India *do need* everyone!

Posted on April 16, 2008. Filed under: Indian Startups, Thoughts | Tags: , |

Happened to see this post from The Startup Guy. Some of my thoughts on this. (Of course not to hurt anyone)

To begin with, lets categorize the different kinds of techies in India.

  • People who have been working in Indian services/product companies all along.
  • People who moved abroad (so called onsite) through an Indian company.
  • People who returned back from abroad, after working as just another employee oversees.
  • People who returned back after achieving or wanting to achieve something .
  • People involved with a startup in India.

I dont find any problem with any of these categories. Why blame someone just because he is/was abroad, just for the sake of it?

Now lets assume Kumar belonging to one of these five categories is interested in starting up on his own. Lets discuss some of the problems, Kumar would be facing during his entrepreneurship journey in India.

  • Impossible to hire people

Ask any Indian startup how much effort they have to put in to hire a single employee, you will understand what I am trying to convey. A number of startups are continuing to show their frustration on this. Number of fresh engineers willing to join IT biggies is still very high compared to number of freshers willing to join startups. This is something to do with the mentality of the people. Startups in US/UK doesn’t seem to have this problem at all. Either, they get sufficient funding very early to afford costlier resources or to outsource to some desi company in Bangalore or manage to hire people directly, because the startup ecosystem is very matured that people don’t seem to differentiate a small garage startup Vs Google. Infact, this blog post of mine is based entirely on my personal experience in trying to hire people in India.

Any person – Indian or non Indian trying to change this situation is definitely on my wanted list. Having said that, events like “Startup Lunch” are more than welcome. Kudos to Team Proto, for coming up with this idea. Lets hope for more such ideas from other similar groups too.

  • VCs are still without V

Yet to come across a VC who has taken the absolute risk by investing in an Indian Startup very early.

Any person – Indian or non Indian who can cause significant impact to this issue to the best of the ecosystem, stands second on my wanted list.

  • Not much support from fellow people!

Which is the most popular Social network in India? Orkut. Which is the most hot topic related to social networks in India? Launch of Myspace India. Which is the popular search engine in India? Google. Which is the popular website in India? Yahoo! Should I mention that in china – Baidu and other native ones are the most popular and are giving other companies a run for their name and fame?

500-600 startups starting up every year and eventually only a handful of startups remain. Others exist either for some adsense money or just because their hosting service has not expired?

What is the reason? Very simple … When was the last time you used Guruji to search for some India specific site instead of Google? When was the last time you accessed your rediff or indiatimes mail account instead of Yahoo/Gmail? Well to be honest, even I am not doing any of these. But at some point in time, people should show their support right? Best place to start is to check the Startups Directory page in this blog and tryout the different startups in each category.

Now if an American blogging about our Indian Startup, can increase the visibility and hence convince a significant number of people to try out our startups, then he is most welcome to do that. He is the third guy on my wanted list.

  • Global approach

How many Indian startups which target the entire world are known outside of India? If these startups are really serious about the global audience, then they should either showcase their startup to the global audience or encourage foreigners to visit them and tell the world on their behalf. Instead of this, making noise from a closed room doesn’t make any sense.

So the fourth person on my wanted list is someone who can take the startups to this international level. I don’t mind what nationality he belongs to.

Thus I conclude that we do need everyone on my wanted list. Sorry if this post appears to be emotional and feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

UPDATE: Interesting discussion in the comments section.

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Top 5 excuses given by Indian Startups

Posted on March 28, 2008. Filed under: Excuses | Tags: , |

Indian startups seem to give too many excuses, when asked why a particular feature suck or their entire product suck. Here are the top 5 of those excuses.

5. Not able to compete with Biggies

“Kya kare bhai. Google woh feature implement kiya, aur mera sapna katham (English: What to do, Google did that feature and my dreams are dead, Tanglish: Enna panradhu machi, Google adhe feature senjutan. En kanavu gaali)”. Should I mention examples like Google local search, Search over SMS etc?

4. No funding

“We are not a million dollar funded startup to do this”. This excuse gets no 4 ranking. Well, I have seen a number of features which doesn’t require a million dollar investment to fix up. May be an engineer working for a week should do. Also VCs should always be the last source for investment. Remember FFF (Family Friends Fools. VCs come last :))

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Free startup ideas – Part 2

Posted on January 10, 2008. Filed under: Free tips | Tags: , , |

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My first part of this series of free startup ideas received a good response, in terms of page views. Like I promised, here is my part 2. (more…)

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