Pune startup masterclass: Startups should be ready to spread wings worldwide
It is important for a startup founder to understand that India cannot be his only market, his company could be run over by some global force, said Girish Bhagat of India Nivesh, during the panel discussion on startup synergies in a borderless world, during the Startup Master Class (SMC) 2019, on Sunday.
“Thinking global at the very outset is a must for all Indian startups,” added Bhagat.
The other panellist at the discussion included Francesca Vitale, partner Benedetti & Co and a lawyer who focuses on international business relations; Vandana Poria Saxena OBE and TiE Pune Charter member and Jeet Vijay investor and VC advisor from the US.
Bhagat gave the example of a startup he helped by introducing them to European markets. “There was a startup which was manufacturing protein. The founder was not able to get his research done here and reached a dead end. I told him to switch to the EU from Chennai where he had no lab access. In the EU, he could not only do research on his proteins, but it was also funded by a university grant,” said Bhagat.
“Now, he is in discussion with a global player who will sell his product across the world. This is what going global can do. If he would have continued in India, he would have been finished. But the EU opened its labs and markets for him,” added Bhagat.
Vijay felt that the Indian ecosystem needs to get better for startup founders. “In the US, 70% of startup founders are Indian. But when they come here, strangely, they fail,” he said.
Saxena stated, “It is important that startups also focus on the social side too. At least 39,500 HNIs across the world are worth US$50 mn who have stated that they will fund technologies that will have a social impact. That is how important it is to have a holistic approach to business.”
Vitale recalled the time 15 years ago when the EU market was down. “I chose to come to India as it is a big market. I learnt a lot about your country and transformed that knowledge for my business. Today, I help Italian companies who want to set up shop in India,” Vitale added.
Bhagat feels that the time couldn’t get better for India now. “In 2012, I got 27 Italian companies to India. The world is envious of Indian entrepreneur’s capability. It is time for our startup community to realise that.”