Thursday, May 15, 2008

It’s startup buzz every where!!

It’s startup buzz every where!!

Interestingly, even getting a good marriage proposal is a hurdle if you are working in a startup. Because in Indian society, parents always look for stability, salary and marriage prospects for their children from their job. "They are little skeptical about entrepreneurship and such other adventures," says Siva Cotipalli, Co founder, Dhanax.

Jayakishore Bayadi

Whenever you think of IT, immediately the reflection comes in one’s mind is of Infosys, Wipro, TCS and such other bigwig companies. But many still does’nt know that there are many tiny companies or startups with brilliant ideas which may revolutinize the whole ecosystem. For instance, Google, which was a minuscule startup a decade ago now a billion dollor company. Take our own Infosys, a startup which began its journey from a garage of Narayana Murthy’s house years ago has now become a legendery corporation reflecting the India’s capability to take on the world, may be a old story but still a fresh inspiration for wanna entrprenurs.

Indeed, the Indian IT market is truly hot today. Anyone with experience has a multitude of opportunities to choose from. If you want to start your entrepreneurial journey there are plenty of possibilities to challenge the biggies with innovative solutions or products being a tiny firm.

Today world turned its head towards Indian ventures and entrepreneurial stories. Despite this, there are thousands of startup companies which can rock the world with their sparkling dreams struggling to make it. Some of them don’t know how to do it. Some of them don’t know how they can make it big. Some don’t know how to approach a Venture capitalist or bankers for funding. They struggle in basic things. They really lack mentorship.

It is said that good things come in small packages. There are over 800 startup companies in Bangalore alone. There are several others across India. If their number is an eyebrow raiser, the technologies they working on are mindblowing. But the sad reality is that the larger pool of technology professionals have no clue of the innovation that happens in their own city!

Of course, startups have to face challenges in building products, technology, brand, culture and of course, attracting bright talent. Big companies can manage as they have financial muscle. What do startups do? Take heart.

Other than this, there are still big challenges for startups in India, including some cultural trends that work against recruiting employees. With even average employees getting 15% raises a year, and stars getting two and three times that much. Prashanth Vaibhav Mishra, a former GE employee, now, co-founder of Dhanax, a five -person, six months old Internet-based micro lending startup in Bangalore admits: "Working for GE was great ... but I wanted to work on something I love. Sometimes I wonder, I think I could be living somewhere else, for example. But I think this is more important."

Interestingly, even getting a good marriage proposal is a hurdle if you are working in a startup. Because in Indian society, parents always look for stability, salary and marriage prospects for their children from their job. "They are little skeptical about entrepreneurship and such other adventures," says Siva Cotipalli, Co founder, Dhanax.

Probably, that’s the reason why a typical Indian bride will think twice before accepting a marriage proposal by an entrepreneur. Even in matrimonial columns you rarely get to see grooms ‘working in a startup’. Of course, founding your own company may be exciting, challenging and remunerative. But Beware! In India founding a startup or even working for startups could be "Risky" to your marriage prospects, as they may prefer to see IBM, Wipro or Infosys on your business card!

Other than this, the biggest challenge is one of skepticism that it can be done from India. Product management, domain expertise and so on are often quoted as impediments. Over time, there developed this attitude that Indian software equals outsourcing, and that has been a hurdle. That attitude manifests itself in the way people prefer a presumed "safe" job in an IT services company than in a "risky" product company. Overcoming that kind of skepticism is one of the biggest challenges.

Some things are tougher for startups in India than in the United States. Simple things like finding a lawyer that's used to working with cash-strapped startups can be tough. But the change that has taken place in just a matter of three years is phenomenal by any standards. We see several senior executives quit their well-paying jobs to start on their own in India. The good news is that most of the entrepreneurs are not looking at the U.S. as their initial market.. They are trying to address problems relevant to India, which surely calls for innovation. Communities like TiE, Nasscom, NEN,, Kickstart, Startup Saturdays, Open Coffee Clubs and Barcamps have actively contributed to the vibrancy we see today. Also today there are lot of startup groups, communities are coming up in Bangalore. Such as "Sunday morning coffee gathering" of entrepreneurs, where people share ideas get inspired and bolster each other's resolve twice a month.

Surprisingly very few of the top startups mentioned in the U.S. media have engineering centers in India. This, probably, is one indicator that there is something missing in our ecosystem. The day when more than 50 percent of the top startups in the world have their R&D setups in India we can proudly say that we have arrived. It should be noted that the R&D centers of the U.S.. based startups also contribute to the product ecosystem that thrives here today.

In our endeavor to help the ecosystem, Bangalore based The SmartTechie, a technology magazine is organizing a unique event called The SmartTechie Startup City in Bangalore on Saturday May 24, 2008 at Nimhans Convention Center in Bangalore. This is a technology showcase event wherein cool startups demo the products they are building. There will be over 60 startup companies.There also will be exhilarating sessions from top industry leaders to inspire and rechage the electrifying zeal in aspiring entrepreneurs. More than 5000 techies will be attending the event to make it one of the biggest startup event in India.

Startups that hope to become tomorrow’s industry leaders will showcase the cutting edge technologies they are building and the best-of-breed solutions they have developed. They will also highlight the culture of innovation that thrives within their organization and the challenges they are tackling.

Come, Let’s attend The SmartTechie Startup City. You’ll hear companies you have probably not heard of; what do they do, and why we think these companies hold promise. Perhaps you will be astonished to see cool products being built in your own backyard. And you bet! Startups are always a nice place to work in.

For more details visit

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