Geography becoming history for start-ups
He says it is here that large Indian IT companies could have played a role. “They have not done anything. Indian IT companies are sitting on piles of cash and have not helped create an ecosystem. Real transformation has to start from these iconic companies,” says Khandekar.
What is also helping build the ecosystem is emergence of support organisations like NEN, which spruces up youngsters and gets them to a level where they can present their ideas in boardrooms of venture capital firms.
Mirchandani hopes for small angel clubs in towns where entrepreneurs can meet and role models can emerge. “People look up to role models. Sunil Mittal coming out of Ludhiana makes other people there feel if he can do it, so can we,” says Mirchandani.
He cites the example of a small company from Shimla called Interview Street that subsequently moved to California and now has the potential to become a global company. “It is happening from Shimla to California even as we speak.”
If a business plans works in Shimoga, it will work in the rest of the country too, depending on the kind of business you have, he says. For example, Groupon started in Chicago but they had no idea whether a group discount would work in Boston, but they tried and it worked across the country.
K Srikrishna, executive director
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