It is getting harder to keep a track on the new ventures that keep coming up globally every day. The world is seeing an era of young entrepreneurs making their way out of the conventional way of things. NASSCOM 10,000 is one initiative that is focussed on highlighting the ones who are noteworthy and giving a direction to the startups. In a candid chat with iamWire, Rajat Tandon, Senior Director, NASSCOM 10,000 Startups.
What made you become a part of NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Program?
This is the best place to be in. It’s an attempt to do something that corporate rooms don’t allow, and helping startups to get invested is a great thing.
How is the startup market in India from an investor’s point of view?
Startups have picked up traction in these last 2 years since more people are talking about it. Education, Healthcare and technology startups are what investors are looking for. It is to be noted that the percentage of ideas converting to prototype is dropping, less angels are involved now.
And why are we not seeing many angel investments happening lately? Have the angels given up on startups?
Angels in India are not taking on risky startup fundings. Unlike in the Valley, it is easier to raise INR 1 crore VC fund than INR 10 lakhs in Angel money. Startups themselves look for merger. However, now we are seeing an increase and improvement in the startups that are coming up. They have better structure and better teams, and are stepping up their game.
It is often heard that Indian product based startups are not considered for top VC investments unless they have a Valley presence. What’s your take on that?
Startups gun for low hanging opportunities, which are in India. For product centric startups, the customer base is in North America. There is a small group of early stage and growth startups that are building for the valley. And for those who are concerned about VCs wanting a global product, if a product is successful in India then it will be scalable globally. What is important is to have startups that can complement the industry. At NASSCOM’s events we try to get startups connect with the CXOs from different industries for mentorship and putting across connections.
What is the current goal of NASSCOM? Will you stop after 10,000 startups?
We have new initiatives lined up. The online platform is seeing a good traction. We are looking for engaging with Government bodies to provide help for the startups, for instance the Karnataka government is giving more warehouse space, West Bengal Government is also cooperative. We don’t think we will stop, right now we have had 529 startups under our wing, but have also affected at least 150 other startups. One advice for all startups would be that an idea is not enough, a prototype is required to move ahead when looking for investments