The time is vibrant for India both in the field of manufacturing or technology. With the initiatives like “Make in India” or “Startup Stand Up” or “Skill India Mission” the ray of hope has bloomed. VC funding is still flowing in abundancy. The previous years have been dominated by Food tech, Retail E-commerce and Cab Aggregators. This year it can be Real estate, rideshares and services industry.
The major of these funding are associated with the startups rising in the metros. We have seen few small town startups (in the space of digital marketing, content and technology) also aiming to aim big and reach the league of extraordinary companies.
But have we ever wondered why are people from small town tend to move to big cities only, if they want to pursue their dreams of building up a company.
Lack of Infrastructure
Electricity, Internet Connectivity and Working Space are the three major infrastructure needs of a startup these days. In most of the small towns the condition of electricity is improving but it has not reached a stage where in people can be 100 % sure of the supplies. Many cities are still working on 2G networks only. The kind of internet bandwidth required of big files upload or video conferences with clients or vendors require at least 2 Mbps of uninterrupted network. A working space with electricity back up, food stores nearby and well connected with transport is hard to find in small cities as they are already pre occupied with veteran companies. A co – working space is demand but no one is ready for the supply.
Rising above the basic needs
Families or societies in these places are generally focused on having a secured well settled job rather than allowing someone to take a plunge in the startup ocean full of unpredictable instances and no surety of success. Without even understanding the guys’ vision people might start comparing her / him with the next door child who is working as a sales person somewhere or working in a tech enabled company in the metro. The government has to fulfill the basic needs of the society for food, shelter and basic physical infrastructure and cannot focus on startup related policies.
No one to guide over
Most of the industry stalwarts or leaders generally tend to stay of the city (state) and very little go to their home town, that too when invited for special functions / occasions. Any guy fresh out of college or with 2 – 3 years of experience tries to take the plunge but they need expert advice one time or the other. This is most urgently required in times of dire needs. The startup founders don’t have the required network of individuals who can guide them over.
The writer is Head of Products at Coho.in (Comfortable Homes) and is actively involved in startups discussions.