The upper hand of the desi entrepreneur

Everyone knows that India is a tough place to start a business. India is at #132 among 183 countries in the ease of doing business index. A lot has been said about the disadvantages of starting a business in India. I’m not here to talk about that. Pick up any newspaper and you will spend an entire day reading about what’s wrong about India.

I’m going to talk about the advantages of being a desi entrepreneur. Here are certain things that worked well for me, and I guess they will work well for others as well. I call them the 3Cs –  Cost, Convenience and Culture

  • Cost – The #1 reason startups fail is because they run out of money. The most important goal of a startup is making sure it tries various products and markets before running out of money. In India, it is way cheaper to build something as compared to other countries. The proponents of Lean Startup Movement say that the initial days of a company are spent in validated learning and discovering your customers. If you burn money slowly, your get more runway to learn and discover. Simple.
  • Convenience  – The extended family culture in India is a blessing for wannabe entrepreneurs. In western cultures, you are expected to leave your parents as soon as you become an adult. There is no pressure for young Indians to leave their parents. This could be huge. The first few years of a startup are extremely stressful. You end up working 80 hours a week and having your basic support systems taken care of is godsend. You don’t need to worry about paying your rent, preparing your meals, etc. What could be better that having a home-cooked, healthy and delicious meal after pulling out an all-nighter?
  • Culture – Startups and entrepreneurship have become hip lately, but a vast number of Indians are already entrepreneurs. Every kirana (independent grocery store) shop is an example of entrepreneurship. Look around yourself. You will find numerous friends and relatives who are entrepreneurs. It is more natural career choice than most other parts of the world. The mental block of starting something of your own is lower in India compared to other parts of the world.

So what are the other advantages for being an Internet entrepreneur from India? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.