Entering the Indian market

Why expand to India?

Swiss start-ups have an inherent need to expand into other countries due to factors such as cost, talent, and market size. India offers English-speaking talent, a vast market and relatively affordable cost structures. Its unique start-up ecosystem offers nearly everything it takes to nurture businesses and thrive in a competitive environment.

What should you expect?

Swiss start-ups can expect a supportive, informal and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in India, where relationship building is the first step to successful conduction of business. The cultural differences are not very challenging and can be ironed out as long as entrepreneurs are open-minded. India is a large market and a long-term vision is recommended for all foreign start-ups.

What is the state of innovation?

The perception of India is evolving from an ‘outsourcing’ hub to a flourishing base for R&D activities and innovation. There are over 125 R&D centres in the fields of core engineering, IT, basic and applied sciences, aerospace and others. India, and Bangalore in particular, is home to a diverse set of domains including ICT, Med Tech, Clean Tech, Social Impact, Design, Bio Tech, Healthcare, Culinary and more.

Is it easy to find qualified workers?

India offers a vast talent pool comprising skilled employees with significant cost advantages. The higher education system comprises 700+ universities and 35,000 colleges; 13 Indian Institutes of Management and 17 Indian Institutes of Technology; feature among the Top 100 institutes for management and engineering studies in the world.

India also offers a very inclusive start-up ecosystem that comprises peer support groups, co-working spaces, angel investors, mentors, incubators, accelerators and venture capitalists, all eager to share knowledge and provide support. The unique entrepreneur-friendly environment enables international ventures to target overseas markets. When the 2014 Nasscom Report was published there were over 3100 start-ups (28% of which were in Bangalore).

What is good about India?

Outstanding English-speaking talent, very large market with growing purchasing power among India’s urban middle classes and quality of life in the metro cities that are globally connected and highly ranked.

…and what are the challenges?

The Indian market exists in multiple layers, tiers and segments. It is crucial to spend time building relationships, and having an open-minded approach towards India and Indians. If an international organisation can set up successfully in India’s chaotic market, it can use that knowledge and experience to set up and run businesses anywhere in the world.

What does swissnex India bring to the table?

  • Innosuisse start-ups can apply online on swissnex India website or write an email.
  • swissnex India reviews the form and organize a series of video calls with Innosuisse start-up to understand their needs and agree on very specific milestones with the Swiss start-up.
  • swissnex India then encourages the Innosuisse start-up to plan either a validation or a market entry trip to India (depending on the stage of start-up)
  •  Innosuisse start-ups are provided with office space at the swissnex India office for up to 3 months. The cost of the desks is covered by Innosuisse for these start-ups. In specific cases start-ups may also be eligible for a one time travel grant of CHF 1000 per person (up to 2 person max each start-up) sponsored by the Gebert Rüf Stiftung.
  • When a start-up arrives in Bangalore there is in-house mentoring by Innosuisse to help with its India business model. Thereafter, introductions can be made to local experts, and meetings and interviews arranged with potential partners/customers and for external international platforms in India.

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Last modification 01.12.2017

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