“Deepak Dhamija shares his insights on the Incubator and Accelerators in India, published in Financial Times titled – Koramangala Startups Gets Incubators to Sail Through. Complete article given below”
Feature in – Financial Times – The Times of India
Koramangala has earned the fame of being startup capital of India. These startups running into rooms and flats have helped people making them able to get most of the things done with a tap of phone. Be it shopping, finding a house, booking a cab, getting house cleaning done or bringing your parlor home, we have a new startup coming in for every job, making our lives easier in this hectic schedule. While the country is now realising the importance of these startups and several incubators and accelerators are coming to boost these startups, and guide these entrepreneurs, it will be interesting to see how Koramangala gets benefited with this support and maintains its position among the startup hubs.
In recent few months, several players have come into the market to boost startups. Recently, the Aditya Birla Group announced launch of Aditya Birla Bizlabs to collaborate with startups and provide them with the opportunity to scale up in a business environment.
Aditya Birla Bizlabs will be looking at startups which offer innovative solutions in the area of Retail, Financial Services or Mobility. These are also the industries where group enjoys leadership positions via its businesses: Idea Cellular. More, Pantaloons, Madura Fashion & Lifestyle and Aditya Birla Financial Services.
It is a 20 days programme, during which shortlisted startups will be provided access to the CEOs and CXOs of the Aditya Birla Group, and the chance to network with reputed industry experts. In addition, the selected startups will have the opportunity to scale up by entering into a commercial arrangement with the Group’s businesses. They may also receive an investment from an independent arm of the Aditya Birla Group. Top 25 of the 1,229 applications received, have been shortlisted for this programme which will begin from September 21 and will continue till October 11.
Business incubation helps startups reduce the uncertainty, financial burdens and resource issues they are usually troubled with. Providing a nurturing and supportive environment, access to intensive business support along with financial and mentorship support, incubators help realize the true prospects of a region’s future.
“Incubators offer startups guidance to grow in a phased manner. They provide a disciplined approach to startup and help in business planning, customer validation, connections with investors/partners, team building, and more. You get to learn peers and experienced mentors. You get to attend sessions that teach you various aspects of running a startup,” said Sujayath Ali, Co-founder and CEO of Voonik.com.
“An increasing number of employees are quitting their jobs to pursue their startup dream. They would prefer the comfort of working in an office environment, alongside like minded startup entrepreneurs. The incubators provide exactly that and a good base to acquaint oneself with the nuances of the startup world. Many entrepreneurs have met their co-funding team, early investors and received help in support functions such as legal, accounting from these incubators. The promise of handholding available for these start ups have helped more startups to mature enough to run the company on their own”, he added.
Manu Jolly, CEO of Digiperform – Digital Marketing Training Company shared the similar view on the issue and said, “I have been part of more than four startups, and I feel, incubators help startups a lot, especially in the beginning. Any startup in the first few months of its operations is not able to reach break-even and 90 percent of the startups are closed at a very nascent stage just because they fail to manage the operational costs. First few months at every startup are make or break, and the incubators help these young entrepreneurs with better environment and assistance so that they can focus well on their work.
Echoing similar sentiments, Utkarsh Biradar, CEO & Co-founder of Kormanagala-based startup Momoe, said, “Incubators and accelerators are not for everyone but for an early stage company or a first time entrepreneur, it can offer significant advantages. We believe that an accelerator can help entrepreneurs go through a series of well planned steps and be able to validate or be able to identify a direction to pivot. A good mentor with entrepreneurial experience can also be very instrumental in bringing strategic thinking and acumen to a startup. Being in co working spaces with other entrepreneurs brings a lot of energy as well as provides entrepreneurs the peer group to recover quickly from failures and learn from others mistakes.
While Ajith Mohan Karimpana, Founder & CEO, Furlenco feels, “More than the incubator, it is the people in the incubator who are going to mentor the startup who make a difference in the early life of a startup.”
Hyderabad’s T-hub which is claimed to be the biggest incubation hub is now on the way to help and promote startups. “Our Technology Incubation centre ‘T-Hub’ which is meant to promote start-ups and innovators is going to be inaugurated soon.” Secretary, Information & Communications Technology (ITC), Jayesh Ranjan told reporters.
“The first phase of T-hub, country’s biggest technology incubation centre, spread over 60,000 square feet will accommodate 800 start-ups. And in 2018 when we are hosting World IT Congress in Hyderabad, we want to be ready with the second phase of T-Hub, which would be much bigger one with built-up space of 300,000 sq ft and can host 5,000 startups, “he said.
Like Ratan Tata recently said about nurturing startups, “It is important to nurture them; it’s important to support them. Not all start-ups are going to be successful. The creative ones usually face the greatest problems in finding support, because they are doing things others have not done before. Such ventures – the promising ones – need to be nurtured.”
Now, not only big names like Tata and Birla but also small investors and incubators are helping the new startups sail through the rough phase of this long journey.
Angel prime, Indavest,KhoslaLabs, NSRCEL, Srijan Capital are few of the incubators based around Koramangala, a fast becoming startup hub, which have helped entrepreneurs in many ways.
“There are not good enough startup incubators in India at present. Ideally the incubators should be started by those with a lot of experience and achievements, as it is majorly about the mentors. At present incubators are creating an ecosystem that provides startups with a co-working space and lets them grow without worrying about infrastructural and other basic issues. First few months in the beginning a startup are very critical, what these incubators do is to take a lot of their pain and help them grow”, says Deepak Dhamija, Cofounder and Director – Aristotle Consultancy Pvt Ltd,- a venturing offering Virtual CFO, Accounting & Advisory services to startups & SMEs.