Leadership in Indian High-tech Start-ups: Lessons for Future

  • Deepal Joshi
  • Sarla Achuthan


As India wakes up to its ‘start-up dream,’ high-tech start-ups comprise a lion’s share of the total. This work delves into a very significant issue for these start-ups, i.e., leadership. It classifies the types of start-up entrepreneurs, their leadership traps, and the dilemma of exploration versus exploitation in the start-up sector and discusses the issues related to government policies, financing, cloning from the Silicon Valley, stress levels of start-up employees, among others. It summarizes the leadership lessons from several leadership theories such as transformational leadership, complexity theory, entrepreneurial leadership, and contingency leadership. It explores the possible characteristics of successful high-tech entrepreneurs, human resources skills required, and significance of relevance of ideas in the Indian context. Authors discuss the case study of Infosys—India’s most successful IT start-up: How its founders have turned into mentors and financiers and the recent differences between founders and current management. Inclusion of lessons from best-rated Indian high-tech start-ups, incubators in this ecosystem, financing guidelines, and government measures to promote innovation and start-ups supplement the leadership lessons. The future of leadership in Indian high-tech start-ups would be a journey from ‘start-up to keep-up.’


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deepal Joshi
    • 1
  • Sarla Achuthan
    • 2
  1. 1.SomLalit Institute of Business AdministrationGujarat UniversityAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.Gujarat Law Society (GLS) Centre for Research & DevelopmentGLS UniversityAhmedabadIndia

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