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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Anup Jain, Managing Partner of Orios Venture Partners (Part 6)

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 10th 2022

Sramana Mitra: You mentioned earlier that the Indian startup boom has happened in two cities – Bangalore and Delhi NCR. We’ve had a lot of success in Chennai as well. Some of the bigger successes came out of Chennai. What are you seeing in other places?

We are seeing companies coming out of Chandigarh and many other places. That’s part of the vision of One Million by One Million – to enable not only all corners of India but all corners of the world. We have companies from Tanzania. We have companies from Chandigarh. I’m from Calcutta, so I’ve always had a soft corner for Calcutta. It is a different India. It is a different world. How is that impacting the startup ecosystem?

Anup Jain: There’s aspiration everywhere. It’s not that only people living in Delhi and Bangalore want to found a startup. That aspiration is universal amongst India’s youth and the not-so-young as well. At the same time, the resources are clustered in these two cities. Finding the right team members and finding those tech alphas are much easier.

Most investors have their presence in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. It becomes easy to have those conversations to meet up with them in a post-COVID world. There are lots of events and mixers which help a founder exchange notes and network. I do hope and wish that every principal city will have its own ecosystems. I hope we grow to that level. There is aspiration everywhere.

Sramana Mitra: There are founders in Silicon Valley that have operations elsewhere. There are a lot of US geographies that are coming up very well against this trend. Vermont has created this special program to have remote workers live there. Utah has become a major hub. Are you seeing that? Are people setting up companies in Bangalore but having a satellite somewhere else?

Anup Jain: When it grows beyond a certain size, it is reaching that point where we’ll have some of these incentives. A lot of states today have realized the potential of this ecosystem in their own economies. It’s not far from such incentives being played out.

Sramana Mitra: There are also market dynamics. There is tremendous attrition in the Bangalore and NCR economies. The talent war is furious. People look for alternate ways of accessing pools of talent.

Anup Jain: Absolutely. With the hybrid work culture where employees can decide where to base themselves and, on certain days, come in for meetings, it works well for productivity. For the most-populated of cities, there is deep congestion. We don’t want to lose productivity on the commute. We’d rather have employees energized and contributing fully.

Sramana Mitra: There have been lots of bad things that happened with COVID, but there are significant productivity gains because of COVID. One of them is being able to work without commuting from anywhere. That bodes very well for the more distributed development of India and the world in general. American investors have no trouble investing in people over Zoom calls which is not the case before COVID. You can sell to global customers without meeting in person. These are very entrepreneur-friendly trends.

Anup Jain: Absolutely. We’ve done investments and only met the founders 1.5 years later. We’re not outliers. Every other investor has changed their point of view. For founders as well, they can focus on building their companies.

Sramana Mitra: It was a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 6 in the series : 1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Anup Jain, Managing Partner of Orios Venture Partners
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