By Shreya More,
Edited by Anjini Chandra
Twitter, on 20th Jan 2015, announced that it had acquired the Bangalore-based ‘missed call’ marketing platform, ZipDial. The deal is said to be in the region of $30 million. ZipDial assigns companies a special phone number, which their brands can use in ads. Customers can then call the number and hang up, ideally making a ‘missed call’. In turn, brands can the phone or send text messages about their business to the ‘missed callers’.
In 2014, Yahoo acquired Bangalore-based BookPad, which allows developers to view and edit their own documents. Facebook acquired Bangalore based Little Eye Labs in 2014 as well, a company involved in building performance analysis and monitoring tools for mobile app developers.
Japan’s richest man, Masayoshi Son, plans to invest as much as $180 million in a taxi-hailing startup ‘Olacabs’.
India has become a hub for new and emerging start-ups. With foreign established companies making a beeline for investing in Indian start-ups, the valuations of Indian companies have increased as well. Currently, start-ups are the flag bearers for Indian entrepreneurship and many business veterans are willing to mentor budding entrepreneurs.
“Start-ups represent the vision, the hope and the persevering entrepreneurial spirit taking root in India,” said Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys.
Start-ups have been emerging in all sectors, and the Indian business environment has become conducive enough for all these ventures to survive. Established Indian companies are also investing in these startups, and the entrepreneurial journeys for new entrants have become easier. Innovation has also increased manifold with all these start-ups coming up.
Earlier, Indians were seen as people who lacked a risk-taking attitude, start-ups have broken this belief. Profit quotient not being the parameter, these ventures have increased creativity and a risk-taking appetite.
However, for the start-ups to flourish, finance, market access and infrastructure should all come easy for them. In spite of the Rs.10,000 crore grant from the Centre, more needs to be done to improve the face of new ventures and tap the energy of these innovative undertakings. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) recommends that in the Union Budget 2015, start-ups should be incentivised to make initiatives like “Make in India” and “Digital India” successful. Regulatory and tax challenges for technology start-ups should be looked into.
The World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings have repeatedly rated India low as compared to 184 other economies. Reforms in all the areas where India lags behind is critical to the success of start-ups. Quality startups have been improving life for people, and are the “next big thing” that have been waiting to revolutionize the Indian industry.
All these endless possibilities in the booming start-up arena will definitely help the Indian industry to flourish. Firm steps to nurture and mentor them, and to improve our business environment are the need of the hour.
Shreya More is a student of Economics at Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. She is an avid movie buff and loves reading. A foodie, she loves exploring new places to eat. She prefers lazing around to partying on weekends. A great listener, she will always stand by people whom she calls friends!