6 Great Indian cities for young entrepreneurs
India is the world’s seventh largest economy in terms of GDP and the third largest in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. However, in recent years, the country has also emerged as a leading center for cutting edge technology and disruptive innovation.
India currently has the world’s largest youth population, and its booming startup culture is driving the nation’s economic growth.
If you are planning to launch a startup, here is a comprehensive guide to the best possible place to launch it,
The Silicon Valley of India is the nation’s largest IT services exporter. Major tech companies like Infosys, Wipro and ISRO are headquartered here. The country’s leading educational institutes like Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) (IIMB), National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore, National Institute of Design, Bangalore (NID R&D Campus), National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience are also based here. Add to that the vibrant night life.
India’s quintessential financial hub, Mumbai still bubbles over with business activities the volume of which most other Indian states couldn’t match. However, an inefficient public infrastructure still limits Mumbai’s growth. Another problem faced by businesses-especially startup, is the incredibly high real estate price-something which has given Bangalore an edge over the dream-city. However, the fact remains that Mumbai is a significant gateway to the nation’s imports and exports and has a strong presence of trader/ business communities. The development of Powai- a suburb in the North-East of Mumbai in recent years has added value to the state for startups.
Gurgaon is an industrial hub based in the National Capital Region near New Delhi. The city has come a long way from the 1970s when Maruti Suzuki India Limited established a manufacturing plant here. Currently over 250 Fortune 500 companies call the city their home. Several international companies including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, IBM, American Express, Microsoft, and Bank of America have chosen the city as their India headquarters.
Chennai is fast shedding its image as the auto-manufacturing hub of the country. Not that they’re shutting down all those factories. Rather they are opening more business centres-this time belonging to another industry- in the Software as a Service(SaaS) sector, to be precise. The move has seen companies including ZOHO, Unmetric, Freshdesk becoming key players in Chennai catering to a global clientèle. Another significant factor is that the city has attracted 38 percent of new tech talent(as per a Linkedin report released in June, 2014). Though the figure lags behind the 44 percent for Bangalore or the 43 percent for Pune and Hyderabad, it’s still commendable all the same.
Where Chennai truly lags is in the investor-concentration. As opposed to Bengaluru’s 220, this South Indian state has just 50 angel investors. Raising the number of incubation centres for startups from the current four would also be welcome.
Hyderabad took a beating on the business front when Telengana was detached from Andhra Pradesh. In the aftermath, about 1000 SMEs that had manufacturing units in Andhra Pradesh and offices in Hyderabad shifted out of the city. But the city still boasts the presence of giant MNCs including Facebook and Microsoft-a company that has its main campus in the city. The Telengana government’s recent announcement about Google setting up their biggest campus outside US in the state is also welcome news. Hyderabad is yet to prove as a successful ground for startups. But, aside from the presence of a highly educated workforce, the low cost of living is also a factor that makes Hyderabad attractive for startups.
The industries in which start-ups are currently flourishing in Pune are e-commerce, education, ERP and marketing and advertising. Innovation is a key driver for the city’s progress and the presence of 350 corporate innovation centres is illustrative of the scenario. Compared to Mumbai, the city has a better public infrastructure and the proximity to Mumbai also works in favour of the city. Though significant startup successes are yet to happen in Pune, it’s doubtless that the city holds immense potential.