Sanjeev Mohanti, ex-CEO of Jabong, Pranay Chulet, CEO of Quikr, Vishal Gondal, CEO of GOQii, Ritesh Malik of Innov8, Kanika Tekriwal founder of JetSetGo and 100 more such startup honchos and experts would soon mentor startups from tier-II, tier-III, tier-IV & tier-V cities and towns in India under the aegis of `The India Network’.
Former CEO of Indianroots and current founder of Scale Ventures, Rahul Narvekar is building The India Network -a community that will focus across tier-II, III, IV and V cities and towns in India -to create an ecosystem wherein entrepreneurs, business people, artists, artisans, students and other like-minded people can be connected via a data layer and using technology tools find synergies, connections, business and funding with the best globally . “Up till now 100 have committed to mentor startups from smaller cities and towns and another 1,000 are in the pipeline,” says Rahul Narvekar adding that `The India Network’ is to open its first coworking space in tier-III city Udaipur. Recently , Scale Ventures also made its first investment in EngineerBabu, a startup based out of tierIII city -Indore.
“So far, my experience has been that most entrepreneurs in small cities start a business because they are passionate about the idea or have a solution to a problem and not because they want to exit at a sexy valuation,” said Narvekar, who has been traveling extensively for last three years meeting lots of young entrepreneurs from smaller cities and town who were looking for mentors. “What most of them lack is exposure, scale, mind-set, access to right quality of mentors, funding, but most of all `how to build their narrative’,” said Narvekar adding that the idea of `The India Network’ is to bring all this to these small cities startups.
“I personally believe that the greatest ideas which will shape the India of the future will not come from a Bombay or Delhi but from smaller citiestown like Nanded or Khandwa,” said Kanika Tekriwal, founder, JetSetGo, adding that she would like to do everything within her capacity to get these ideas to reality.
“We believe that by adding value to their business, we can reap financial returns and help generate the next entrepreneurial cult in India.Also, no one in the country is focussing on these cities which gives us an edge,” said Ritesh Malik, cofounder, Innov8 and also the founder of Guerilla Ventures. Ritesh has recently been listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 in the Finance and Venture list (Asia) 2016.
According to Ritesh, the entrepreneurial culture in metro cities nowadays has lot of replicas and lack of innovation per se. “What we have learnt from Tier IIIII cities is that people are solving indigenous problems of India, that excites us.
Source : The Economic Times (Delhi)