The overarching approach, which was used to arrive at ranks for start-ups, states and cities, was to evaluate them on various parameters, each with a different weight commensurate to its perceived impact on start-up success. It followed a series of sequential exercises, which included selection and categorisation of ranking parameters, assigning weights to parameters, collection and validation of data against each parameter and, finally, analysis and ranking generation.
The first step was selection and categorisation of ranking parameters. After intense scrutiny of parameters which were hypothesised to have a bearing on start-up success, a final list was arrived at. The finalised parameters were bucketed into broad categories, which are separate for start-up ranking and for state/UT and city rankings.
The next, and the most important step, was to assign suitable weight to each of these categories. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), which is a mathematical method of organising and analysing complex comparisons, was used for the purpose.
One of the key advantages of using the AHP is that it allows a qualitative comparison of parameter categories, by breaking it down into manageable and humanly comprehensible comparisons and converts this qualitative assessment into numeric scores.
One of the drawbacks of AHP is that it is dependent upon the judgement of the analyst and his/her experience as well as expertise on the categories being compared. It was to mitigate the impacts of this drawback that the point allotment, through this process, was done by a multi-disciplinary group comprising the Outlook’s editorial team and its knowledge and research partners.
For each of the finalised parameters, the data was collected from various government sources such as Startup India website/portals, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Ministry of Commerce, Reserve Bank of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Economic Surveys, Union and state/Union territory budgets, etc. In some cases, private sources (like database providers such as Tracxn, company websites, corporate presentations/brochures, news articles, etc.) were also used to supplement the data/information collected from the government sources.
All the start-ups being considered under ranking were also given an opportunity to voluntarily participate in an online data validation-cum-opinion survey.
The collected data was subjected to rigorous scrutiny and cleaning before being subjected to detailed analysis which forms the bedrock of the rankings provided in this issue.