In What Ways 2022 Will Be A Golden Period For Global Startups To Enter India

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By Viral Jani is EVP & Country Head, India, Times Bridge

According to a report in The Times of India, Almost three decades ago, India started its journey towards globalisation, opening its economy to global market forces and economic liberalisation. As of today, India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world. The country offers an attractive long-term future powered by a combination of variables that makes it the most favoured destination for investors across the globe.

India : World’s Largest Open Internet Market

From a technology point of view, India is experiencing a confluence of multiple favourable conditions. India is the world’s largest open internet market with the largest per-capita data consumption globally, and has a huge runway of growth over coming decades.

The country represents a huge market opportunity with over a billion-plus consumers. Recognizing that there are many Indias within India that are, collectively, more diverse and unique than an entire continent, the opportunity for global businesses are endless. For over a decade now, India has been amongst the fastest growing economies of the world.

Its active internet user base is expected to increase by 45% in the next five years and touch 900 million by 2025 from around 622 million in 2020. This increase will be driven by higher adoption in rural India, which has clocked a 13% growth to 299 million internet users, or 31% of India’s rural population over the past year, the report said.

Evolving Consumer Economy

India is as diverse as a continent, both culturally and economically. The top of the pyramid has an inherent global vision and these consumers are typically the early adopters that provide the first impetus for any new product or technology making its way into the country. While the early adopter demographic drove the first wave of internet adoption in India, technology is now becoming all-pervasive across age groups, gender and geographical spread. Today, Indian consumers are maturing in their digital behaviour across the board and are choosing to do more with technology rather than simply using social networks and consuming digital content. Across digital payments, e-commerce, e-learning, online gaming and more, the country is rapidly adopting a digital way of life, the report said.

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across the board. Having reimagined their behaviours and values as consumers, the new evolved Indian consumer presents a huge opportunity for global businesses wanting to enter India. Despite the last two turbulent years, India’s consumption prospects remain robust as consumer incomes are projected to rise, and millions more are expected to experience growth in their spending power. These trends are trickling down to consumers across Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, with the emergence of easy credit and pay later options.

Recognizing this, global companies are now increasingly investing to build services and products made for Indian conditions to tap into this opportunity. The recent successes of global giants in India, including category-leading organisations, is a testimony to this. Consequently, for global start-ups across sectors like fin-tech, consumer technology, e-commerce, ed-tech & more, that are looking to expand their footprint and create lasting business success, India is truly becoming a dream destination, the report said.

Building in India For The World

In the last decade, we have seen various global start-ups succeed in the Indian market leveraging the high-quality workforce that the subcontinent offers. The likes of Uber, Twitter and others have set up their global development centers in India that are driving innovations for the world. This trend is only going to get more popular in the coming years as global companies eye India’s unique market conditions to leverage learnings from the country to build stronger footholds in emerging economies.

Today, from being mere backend technology centres, India’s business environment has become the launchpad for various strategic initiatives including IP creation, building competencies around emerging technologies, to drive innovation for emerging global markets. Additionally, India’s demographic dividend in terms of its youth population is a key contributing factor that is expected to propel this growth for global behemoths entering India, the report said.

Conducive and Open Regulatory Environment

The Indian business landscape is far more open and accessible for global companies, as compared to some of the world’s biggest economies. The increased focus towards welcoming forging investments in the country, has further unlocked India’s potential and accelerated the growth of its economy. India’s ranking as per the Ease of doing business index continues to improve, placing India at the 63rd position, compared with 77th in 2018 and 100 in 2017. These factors will only bolster confidence of global companies looking at entering and scaling in the Indian market.

The Indian economy is on an unprecedented growth trajectory that makes it an unmissable opportunity for various global companies that are looking to enter India and witness long-term success in the market. However, the window of opportunity to enter a growing market like India is always limited, the report said.

Many Indian companies are also swiftly innovating and capturing the burgeoning Indian story. The cultural diversity that India offers coupled with the increasing spending power of Next Gen India, gives global organizations entering the Indian market an opportunity to establish themselves and form a local connect with their consumers, from day 0.

Therefore, it is prudent to enter a country as diverse as India, while it is still in its early stages of growth. For global companies, it is always ideal to commence with a sharp focus on the market’s early adopters who would become users of the standard global offerings.

Considering the ample opportunities in this melting pot of cultures and beliefs that India is, the international startup ecosystem cannot afford to ignore the opportunities this market has to offer! (The Times of India)