The commitment to climb a mountain boils down to a calculation of risk, physical strength and the promise of a reward. The decision to scale internationally is quite similar.
Among the fastest expanding markets in the world, India represents a gold mine of business opportunities in a wide range of sectors. Today’s Indian middle class is estimated at 300 million people, comparable in size to the entire European Union.
As such, the Indian market is a daunting and yet tantalizing ascent for international scaling firms. Failing to consider the opportunity means ignoring one of the most promising new markets of the decade. And yet similar to climbing a mountain, achieving success requires a set of carefully calculated risks and investments.
On November 12th, we sat down with Nilesh Gopali, Founder and CEO of AAVOR, to uncover how scaling firms should approach an India market-entry calculation. In addition to providing great insight into India’s unique market dynamic, Nilesh provided a number of resources for international scaling firms to explore.
AAVOR provides international business advisory services for cross-border growth of ventures, especially those where the Internet plays a significant role in their expansion.
Key resources for market research
Nilesh mentioned a number of online resources, including government websites, to help scaling ventures gain a better understanding of the Indian market as a whole as well as specific sectors.
One that he uses consistently for market and sector-specific data, as well as demographics, is the India Brand Equity Foundation or IBEF. The perfect cornerstone resource for exploring the ecosystem, Nilesh finds IBEF’s short summaries on the latest technologies and links to other online resources especially valuable.
Startup India is another online resource for market research, specifically in health tech. He notes that this site can also be used as a gauge for market trends based on the focus of many startups on healthy lifestyle and stress-reducing products and services.
“Because of increased health awareness and access to insurance, just under 5,000 startups and $500 million dollars in investment has gone into this industry.”
And while Nilesh encouraged listeners to contact him directly for more industry-specific online resources, he underscored the importance of market testing and target customer identification. “You need to not only understand the Indian market but understand India as a market for you. Research should complement your work in finding that first customer.”
Trade bodies and industry boards
Nilesh pointed to several Trade bodies and industry boards as valuable sources of pre-market entry support to scaling firms. Specifically the Confederation of Indian Industry, and for those in the tech industry, the National Association of Software and Services Companies or NASSCOM.
NASSCOM is an Indian trade association for the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing industry. As a reference for the scale of the Indian market, NASSCOM alone has committed to supporting 10,000 startups through its accelerator program. Other trade associations and are following suit.
And while many industry boards have their own startup support and initiatives, venture capitalists and private equity funds also have initiatives at an industry-level worth exploring.
As Nilesh explains, “depending on what it is that you’re trying to do, no matter the region or sector you’re in, there’s a huge support for the startup ecosystem in India.”
In fact, he points out that the wide availability and successful promotion of these resources have led many Millennials straight into the Startup sector, rather than traditional employment channels.
Which is to say, international scaling companies will not be the only climbers on the mountain. Fortunately, for those who make the investment, there’s plenty of room at the summit in this vast and growing market.
For more insight into India market-entry, check out our full interview with Nilesh Gopali titled: Capitalize on the India Growth Story for Market Entry. To check out all of MEET’s webinar content on how to successfully scale your company in the U.S. market, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft-land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (860) 573–4821.