Having made a recent vacation trip to India, I had been to a start-up event in Bangalore. Although some speakers and topics were major disappointments (more on this in another post, hopefully), I had the opportunity to talk to some really smart CEOs and investors who were well tuned with the global entrepreneurship scenario. Not surprisingly, our topics always circled back to why India has more service companies than product companies. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against service companies (after all, that is what has caused us to be known in the global start-up scene), but haven’t we always wondered if it is the lack of something that prevents us from achieving that feat as well (given our competitive nature)?

That is the reason it was so refreshing to read today’s article by Paul Joseph of EntrepreneurHeat about how Chennai, one of India’s primary manufacturing hub (also known as the “Detroit of India”), is now leading the way in developing world-class product technological start-ups. Some of the examples mentioned are really inspiring. I have tried to pick the best ones below:

  • Zoho Corporation: “has brushed off acquisition overtures from many leading Silicon Valley corporations and believes in bootstrapping his way to success. He has started a university kind of training within the company to grow talent.” 
  • OrangeScape: “has jointly launched a product named KISSFlow along with industry giant Google in its flagship event Google. IO last week. This is the first time that Google as a company has partnered with another company to launch a product (so far every product launch has been its own, inhouse built, and 100% owned).”
  • Freshdesk: “has taken the global leader Zendesk head on, on this task (to a point where the Zendesk CEO seems to be shaken).”, “have also raised a round of funding from Accel to the tune of $6mn.”
These are just some brief stats to indicate the potential of global strategic partnerships for the country’s young minds. Some of these leading entrepreneurs have also been inspiring images on improving India’s start-up ecosystem.
It will be really interesting to see how Chennai’s start, along with Bangalore’s well known tech capabilities and Mumbai’s commercial mindset, will influence the country’s growing entrepreneurship development.
You can read the full article here: Chennai Emerging as a Global Product Tech City
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