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Indian Startups: What’s the definition (in 2018)?

If you had asked me in 2010, it was simple. A desi company solving desi problem (or launching global products).

This is 2018 and here we are :

Almost all well funded Indian startups are owned by either Chinese, Japanese or US funds.


If Indian startups are about solving India specific problems, then frankly Google has done a much better job with Android (ecosystem).

If Indian startups are just about starting up in India (i.e. day 1 in India) – then yeah, but it is such a meaningless definition.

If you are purely looking at ‘Indian startup’ from local job creation point of view, please just add IBM/Accenture to the list as well.

If you look at Indian startup from creating IP point of view, you would be surprised to note the negative correlation between funding and IP in India.

You are only an Indian startup if you are talking to press/media and showcasing ‘innovation can happen here too’?


So is it just about the emotional reason (as Manish points out in the above tweet)?

Unless you are bootstrapped and have totally clean ownership, can you claim to be an ‘Indian startup’ and accuse foreigners (like Google/Facebook etc) of killing the Indian ecosystem by dumping money?

No Sachin and Bhavish : There is a lot more to ‘Phoren Competition’ than money

Indian Startups DO NEED foreign capital

And while you are killing 100s of small startups/businesses with discounted funding, I do understand that you need to raise more capital to grow.

Of course, Indian VCs don’t have the fund to fuel your growth and it’s just logical to raise funding from outside, but as you grow your business, should you also grow your worldly outlook as a business? Mature (more) as a person?

That is, get ready to face competition? Face fucking global competition which possibly means you need to raise the bar by 100X?

And not act like a cry baby? Because every time a global player launches in India, a well funded (ex)Indian startup starts crying how the capital dumping is going to stifle innovation and kill the ‘Indian startup ecosystem’.

If customer focus / innovation takes a cashbackseat, customers will ditch you.

High time we stop this narrative on ‘Indian startups’ and get on with life and face the world? Build something which is beyond cashbacks/discounts ? Show what India and Indians can do?

For now, I leave you with this deep meaning song by Bhai.

What do you think?

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