Yes, I know, I may raise a few eyebrows with that title – But it is a fact that cannot be overlooked.
I will explain you with a real-life example, read on…
I was sitting with a serial entrepreneur friend of mine today at office and as usual our discussion veered towards Entrepreneurship. He was lamenting about the fact that how Entrepreneurship has not grown in India, even though we have probably some of the most creative, talented and innovative minds on earth.
He gave me his own example – He has had a startup in India for about 2.5 years and has been pouring money into it. During this time, he approached 10s of Indian VCs for funding and has never even received a second call from them – not even a mail saying “All the best for your startup, but we cannot fund your startup right now”.
Here comes the interesting part – 6 months back, he opened up a office in a small South Asian country, which is not known much for anything other than for tourism. The reason – he was talking to one of the local Internet & Mobile company – They liked the product and wanted to give it a try.
In the meanwhile, he came across their local government aided firm that was set-up to promote Entrepreneurship in this S.E Asian country. He demo’ed his product to them and applied for funding, so that he could build the product for the mobile company – He actually very little hopes of hearing anything back from them – but to his surprise, he not only got a call for them but they also showed much interest in his product.
Within 3 months of contacting them, he has not only received funding from them, but also a mentor who will help him with his product.
This small South Asian country which has fraction of GDP compared to India has allotted half a billion dollars to promote small entrepreneurs like him – Take that !
Now he is probably planning to move his company’s base and will offer employment to the locals in that country.
Just think about it for a second, if we had something like this setup by our Babu’s here in India and more importantly – if it was honestly run – we would be called aÂ land of Entrepreneurs!
Today though, my friend is a one happy man – He says “Thank God, none of the VCs replied me back here in India” – coz they would have taken good amount of equity and would have offered very low valuations, especially during this downturn!
What are your thoughts on this? Don’t you think Indian Government should take steps to seriously promote Entrepreneurship? The Union Budget was a golden chance to announce something to that effect, but like so many other areas, there was no mention about this as well.
Would love to hear your comments on this – I am sure few of you may have conflicting views. Let us know!