Whether its talent pool, resources, employees who know English well or the users for a company’s growth, it’s all possible in India since it’s the 2nd most populated country in the world. It’s a growth machine with world’s highest young workforce and a lot of infrastructure still being set up. It also has the fastest growing mobile subscriber base and growing internet penetration.
Lets look at some of the most compelling reasons why startups should expand (or even set up their base in India):
- Great workforce – If you have any doubts of the Indian workforce and talent, you can look at the world’s most successful companies. Both Microsoft and Google have Indian born CEOs now and there are a whole lot more Indians running top companies of the world. Besides the Indians working in other countries, there are a lot of talented people still in the country itself. Whether you need engineers, IT workforce, doctors, scientists or even data scientists, you will get them all in India. These professionals are well trained, skilled and even experienced in their respective fields. There is even a possibility that they are all very young and energetic and of course all of them speak English really well. A great local team definitely can work wonders for the expansion of a startup because they are well aware of the local market and can help the global companies adapt to the local conditions well.
- A huge market – India has world’s 2nd biggest population and the highest young population (18-34 year olds) so any startup which expands in India gets access to a huge market right from the beginning. Also, there is a sizeable literate population which has access to mobile phones and internet. Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, even Uber have all declared India as their biggest market with most number of users, which is still growing. A lot of companies from China, USA and most other countries are entering India to expand their market because growth in other markets has been stagnant while in India, the demand of services and products is still huge. Also, Indians have always had a fascination for imported things and bought things from other countries rather than locally produced items. Whether it’s consumer electronics, automobiles or even services, a lot of foreign firms are doing really well in India.
- Great testing bed – Indians have been used to a lot of substandard products and services because the laws there are not that stringent for companies. There is a great scope of experimentation for companies in India before they launch their products and services globally. They can perfect their quality parameters, can get ready for global launch and escape strict penalties applicable in other developed countries all while they operate in India. While it is something that should improve and companies should not get away with providing substandard goods or services to their customers, the truth is the situation is favorable for companies as of now. Moreover, Indians can give a lot of feedback and help the companies improve their products, services and overall processes before they launch in much more developed countries.
- Economical to set up and run – India has a real cost advantage in terms of setting up and running a business. The infrastructure setup is cheap and so is skilled labor. For a startup which wants to keep its costs down initially, it can be the best place to have the initial setup or have the 1st phase of expansion. Any startup founder will vouch at the importance of cost-savings at the initial stages.
- Unique challenges – India has some of the unique challenges. A lot of people have their 1st computing device as a mobile phone. These people have never bought a computer and possibly never used one and the 1st time they go online is through a mobile. Also, there is a vast majority of users who are highly technical to the ones who are not at all tech savvy. Moreover, the mobile internet and the broadband penetration is not that much and the internet speeds are the slowest in the world. people also do not prefer a lot of online transactions and credit card usage is also very low. A lot of adaptations are necessary to work in a country with so many technological challenges. These challenges can be converted into opportunities and can be a great learning ground. if a startup can solve so many unique challenges they are better equipped at handling a lot more in the future.
- Fastest growing mobile phone usage – Even though India lacks 4G LTE implementation and there are service issues with telecom providers, it has been the fastest growing mobile country in the world. This provides a great opportunity for startups which can work with the mobile first attitude and then recreate the success and implement the learnings in various other markets. A lot of transactions and interactions happen on mobile phones worldwide with their ubiquitous presence and the steady growth in terms of features and capabilities over the years. Startups which can conquer the mobiles of the customers will eventually be successful because India leads the world in this trend.
These are just some of the great reasons why a startup should expand to India in its initial phases. Let us know your views on the same and we would be happy to know some new ideas on this topic.