Every day, technology companies are expanding into international markets. Some might even be a venture funded company but, as far as a new market goes they are a “demographic startup”. Their pain points are pretty much similar to what a first time entrepreneur faces.A “demographic startup” has needs ranging across a wide spectrum, most importantly it starts with access to local networks in order to accelerate traction when entering a new market. These connections can assist with setup, legal needs, office space, finding talent. As well as longer term needs – access to a network of customers , understanding the market, understanding cultural differences, local mentors, and professional services. Being able to quickly establish a presence in the market and association with established programs lends credibility in the eyes of potential clients.
Foreign companies choosing to explore the India business opportunity usually adopt the following routes:
- Being a part of trade missions led by foreign trade departments
- Consulting services by a big 4 consulting firm or a local consultant
- Having a remote employee working from home or a business services centre
- Using a referral of someone known to them who can “help them navigate India” or is “well connected in India”
All of the above come with their own shortfalls.
- More of then than not, trade missions end up being an annual visit of sorts with nothing in between. Lots of business cards get collected, with nothing much beyond that. There’s pending work to catch up with once the company returns to home country, and then interest wanes. For many of the first timers to India, the sheer number and cultural nuances become more of a shock factor, than the business itself.
- Consulting services tend to be either too expensive, or not able to provide the depth of service required all in one place.
- Remote employee offices are good once the company is established and needs on-going client servicing. It also necessitates the need for the Founder / CEO to visit frequently, to ensure everything is going well on the ground. This increases overall cost to Company.
- Referrals more often than not, end up being someone trying to help a friend or relative to make a quick buck, but it rarely translates to long term business success.
Zone Startups India proposes to launch an international soft landing incubator in Mumbai, at the BSE Building, to offer end-to-end services for an international technology company looking to set up its first office in India.
Over the past 2 years, Zone Startups India has built up a solid network of corporate, industry experts and investors which it can extend to an international company setting up their first Indian office. This soft landing incubator will offer the following services:
- Plug and play infrastructure
- Local industry expert mentors
- Professional and administrative services for establishing an India business
- Corporate connections for customer development
- B2B matchmaking
- Investor connects
- Access to programming at Zone Startups India accelerator events
The value proposition is akin to getting into a startup accelerator / incubator, where a startup is going to spend a minimum of 3-6 months at a stretch. This helps solve a number of shortfalls mentioned above, and truly helps an international company make that transition / entry into India – with all pieces of basic market entry requirements, stitched together at one stop.
The Incubator itself can be a starring point for international technology company to enter the Indian market but, eventually it can lead to larger operations being set up in the city and create many more jobs.