A lot has happened over the last 31 days in the Indian startup ecosystem. While there have been some major announcements from governments and companies across the country, there have also been several fallbacks in several companies. Down south, a lot of efforts and strategies to foster the startup ecosystem in India have been made and some major international tech players have also set their eyes for their operations.
Ratan Tata stated that the startups in India still needs to evolve more and has a long way to go in terms of disruptive ideas. He believes that this has been due to the lack of an encouraging ecosystem for startups in our country. He added that entrepreneurial spirit should be fostered more by governments as they have an influential role to play in the development of a strong startup environment. Kerala seem to have paid attention to Ratan Tata’s words and has approved the proposal by Kerala Startup Mission to offer permission to teachers and their students to take sabbatical and venture into entrepreneurship. Teachers who always aspired to become entrepreneurs can now take get a temporary break from their work and get started with their business ideas under this decision. Cool right?
Speaking of Kerala, it’s neighboring state’s one of busiest cities – Chennai – gets its largest Amazon office space in India. Yes, last month, Amazon leased close to 4,50,000 square feet of space at Ramanujan Information Technology City in Chennai. While initially, only 2,00,000 square feet of space will be occupied this year, the remaining space will be occupied over the course of next one and a half years. Besides, Amazon has also filed a patent to use drones for delivery in India.
One of the other international player, Apple , on the other hand, is all geared up to launch its Apply Pay service in India. The Cupertino based tech giant is speculatively in talks with local market players who already have a market in the country to partner with Apple for their service. Apple Senior Vice President revealed the news considering the growing user base of Apple products in India.
Uber, the revolutionary cab service, has also introduced a new service that it calls Premier in Bengaluru. With the Silicon Valley of India buzzing with IT professionals and entrepreneurs, commuters are always on the lookout for more convenient and affordable ways of travel. The Premier service from Uber targets them with its superior riding options available at friendly rates. The service is already available in Mumbai and Pune. Besides, one of the most sought after service from Uber – the Pool has also been launched in Jaipur, Ahmadabad and Chandigarh. This carpooling service from Uber encourages users commuting on the same route to share their rides, paving way for reduced emissions and fuel consumption.
In an aim to help more people find affordable rooms across India and expand its inventory of quality hotels, Yatra has partnered with OYO rooms. The popular travel agency has close to 65,000 hotels under its inventory and with this move, it just plans to increase its base manifold. OYO rooms has been reporting consistent growth since 2015 and partnering with the travel portal will only fetch them more business and patronage.
One of the world’s most elite and niche fashion brands Zara went online with an e-commerce store in India. After 7 years of openings its first brick and mortar store, the fashion giant took its business online to stay ahead of the competition in the Indian market. With companies like Myntra, Koovs, Jabong and more attracting users, it will be interesting to see how the Indian market makes use of the Zara online store.
With fuel consumption and emissions increasing by the day, the need for an environment-friendly alternate is at an all time high. That’s what Mahindra and Mahindra also envisions. With it being the only company to roll out electric vehicles, it is now planning to partner with Ford India to come up with an electric sedan.
Wunder, the Germany based carpooling company has also been officially launched in India in three major cities – Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru. Though the app has been around from early this year, it officially rolled out to the cities after having passed the litmus test. With the service, Wunder aims to build a community that is aware of the modern day mobility issues a layman faces. If you’ve been using Instagram, you would have seen a lot of sponsored ad of Wunder on your feed.
After Singapore, India becomes the second country in Asia to have the Mastercard Labs. Located in Pune, the Innovation Center is the ninth for the company in the world. The center has been set up to foster the potential of payment, commerce and tech ideas at a rapid pace in India.
On the food and beverage front, Swiggy came up with the very resourceful program to help its restaurants get a collateral-free loan at moderate interest rates. With zero initial deposits, Swiggy has teamed up with Indifi to offer its restaurant partners loans that will be disbursed within a week of processing. Swiggy calls it’s the Swiggy Capital Assist. Zomato, on the other hand, launched a Report Abuse feature to flag off any review that might have been written to bring down the repute of a restaurant on purpose and those fake ones as well. From the users end, this feature will also allow them to report any instances where restaurants promise freebies and vouchers in exchange of positive reviews.
Zoho, the Chennai based tech giant, seems to understand that project management is a serious affair. That’s why it recently launched Zoho Sprints, an exhaustive project management solution that will allow various teams involved in a project to work together incrementally and iteratively in short spans of time to quickly ship products.
Lastly, the government is also keeping up with the increasing demand for superfast internet services and the inevitable convenience that comes along with it. It is now inviting tenders to set up WiFi hubs in over 2,50,000 gram panchayats. By the end of 2017, it is gearing up to launch high speed broadband services in over 100,000 gram panchayats, taking its Digital India concept a step further towards reality.
Well, that’s all for this month. Let’s hope November is more significant and revolutionary for the start up community and that companies across India get all the support and leverage that is needed to offer solution and convenience to Indian consumers.