The Globalization Of The Indian Start up Space: Opportunities And Challenges

By AnirudhSuri

In the first week of July 2014, a group of Indian investors, on a trip to Sri Lanka, listened to several startup pitches by Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. From this experience, three key insights emerged: one, the proposed startup ideas were very basic in their nature (e.g., a proposal to found an e-commerce platform); two, the growth projections were very small, as a result of the small consumer and business-to-business (“B2B”)market that exists in Sri Lanka, especially in comparison to India’s markets; and three, the entrepreneurs did not seem very ambitious or for that matter, driven to build large, profitable businesses.

One can argue that U.S.-based venture capitalists(“VCs”)have historically choosen not to pay much attention to Indian startups for all the same reasons. While these opinions might have been an accurate assessment a few years ago, the time has come for U.S. VCs to start paying attention to the Indian startup ecosystem.

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