Is India the next market for your startup?

For the second year in a row, Coconut Bootcamp invites Nordic startups to India. The boot camp will give startups within the IoT, med- and green tech industry first hand and tangible experience with opportunities in India from both a market exploration and commercial establishment perspective.

Today, economists predict that the country will become the world’s third-largest economy by 2020. In addition, some economists even predict that India can overtake United States’ ranking as the second largest economy. And every year investments made in India tech startups are breaking records.

India’s young and fast-growing population is a key factor in the rapidly rising growth in the country’s economy. Almost half of the population is under 25 years old. This also means that over the next 10 years, the country will have to create more than 25 million study places to educate young people.

Before going to India and looking for expanding opportunities there are some terms and conditions that you will have to be aware of.

Go mobile first

The saying tells the story of the great amount of potential of the Indian market. But in the same breath also some degree of complexity. One of the key factors that may challenge penetration of the market is the technological infrastructure.

Large parts of the country do not have access to the internet, and today approximately 30 percent (ca. 450 mill.) of the population have access to the rest of the world through their browser. However, changes are happening rapidly, but you should carefully consider what product you are providing the end user with. The mobile market is gaining greater share than laptops. This is primarily due to lower prices, but also to the fact that mobile phones last longer on a full charge.

In spite of the positive outlook for the country’s economy, India is only ranked among the poorest third when looking at the gross domestic product. It creates several challenges if you are looking to enter the Indian market.

Creating value for society

Many Indian does not have much money and the cost of labor is the cheaper than many other places in the world. It requires that startups can be extremely competitive on the price. Which applies to both b2c and b2b markets.

The cost of labor is so cheap that in several cases it pays for the company to pay a development department to make a tailored solution and maintain it rather than buying another service provider.

Therefore, there is also no same hype about products that are ‘nice to have’. In most of India, the problems are about completely basic things like technological access to increase living standards. If you want to enter the Indian market, you must solve a problem that is urgent and the solutions need to be more ‘need to have’.

Solutions that will increase living standards and provide basic things as food and shelter is vital for Indians and this is also the reason why this years bootcamp will have three different tracks: IoT, green tech and med tech.

A blooming tech landscape

There is a tendency for the outermost regions of India to develop around the big cities. Accessibility is at all a focus area in India.

Therefore, the best advice is also to seek progressive states that focus on developing innovative opportunities and will promote new technology. In addition to New Delhi, it is advisable to take a look at Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

By 2015 alone more than nine billion dollars were sent to Indian startups. The list of the 10 largest investments has three startup headquarters in Bangalore, and three other headquarters in New Delhi. India represents a boot-pallet with more than 19,000 tech startups.

Due to the vast distance and limited infrastructure, data and relations between national ecosystems seem to be more unstructured than many Western countries. Therefore, India is an exciting, but also a complex mouthful.

You can read more about Coconut Bootcamp here.