The Indian start-up ecosystem is just warming up. However, the survival rate of these companies continues to be dismal owing to a host of issues including access to capital, mentorship, right tools and technologies as well as identifying the right revenue model to break-even faster.
To address many of the concerns that start-ups face in the early phase of their journey, GrowthEnabler, a technology-enabled virtual growth advisory and mentoring platform for start-ups, has launched its operations in India. Co-founded by three former Gartner executives — Aftab Malhotra, Rajeev Bhanduni and Lars Lin Villebaek – GrowthEnabler claims to offer everything that a start-up needs, at a monthly subscription rate. The services range from creating smart business models to building an outstanding growth team to attracting and raising capital and improvising product portfolio.
A start-up entrepreneur with merely an idea of a product can create and build an entire team with the guidance of advisors at GrowthEnabler, it said. All these come at a subscription rate on the platform, in the range of Rs 6,000 – Rs 19,000 ($97- $317) per month, depending on the type of plans.
Headquartered in London, GrowthEnabler follows a go-to-market strategy where the company focuses on emerging markets, especially India. “This is due to three broad reasons,” said Malhotra, who was also the former vice-president at Gartner Inc. “India’s economic and start-up growth trajectory, the beautifully-timed Indian market with a high potential, in the next three-five years and an overwhelming demand that many start-ups will have here are the reasons.”
Prior to their India foray, the trio did a study on the Indian start-up ecosystem and the results led to the genesis of their venture. According to Bhanduni, almost 10,000 companies have been registering online on a yearly basis for the past two-three years in India. “Ninety-seven per cent are private limited companies. Currently, the ecosystem in India is not enough to foster the growth and success of all of these,” said Bhanduni, a former regional vice-president, Gartner.
“Most of the incubators and accelerators we have are focused around IT start-ups, the numbers of which are in the range of 1,000-1,500. The rest 98,000-99,000 companies, which account for 95 per cent, have no access to an ecosystem and are unviable,” he added. About 86 per cent of these companies fail to take off and wrap up within 12-14 months. It is this section where platforms like GrowthEnabler try to focus on.
The bootstrapped company that started eight months ago on a pilot basis is trying to impart the three Cs of competency, confidence and communication to Indian entrepreneurs.
“A major inhibition for a majority of Indian entrepreneurs is their lack of confidence because they think that a lack of international education or an IIM/IIT graduation is the first step towards becoming a successful entrepreneur,” said Malhotra.
“Our target is to change this lack of confidence through mentorship,” he added.