At YourStory, we strive to tell stories of entrepreneurs, investors, and stakeholders of the Indian startup ecosystem who are working hard to take India to new heights. The ecosystem works like a giant machine—with different cogs and levers. At TechSparks—India’s most influential startup-tech event—we bring all of these parts together and show how the machine works.

This year, at TechSparks 2022, we did it bigger and better!

The last day of the summit saw Chief Guest and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman grace the stage with great poise as she talked about India’s tech stack and the role startups need to play in India’s future.

At one point, she doffed her hat to the founders present in the audience, saying they were the new “economic freedom fighters” of India.

Drawing attention to India’s tech stack, FM Sitharaman said that for India to emerge as the world’s third-largest economy, tech-driven innovations have to play a crucial role, and they need to be in-situ, affordable and scalable.

“India is a cost-conscious country,” she said.

On a lighter note, FM Sitharaman, who arrived at the event directly from the airport, told that she hated taking flights, and would rather slow-travel by train.

She pointed out that India is now establishing global benchmarks with its tech prowess, forcing other countries to take notice.

“Global benchmarks have been seen being achieved in India during the pandemic,” FM Sitharaman said, delivering the keynote address to a packed gathering of startup entrepreneurs and investors. “The scale of the digital revolution—the India Stack—has not been achieved elsewhere. That is what we need to leverage and capitalise on.”

Nirmala Sitharaman

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During the day, we also spoke to Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal who described Web3 as a horizontal technology for decentralised computing, and a movement that can create global community-owned businesses out of India.

He also stressed that Indian entrepreneurs shouldn’t pass on the Web3 opportunity on account of a few bad players.

Sandeep said many Indian entrepreneurs can follow in Polygon’s footsteps and take advantage of the opportunity. “We are well on the journey towards building a truly world-class company like Google. There’s always the feeling of What’s Next? And we cannot fail from here,” he added.

Physicswallah’s Alakh Pandey then talked about his plans for the unicorn startup and why he’d like to focus on vernacular content. He also spoke about how he pays more attention to grievances than profit/loss metrics.

Sequoia Capital’s Shailendra Singh capped off the action-packed three days, offering a helpful perspective from an investor lens.

“Lots of people will give you advice as a founder…it doesn’t cost anything. One of the things you need to develop as an early-stage founder is how to calibrate advice that really matters,” he said.

He also said that, in spite of the funding winter, founders have worked on improving unit economic metrics, and that he “personally loves such markets.”

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