A new breed of entrepreneurs in MP are tapping into the technology wave, showing how ideas can be incubated anywhere.
Even as a multitude of new-generation start-ups sprout in India’s metros, a growing list of entrepreneurs in Madhya Pradesh are tapping into the technology wave, showing how ideas can be incubated and developed anywhere.
Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai may have been favoured destinations for startups until now, but there is a new breed of young entrepreneurs emerging from non-metro cities such as Indore and Bhopal.
Fuelling the passion of these youngsters is an increasing number of start-up communities that are working to connect them to create a better ecosystem full of ideas.
Growing internet penetration, rising middle-class incomes and surging smartphone usage combined with the young generation’s enthusiasm to pursue new and innovative ideas has led to the creation of a start-up ecosystem in Indore, which now house more than 500 new ventures, says Kavita Jhala of eChai, Indore.
“We started a year back and have held several events inviting experts and people who have made it big with start-ups. These monthly events get good response,” she says.
Start-up ventures are developing rapidly
Pratap Nair of Indore Entrepreneurs Network (IEN) says that the city has a bright future for start-up ventures which are developing rapidly.
“IEN is a community which focuses on assisting people associated with start-ups. We discuss and ideate on a number of issues that a start-up faces,” he says.
“Our community has more than 100 registered members and 250 unregistered members.”
Majority of Indore-based start ups are IT-based ventures followed by e-commerce
Parveen Singhal, co-founder of Indore Startups Community, says that a majority of the city-based start ups are IT-based ventures followed by e-commerce and are being run by people who have left well-paying jobs in metros to start something of their own.
“We have more than 150 start-ups working with us,” he says.
But this approach of joining a club and interacting with other members is an attitude which has been developed over a period of time.
“When we first came to Indore, it was amusing to find that people would not share their existing start-up ideas with anybody as they were scared that somebody might copy them.”
“It was difficult to convince people and bring them together under one umbrella,” Singhal says.
Start-up ventures ranging from fashion, healthcare, administration, safety and even public transport, emphasise on the crucial role they play to keep the start-up circuit organised.
“For a startup to sell and flourish it is important that it sticks with its USP…By holding regular sessions people come to know what is already being pursued and what they should explore,” says Jhala.
Appointy, a Bhopal-based online scheduling start-up started by Nemesh Singh, 36, is an example.
But the road to success was hard, says Singh, who is from Uttar Pradesh, and came to Bhopal to pursue mechanical engineering.
Singh says he could not get a job after graduation. His business went bankrupt twice and he had to face a business dispute in the US. Then, he decided to launch Appointy.
Today the start-up has attracted more than 78,000 small businesses in over 100 countries. Like Appointy, there are many other start-ups which have been started by college graduates and have proved to be highly successful.
Start-ups have brought everything to people’s doorsteps
Right from ready meals to grocery stores to laundry services, these start-ups have brought everything to people’s doorsteps.
Funding proves to be a problem sometimes but youngsters behind the start-ups are determined to excel in their ventures.
“We didn’t get any funding so we started on our own, and we decided to build a proper system of managing waste and garbage,” says Anurag Asati, the co-founder of Thekabadiwala.com, a Bhopal-based start-up that connects people with kabadiwalas online and help them get rid of waste.
“It’s been two years since we started and today we are receiving excellent response. I am happy with my decision of not choosing an engineering job and doing something unconventional.”
Indore Entrepreneurs Network: A community which focuses on assisting people associated with start-ups. It discusses and ideates on a number of issues that a start-up faces. The community has more than 100 registered members and 250 unregistered members.
Discount4sure: A Bhopal-based start-up that helps people to get best deals and discounts. The start-up offers free discount coupons, offers and deals in the city on numerous products and services.