I spent some time visiting home-pages of Indian startups. I also had a brief look at the services & products they are offering. As usual, I spotted some trouble with most of them. So here I go, listing my observations about Indian startups.
- The Copy Cats: Yeah, most of them are either copies of successful startups based in USA, Canada or Europe. 99% of them lack originality. I couldn’t find any difference between two ‘similar’ startups [I’m not mentioning the names]. If the founders are reading this blog, you may argue that you’ve a feature or two that gives you an edge over your competitors. But I don’t see it, seriously.
- Limited Scope: None (I repeat, none) of the startups were global in scope. Worse, most of them revolved around one city – Bangalore. So you help Bangalore people search for local food joints, multiplexes, pubs, discos etc. But then, that’s it. Even the ‘city based’ searches, offerings aren’t really the way to go – but that’s what I believe. I may be wrong.
- Go Mobile: I’m surprised & shocked. Almost everyone is dying to port their services, offerings on mobile! Bah! I believe that’s the stupidest thing to do. India is NOT the USA yet (though we are trying hard for it). None of my hi-tech friends [read: iPhone users] use their phone to browse the Internet. Why not invest money in making your services/products better? Mobile/Apple/Linux/PS3 support may come later, what say?
- Names: The Indian startups go for complicated names, which even an intelligent human like I cannot remember. You know what? The other day, I wanted to search for phone number of local restaurant. I could not remember the name of the local search engine that ‘claimed’ to help you with such queries. So I first went to Google, searched for the local search engine and then landed over their website . Again, it all boils down to creativity among Indians. These days, we totally suck at it. Most of the founders want a zazzy Web 2.0ish name. Its okay, its your business, after all.
- Attitude: I could sense one thing clearly – these startups were all hungry for VC/Angel Invester’s money. That’s the reason you have these startups with Web 2 names, mobile support, IIT lables, some foreign name in your board of directors etc. None (or at least, most of them) were truly focusing on creating value first and then cashing out on it. I sensed this attitude : We launch our startup, we grow it bigger, we can be accessed from mobile phone and we sell our startup to Yahoo or Google or Microsoft. Hurray! We become millionaires by 35/40.
I did not mention the names of the startups I visited/studied. Because, I do not want to discourage entrepreneurs. They are the builders of the nation and I hope we’ll see great products services coming out from India – for the world!
–The Big K–