Why India shies away from Entrepreneurship

What we have here is an impeccably polished social theory, though this can perhaps never be justified owing to the impossibility of collecting empirical evidence in support of this. It all started in 1943 when Abraham Maslow forwarded a certain idea in his  “Theory of Human Motivation”.

What Maslow’s theory proposed was that a human being feels the need to “change the world” only after the needs, as represented in the lower levels of the triangle at the right hand side of the following diagram, are realised:

Maslow's Hierarchy

Maslow’s Theory with Indian Perspective, the population can rationally be divided into the second triangle where the majority of the population is stuck in the yellow zone.

As we can clearly see that the majority of the population is stuck in the yellow zone. Most of the people in our country are struggling for secured procurement of food and shelter. Those who manage to rise a little up in the pyramidal hierarchy as represented in the diagram, scour for security of their family, including that of their children. Thus, out of an ever burgeoning population of a billion, only a handful can afford to rise above the lower levels of the triangle and venture into any sort of endeavour which involves a modicum of risk, faith and selflessness.

The United States presents a contrasting picture as far as a similar pyramidal representation of its demography is concerned. Over there, people who have sufficient security as far as the basic necessities of life are concerned far outnumber those who lack the same. Thus, taking a wholesome view of American demographics, we can safely conclude that the physiological needs of the majority of the population therein are met and that the American economy is strong enough to instil a sense of security into the psyche of the bulk of its populace.


In India it is perceivable that at least another decade is required for a slow but steady shift in perspective as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. Given that ensuring physiological security and economic fortitude, if not affluence, for the majority of the Indian population is bound to be a time consuming process owing, inter alia, to social, economic and political reasons.


About Abhyudaya Agarwal

Abhyudaya is a former restructuring lawyer turned entrepreneur. He writes on business laws, online education and interesting startup stories. He heads content development and operations at iPleaders, a legal education startup he co-founded.

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