environment, where creativity & intelligence are highly valued. IDF soldiers “have minimal guidance from the top,& expected to improvise, even if this means breaking some rules.” There is not much credence given to ranks or age, ” when taxi drivers cam command millionaires and 23-year-olds can train their uncles,” and “Israeli forces regularly vote to oust their unit leaders.”

The role of immigration in economic growth is critical. ” Immigrants are not averse to start from scratch. They are by definition risk-takers. A nation of immigrants is a nation of entrepreneurs.” Israel remains a land of immigration. 9 out of ten Jewish Israelis today are immigrants. It’s radically different from idea, proposal, funding story. The culture, an ecosystem & behavioral traits inculcated over years.


Sanjay Sahay

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