Can India create the next Google or Apple?
Can we create the next Google, Apple, Uber, Air bnb, Alibaba, Amazon or valuable product companies like SAP, Oracle etc.?
The answer is NO. Not by the way we are thinking today!
From the turn of the millennium we have been very successful in exporting IT services across the globe and that mindset has kept us in a comfort zone for quite some time. We have created great companies in IT services companies from the nineties. Most Indian entrepreneurs today come out from these large companies who have been used to the easy way of leveraging on foreign billing, hence taking advantage of the sliding rupee.
Today we do have Start Ups, incubation and accelerator programs for college graduates and folks willing to be entrepreneurs, but we either create an app, e-commerce platform, market place or a solution for an industry that caters mainly to the local market only. Only a few entrepreneurs are creating the next big wave in information technology or any Sciences.
For sure the local market is huge. That’s a no brainer. Even Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder plugged and played India. But, the need of the hour is to create something that is not just good for the promising local market, but also for the whole globe. Internet penetration across the globe is increasing in leaps and bounds.
There could be several reasons to this. One could be that follow the cash creating leaders like Flipkart, Red bus etc. These companies are promisingly catering to the local market. There could be several reasons why they chose to remain within India. The con or buck is just passing hands and nor real revenues are visible to the discerning.
The other reason could be the existing venture capitalist and investor community within India. Based on casual interactions with few top partners from the community, it is very clear that they are investing a lot in companies and ideas that can penetrate the local market. Many a times, they are talking registrations and sales from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities of India. Could this make the Indian Entrepreneur from restricting himself? Many great global ideas get shot down in the process. It seems as though the investor community has a mandate or there could be some global political agenda behind this, as majority of the investment for these activities comes from abroad which is beyond the entrepreneur’s understanding. Moreover, the investment groups have got a taste of the quick valuation game and ROI by investing in companies that have penetrated the Indian market. They are taking the easier route out.
During my consulting with good Indian companies with promising products, I always used to tell them, that creating a product only for the local market is a “crime”. With internet penetration and connectivity growing across the globe including remote parts of Africa, it actually seems like a crime creating a product and solution only for the local market. Yes, of course you have to start local, but the ultimate goal must be to “Go Global.”
Consulting across the globe, it is very clear that governments of several G20 nations and developed nations are encouraging their entrepreneurs to come up with big technological ideas for the global market. It is also evident that they have created eco-systems where funding for product development and other activities for global reach are available. This is not yet available in India in a structured manner. Time for a change in mindset!
Hopefully the answer to my question mentioned above will become a firm “Yes” in the near future and this can happen only if you and I together decide to genuinely “Go Global.”
All the best Indian Entrepreneurs!