The Extinct Indian Entrepreneur

The extinct Indian entrepreneur thought is a thought-provoking one. I have always tried to be in touch with India’s tech and retail sector, to the extent that I can. There seems to be a real dearth of disruptive startups planned, funded and executed by Indians. I hate this as it could be a real poison for the economy in the medium to long term. The 5-10% of these companies which will last beyond the first couple of years will create value not only for the principals but also for the economy in general. I don’t even mean the hundreds and thousands of jobs created over time, but pioneering strongholds in self-carved niches.

Moving forward, these companies will be shaped by their internal and more importantly, external communities which will drive greater value out of the ever-evolving business models. Google today is no longer really thought of as ‘Search Technology’ company, rather heralded as the poster boy of a Media Company that it is. Documenting and indexing anything it can get its paws on, this beast is positioning itself to connect the remaining 5.4 billion sharing our planet. I imagine that the developing and under-developed economies will be able to harness the unpredictable network effect of these indigenous startups beyond what we dreamed possible. From bidding on airplane seats on the way to the airport or paying utility bills on the cell phone while listening to a Re.1 download of Zakhir Hussain’s jam session with Ravi Shankar, nothing seems imposible or improbable.

There are certain emerging pockets of hope such as the ‘Band of Angels’, an investors’ group focused on early stage tech and media ventures. These organizations need to be more accessible and hopefully will shed more light on investing and the benefits of incubating rather than stuffing the mattress. Almost every Indian is aware of the money floating around in the private sector, but the scarcity that a first-time entrepreneur finds for the same is frightening. And as I have noticed, as have others, people will continue to choose comfy chairs whether it be in MNCs or in their family’ age-old business. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.