Bangalore has been the place of choice for IT and non IT startup firms…Nikhil Varma looks at what makes startups work in the city
Bangalore’s claim to fame as an IT hub owes much to a small startup that four friends began in the early 80’s with a small sum invested as seed capital. As Infosys transformed into a global IT behemoth, Bangalore channelled its way to emerge as the IT hub of the country, helped by the temperate weather and a host of other factors.
Decades after Infosys, Bangalore seems to be racing ahead of the country, if one is to look at the amount of startups that are setting up and getting established in the city. As companies such as RedBus, an online bus booking aggregator and Flipkart, India’s answer to Amazon, which began their journey in Bangalore makes waves in the Indian and International markets, we try to discover the reasons for startup firms beginning their journey in the city.
For Amar Saurabh, running a startup that offers apps and cloud based applications for companies, Bangalore with its plethora of IT talent and helpful group of entrepreneurs was always the first choice to start his firm. “It also helped that my company was IT-based. I have loved the experience so far and think that this is one of the best places for a start-up venture in the country.”
Preetam Salim is the founder of @HiringMonk, a recruitment service for startups across India. He contends, “There are two tech hubs in India, Bangalore for IT and Gurgaon for telecommunications. Most people related to the IT domain prefer Bangalore because of the infra-structure and like-minded folks and the climate. People do not mind relocating from various cities to Bangalore just to launch their product.”
He adds, “Startups have to ensure that the products they sell in the market are really good. The competition is intense and it is vital to focus on your product.”
It is not just IT/ITES startups that are faring well in Bangalore. In his late twenties, Anand Janardhan co-founded Vgulp, a startup firm that provides exclusive deals for drinkers with his friend Ajeesh Udumbath. “We did face multiple challenges, especially with regards to high rentals and the massive travel expenses that one faces while travelling across the city. Getting good talent to work for you is also a difficult task.”
He adds, “However, the joy of getting your first paycheque or having an employee join your team is great. It is fun to do something that is out of the box and Bangalore must get credit for encouraging this thinking.”
Hosamane Savitha is another person who created an out-of-box startup by setting up Hasovan that conducts workshops and laughter programmes. She says, “We aim at creating chances to laugh as we believe that laughter is the best medicine. We are building concepts, devices and therapies for achieving that goal. One of most memorable moments was when young and old alike enjoyed our workshops.”
She contends, “Bangalore was the one city that was receptive to this idea. I managed to find an excellent team and a group of advisors who work tirelessly and provide me with any motivation I need. I love doing business in Bangalore.”