By Anoop Goyal
According to the India Startup Report 2014, there were 3,100 startups in India in 2014. By 2020, the number is expected to rise to 11,500. In a study by Inventus Capital Partners, the average deal size for a consumer technology company in India last year was three times more than the year before ($5.6 million in 2013 vs. $17 million in 2014).
Why is India the next big startup hotbed? A variety of reasons: evolving technology, availability of funds and a growing economy.
In addition to the reasons above that make Indian startups ripe for success, they are also taking advantage of the positive effects of globalization.
Globalization is continuing to break down boundaries, especially for Indian companies looking to enter the U.S. market. India is undeniably the world’s fastest growing startup ecosystem. As globalization makes the United States market more accessible and this sharp uptick in Indian startups intersect, innovation and entrepreneurism can prosper and grow in both worlds.
Globalization makes harnessing the two very different worlds of India and the United States not only possible but an attractive business proposition. How? Here are three factors:
Tools and Technology
New tools and technologies help to make up the modern office space. High-speed Internet allows for collaborative applications to facilitate a virtual workplace that allows team members to stay productive from anywhere in the world, at anytime. Google Docs, Skype, Trello, Git, Invision, and Amazon AWS are just a few of the applications making this possible. The ability to network beyond the walls of a single physical office and ultimately, a single market, provides a company with a great amount of flexibility.
Indian startups partnering with ventures overseas are more popular than ever. The cost of expanding to new markets is typically too big for a new startup to handle on its own. The best option is partnering with another company that is already there. For U.S. companies, this also gives them a way to enter India’s lucrative startup space. Thanks to new tools and technologies, talking face-to-face online or giving a presentation to potential partners who live on the other side of the world is as easy as knocking on a neighbor’s door.
Diverse Talent Pool
Breaking down the barriers of distance and physical office spaces has allowed Indian startups to access talent from anywhere in the world. Recently, Punit Soni, chief product officer at India’s largest online marketplace, Flipkart, stated that he was looking to attract global talent for the company. With a physically unrestricted, worldwide talent pool, companies like Flipkart can greatly expand their pool of candidates, making it easier to recruit top talent. A global talent pool also increases the chances of finding people who not only share the same vision for the business, but also bring with them the passion and skills required to elevate a company to its highest level.
Companies in India can tap into the same resources that Silicon Valley based startups have been hiring from (think: Stanford grads with computer science degrees). With a diverse team comes diverse perspectives, which allow for expansion and healthy growth of both a company and its ideas. And a company should strive to be as diverse as its users.
Just as startups are crossing borders, so are angel investors and VCs. U.S. investors are flooding money into India’s startup ecosystem. According to Forbes, the U.S is India’s number one foreign investor and supporter with more than 11,000 deals. Even more recently, Silicon Valley VC Walden International stated that they plan to increase investments in India, particularly in technology and hardware startups. U.S. investors see tremendous potential in Indian startups.
According to Inventus Capital Partners, by 2020, nearly half (45%) of India will be online. To investors, that represents more than 610 million consumers and users.
Investments come from the other direction as well. Rajan Anandan, the managing director of Google India, was deemed India’s most “prolific angel investor.” The Stanford grad, who is now based in India, has a portfolio of more than 40 investments all over the world, including in the United States.
Globalization has no doubt played and continues to play a major role in breaking down boundaries between India and the United States. India-based companies, like InMobi and the well-established Infosys, have crossed borders and successfully disrupted their industries in both India and the United States – a task that seemed impossible even just five years ago is now within reach. And as the barriers come down, Indian startups are prospering and growing, bringing innovation and entrepreneurism to new markets, including the United States.
(Anoop Goyal is co-founder of vacation itinerary planning site Inspirock.)