Growth is the expected ambition for any entrepreneur (and investors) but geographical growth plays a key role. I see three types of start-ups sprouting wings and soaring beyond India:
Are you clear on which category you belong to – your global strategy should be derived from that.
Singapore has a very vibrant start-up ecosystem and a natural fit for most Indian companies. Every Multi-national company (MNC) of relevance is present here (could be your potential client, partner, innovation enabler etc.). Investors of all hues (VCs, PEs, family offices; global leaders to local entities) have a large presence. There is a strong support system of incubators, accelerators and there are major government assistance schemes which could be leveraged. Thriving innovation hub, comprising innovation labs of MNCs to cutting edge labs in academia. There could be branding advantages of a Singapore label (quality, ‘global’ etc.).
Thousands of Indian companies have established a presence in Singapore and the trend is increasing. Singapore has the highest density of professional Indian diaspora than anywhere in the world. Home to almost 2000 IIM alumni, 3500 IIT alumni – a strong pool of potential mentors and enablers. There is collaboration among ecosystem players as well [e.g. the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between IIMCIP and a Singapore incubator platform].
The city-state boasts thousands of start-ups in sectors as wide-ranging as e-commerce, IoT, cognitive systems, big data analytics, robotics, renewable energy, life sciences, AgriTech, BioTech, logistics, water treatment etc. Opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other.
As you embark on the global journey, please go through a pre-flight checklist. Overseas growth is not for the faint hearted – requires major $, founders’ commitment, clear strategy and stamina. Are you ready and willing to take on regional and global competitors? Business practices differ country to country – find mentors when needed. Consistent quality is important (not just of the product but the overall experience).
I strongly believe Indian entrepreneurs are ready to take on the world. Our alumni community has been working with various agencies from India and Singapore to enable a stronger entrepreneurship bridge between the two countries.
Once you are ready, reach out to us (through IIMCIP or write to me at Sanjiv.firstname.lastname@example.org). Market access, Investor connect, collaborative innovation: Our alumni community and the extended professional Indian diaspora is ready to support you. Hope to see you soon in the ‘Merlion City’.