India began the process of market liberalization that opened it to significant interactions with the world economy in 1991. In this essay, we provide an overarching view of the country's journey toward integration with the global innovation and entrepreneurship network. Major nodes in this global network have two major components that may be metaphorically referred to as ‘pillars and ivy’. Globally connected multinational enterprises (MNEs) form the pillars. Agile startups are the ivy, and their success (metaphorically, the height to which they can climb) depends on their symbiotic connections with the pillar MNEs. Both components are essential and reinforce each other. Without MNEs, the scaling of startups is hampered. Without a vibrant population of startups, MNEs’ interest in a location remains driven by cost, rather than capability and creativity. MNEs (mainly foreign) provided the initial sparks for the formation of the Indian innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. We chart the subsequent growth of India's startups. They began in the information technology (IT) sector but now cover a much wider range of industries. Today, India's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem is one of the largest in the world, with global integration in terms of technology, financing, human capital, and administration.