Last week we wrote about Pune, India as an amazing hub for global technology development. In the IT space, people commonly discuss Bangalore, but we want to shine a light on all the amazing opportunities around the globe. Today, continuing the discussion on India, we want to discuss Delhi.
Delhi, India’s capital city, is made up of 11 different districts and is home to over 16 million inhabitants. It is one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas in terms of size and population. It is also home to India’s second largest startup scene.
Delhi NCR’s Startup Scene
Officially known as the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the region is also often referred to as the National Capital Region (NCR). Together with Bangalore and Mumbai, the three cities account for over 65% of all of India’s startup activity. Approximately 23% of that activity is in the NCR, with most companies focusing on eCommerce (eCommerce enablers, hyperlocal eCommerce) and aggregators.
Two of the NCR’s districts in particular, Gurgaon and Noida, are especially popular for fledgling startups because of lower rental costs compared to Delhi itself. The city also has a strong support network of investors, incubators, accelerators, mentors, coworking spaces, and other organisations that are helping more tech startups succeed. The NCR is the home of the headquarters of the Indian Venture Capital Association, the Indian Angel Network (an organization boasting over 400 members, which invests in early stage startups both in India and globally), and NASSCOM, which operates the 10,000 Startups initiative. TiE Delhi is also very active with dozens of startup related events and educational initiatives including its annual Startup Expo and its Startup Accelerator program developed in conjunction with IIT-Delhi.
Another reason that many entrepreneurs are attracted to the NRC is because it is also home to the Indian headquarters of global tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Indian company Zomato. The experience gained by either working in, with, or around these companies encourages more young entrepreneurs to begin their own projects. The city’s more developed infrastructure, especially in terms of public transport such as the Delhi Metro, also contributes to a healthier startup network compared to cities like Bangalore which are bogged down by outrageous congestion and traffic.
As with most regions globally, finding enough adequately skilled employees in general is challenging. However, the presence of tens of higher education technical institutions in the city does provide a good pool of potential talent.
Investing in B2C Companies
Delhi’s large population provides an enormous consumer base to new companies. Delhi-NCR has a high concentration of B2C focused startups because of this, accounting for the city’s top spot with regard to funding. According to a report published by NASSCOM, $2.3 billion were invested in Delhi’s companies in 2015, with 83% of that amount going towards B2C companies. The eCommerce focus means that many companies develop payment solutions for online, offline, and mobile transactions, as well as adtech solutions and innovations. These verticals are conducive to monetization of a company or product relatively quickly after launch.
Some of the city’s biggest companies in terms of closing investment rounds include wiwigo, Bira 91, Fusion Microfinance, hike, Vyome Biosciences, Notesgen, Snapdeal, DayBox, AlternaCare, and DoorKeys.
Hardware as a Growing Sector
While India’s tech industry had been primarily focused on building software, hardware is gaining ground as a growing sector, especially in Delhi. Companies like GreyOrange are showing the potential of hardware by developing warehousing distribution and automation products, including fleets of mobile robots.
To further development of forward-looking industries, an ambitious infrastructure project known as the Delhi to Mumbai industrial corridor (DMIC) aims to build 8 industrial cities in the 1500km stretch between Delhi and Mumbai. Focused on the development of “smart cities” that incorporate renewable sources of energy and encourage manufacturing, over $100 billion USD is being committed to the project. The DMIC is sure to contribute to the hardware manufacturing trend, encouraging more companies to enter the market. This project is sure to change the face of India as a global technology superpower, as the cities are constructed.
We are excited for the opportunities that India presents, and looking forward to supporting these initiatives in many ways. Mike Manson, CEO of Taraspan has been actively engaged in the Indian marketplace for many years, and a local Alacrity initiative under his guidance is looking to participate in helping Indian technology companies go global!