India Startup Report Examines India's Startup Scene

Thu 21 March 2013 15:55, Seema Sanghavi

Co-Founder of CardMunch, Bowei Gai, has recently announced the launch of the India Startup Report. The report contains observations of the Indian startup ecosystem. It's content was crowdsourced to those with local knowledge. The report's findings conclude that the opportunities and benefits of starting up in India are tremendous and that the future of technology in India looks promising.

India Startup Report Examines India's Startup Scene

To gather all the information for the report, Gai reported in TechCrunch that close to 2,000 entrepreneurs, well-known successes, angels, venture capitalists and policymakers were spoken to to get everyone's perspective. In the report findings presentation on slideshare, it states that the mission of the report is to share the document for free and to empower local startup activists to become ambassadors for their region.

So what exactly were the findings? Well, co-author of the report, Benjamin Joffe, stated in an article on YourStory that India is likely to leapfrog to digital in many sectors. He explains that India has missed the PC revolution but is riding the wave of the smartphone revolution. On the negative side, the report found that challenges for entrepreneurs are India's infrastructure and culture. According to the report, some cultural challenges include that Indians are typically late and that the culture does not support those who try to improve inefficiencies. Legally, entrepreneurs can face a few challenges as well.

With respect to giving some advice to foreign companies, the study found that India is an easier market to enter than China because talent is cheap and regulations are more conducive. Online companies can strive in India like we've seen with Google, Facebook and Twitter. However, companies that rely on offline infrastructure cannot compete with local competitors. This has been seen with Ebay and Amazon. To give example of some Indian successful online companies, the article mentions recent successes Flipkart and InMobi, some rising starts like Myntra and some past successes like MakeMyTrip.

According to their website, Flipkart went live in 2007 with the goal of making books easily available to anyone with internet access. Now the company is present across various categories including movies, music, games, mobiles, cameras, computers, healthcare and personal products, home appliances and electronics, stationery, perfumes, toys and apparel. The company has been able to adapt the western e-commerce model to deal with India's logistics and cash-based economy. Also a recent success, InMobi is a mobile technology company that enables brands, developers, and publishers to engage global consumers. Agencies and advertisers use InMobi platforms to create ads and engage 578 million consumers across 165 countries. Developers and premium publishers use InMobi platforms to acquire and monetize their mobile apps and their mobile websites across the globe.


As a rising star, the report provides Myntra as an example. According to, the e-commerce site is India's largest online apparel seller. With an estimated annual revenue of $100 million, the company is second only to FlipKart. Featured as a past success in the report, MakeMyTrip is a leading online travel company in India that was founded in the year 2000. Recently reported in The Hindu Business Line, MakeMyTrip acquired the Hotel Travel Group for $25 million to help build a stronger presence in South East Asia.

The India Startup Report is not the first of its kind from Gai and Joffe. In fact, the Startup Report for China is also well known. Joffe has compared India to China in saying that the energy in India's startup scene may be on a smaller scale but comparable. For their next stop, the World Startup Report will be in Manila, the Philippines, from April 3-13. From this report, it will be interesting to see how India stacks up when compared to a smaller economy and whether India will seem like the better place for a startup.









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