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Start-up culture finds new wings

columns Updated: Oct 19, 2014 23:34 IST
N Madhavan
N Madhavan
Hindustan Times
Tiecon Delhi

It was nice to spend a few hours at Tiecon Delhi last week, in the congregation that helps startups happen in India. Tiecon (Tie Conference) has its roots in The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a US-based network that played on the India-US (Ind-US) expression in the Silicon Valley. What seems obvious now was not obvious in the 1990s, when it was a new thing for job-seeking Indian immigrants to wake up to the potential of entrepreneurship.

The origins are now sort of forgotten, with Indian locals taking the lead in nurturing a startup culture. Tiecon, shorn of its hype, is a networking gig for entrepreneurs and those who want to help them, chiefly venture capitalists (VCs). I noticed two positive things that have emerged strong over the years. First, they have discovered that entrepreneurship is not just about information technology, as it used to be thought widely. With a keynote lecture by Dr. Naresh Trehan of Medanta, the healthcare entrepreneur, and a broad agenda that often focused on business in general, Tiecon appeared far less geeky than it used to be, although hot topics like e-commerce and the Internet of Things showed software still powering dreams. The theme slogan “Abki Bar Disruption,” was symbolic.

Second, it is heartening to see an array of marketing and recruitment agencies, realtors and “virtual receptionist” companies pitching themselves to entrepreneurs. A decade ago, such “ecosystem” support for entrepreneurs was far less. This is a quiet revolution that would help create many new companies.anies emerge in the coming