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Episode 98: The India Startup Ecosystem with Ashish Sinha

Ashish Sinha, founder of NextBigWhat, joined us for a conversation on the emerging India startup ecosystem. From his origins as a product manager in Yahoo! India to setting up the media site to help India entrepreneurs to gather feedback for their products since 2009, we discussed the India startup ecosystem from decoding the unicorn startup founders to navigating across different startup activity from startups across various sectors to venture capitalists across the continent of India. Last but not least, Ashish shared his thoughts on President Modi’s recent startup India initiatives and the likely candidates from India to form the equivalent of Baidu-Alibaba-Tencent in China.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Ashish Sinha, CEO and Founder of NextBigWhat (@cnha , LinkedIn, Main Site)
    • How did you get started in technology? [1:15]
    • Before you started NextBigWhat.com (formerly known as Pluggd.in), you have been working in corporations for example, Yahoo!, what are the interesting career lessons you have learned? [1:45]
    • What made you start Pluggd.in in 2009 and subsequently evolved to NextBigWhat? [2:04]
  • India Startup Ecosystem [3:03]
    • How does one navigate the startup ecosystem in a huge country in India? [3:08]
    • What are the interesting trends in the India startup ecosystem for the past 3 years with companies scaling up with huge valuations such as Flipkart, SnapDeal? [4:10]
    • Banglore as the main startup hub and followed by MCR in Delhi [5:40]
    • Decoding the India’s unicorns and high growth startups: [6:24]
    • What is the interesting analyses that have arised in this report? For example, you have touched on some questions here:
      • How many years has it taken startups to grow from zero to becoming a unicorn startup? Average time to reach unicorn club is 6.1 years. [6:40]
      • Do you really need a MBA degree to be a successful founder? 67% founders of unicorn startups do not have MBAs. [6:52]
      • Does US experience or working for MNC which is US based important for the founders in India  [8:00]
      • Is there a correlation between age and successful founders? Does ‘work experience’ matter? 40% of unicorn founders do not have working experience. [8:19]
      • What about metro vs. tier-2 cities founders in India? Does it matter? Surprising fact that the best India startup founders come from tier-2 cities and not the metro cities. [9:10]
    • Which cities are most of the startups located in? Is there an equivalent to Silicon Valley (US) or Zhongguancun (China)? [10:38]
    • What are the interesting startups and emerging unicorns in the following categories: [12:28]
      • ECommerce: Snapdeal, Flipkart, Firstcry, Urbanladder. 
      • Payments: PayTM, Freecharge. 
      • Logistics:  Xpressbees.
      • On Demand Services: Olacabs.
      • Real Estate: Housing.com
      • Mobility and Internet of Things: Practo.
    • Who are the major venture capitalists or angel investors in India? How do they invest in companies? [17:00]
    • What’s the impact of the India conglomerates such as the Tata Group, Reliance and Infosys to the startup ecosystem? [18:00]
    • Are we seeing the rise of the Internet conglomerates in India similar to Baidu-Alibaba-Tencent (BAT) in China? If so, who are the likely candidates to be on that list? [18:55]
    • Recently, Prime Minister Modi unleashed the initiatives for Startup India, what are the interesting policies, in your opinion, are interesting to the ecosystem? [19:25]
    • With US funds slowing down their investments in the US, do you see the same situation happening to the unicorns in India? [19:47]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Aspirus Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.

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By | 2016-03-13T19:48:19+00:00 March 12th, 2016|Analyse Asia Podcast, Podcast Shows|

About the Author:

A pragmatic idealist in technology, media & entrepreneurship.