Five Biggest Problems Faced by Startups in India

The idea of startups and entrepreneurship is not very new in India. But, the lacuna between mulling over to create one and implementing the ideas, in reality, is indeed a great one. Startups can be of two types; one that has some groundbreaking, pioneering ideas and secondly, one that is intended to make newer bottles for old wine. Whichever it is, the nitty-gritty remains almost the same. The challenges they face in the beginning do not differ much either. What are the biggest challenges faced by start-ups? Let’s have a quick and pithy discussion.

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Lack of Knowledge Regarding Market Demand: In India, every state has a unique taste, culture, food habit, language and outfit. So, what is selling in Maharashtra like hot cakes might remain untouched in Tamilnadu. A thorough knowledge of region-wise need and a practical market survey is of utmost importance before venturing into the perilous sea of startups. Location thus plays a key factor in the success. In this particular case, it’s better not to stick to Steve Job’s suggestion of not asking the customers, for people don’t know what they want until you show them. One should remember, every startup doesn’t produce something as revolutionary as iPods. Marketing strategy comes under this same section as well.

Proper Mentoring: Having the business acumen always keeps one a step ahead of others. This is, perhaps, even bigger problem than the accumulation of funding. Money can’t grant you wisdom and vision, though it’s necessary for other things. So, careful and small steps at a time can help you gather momentum eventually in the long run. Talent, tenacity and tactics are the 3T’s to remember.

Funding: Accumulation of funding depends on several factors. Personal financial stability as well as that of partners, the size of the business, connections and finding the right time to invest. While it’s a challenging task for most startups, a lucky few don’t face many problems with it.

Hiring or Finding The Right Persons to Join the Team: This is directly proportional to your access to capital. As I’ve said, funding is a challenge for most startups, so hiring skilled manpower with an in-depth knowledge of the concerned field, often becomes difficult. Experienced persons, on the other hand, do not feel the urge to involve themselves with the risk-involvement of start-ups. It’s a choppy affair and a perennial problem unless you’ve a dedicated and like-minded bunch of friends.

Management (Read Hard work and Dedication): As the business starts to take shape, it needs every bit of attention to maintain the flow. Even from the inception, a clear blueprint should be in mind to avoid any anomaly in the inflow which can amplify itself overnight to make things out of control.

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The cultural diversity and huge population of India could be an added advantage for startups. But, in our society, an unconventional step is not always welcomed by family and friends and failure can even lead to social ostracization! Ours is a risk-averse society and, instead of inspiring the young entrepreneurs, we often discourage them advising them to jump on the bandwagon. If one has the talent, conviction and willpower, she/he is sure to succeed. My friend, Roshni Banerjee, an IITian and now an entrepreneur, a jewellery-maker under the brand-name Gahonaz and author Santosh Avvannavar of Qtpi Robotics hold testimony to this. I know there might be a thousand others out there, but just mentioning them as I know their stories. Success, most of the times, lies just around the corner. Try to grab it before you miss the boat.



52 responses to “Five Biggest Problems Faced by Startups in India

  1. Pingback: He turned a stage void into good fortune – LIFESTYLE DESIGN·

  2. Love the three T’s! As i’m also in the process of starting my own business, i can relate to many of the struggles those you mention in your post also face. Some handy tips to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Five Biggest Problems Faced by Startups in India — Scattered Thoughts – Business Startup-Bay Area·

  4. Pingback: Five Biggest Problems Faced by Startups in India — Scattered Thoughts – The 52 Weeks Challenge·

  5. This is the precise weblog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost arduous to argue with you. You positively put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!


  6. TREMENDOUS! A lot of people failed at what you accomplished, simply because they were busy finding problems while you were busy finding solutions. Well done.I took a lesson. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many youngsters want to be their own boss and to make lot of money because they have ideas. But, they don’t know how much it takes to get there. Great article and advice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautifully encapsulated the perspectives and problems behind the entrepreneurship and startup culture in India, myself being a startup entrepreneur in the tech space for education I have seen the hurdles that keep coming and how in India it is indeed a bigger challenge compared to the western counter parts. My counterparts are there who struggled getting the funds in India and they tried their hands in US and they were back with their kitty full.

    Yes, there is both an advantage and disadvantage given the diversity of our country where we have carefully outmaneuver ourselves in such a maze. There is no dearth of good idea and talent in our country, what is missing is the startup ecosystem…the biggest irony is those who have ideas don’t have the money and those who have money don’t put it into good ideas, and resultant is a bad startup setup in India. Though it has changed significantly in the last couple of years, we are going to see a sea change in the next few years, and we are at that cusp of seeing companies like Google to Facebook coming from India.

    I agree one of the biggest challenge is getting the fund at the right time and also getting as required to get the idea grounded and time to take off with sufficient money to fuel its growth…in the overall analysis what really matters is the novelty of idea and the team that can work cohesively and doggedly to execute that idea in its true spirit.Today we face big hiccup in getting right people not such talent but what counts more in startup setup is the right attitude and which is much more valuable than their knowledge and skill which can always be acquired…

    Thanks Mani for sharing such a lovely post which I can fully relate and it resonates well with all budding entrepreneurs and the startup culture in India.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was not aware that you’re a startup entrepreneur, Nihar. I always thought that you work in some MNC dealing with tech-related education. It’s great to know about it! Really a bold step and highly commendable act. My best wishes 🙂

      I’m glad that you’ve shared your experiences here. It matters a lot when we have words from the veterans. Thank you so much for your insights. I’m sure many of my readers will be benefitted by your words… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • O! let me clarify Mani. Yes, I was working for MNC, left long back and been into entrepreneurship, the Edu Tech Company I run is Digital Campuz is an “on cloud and on mobile” products and services for digitizing educational campuses. So much to explore in this space and with fasting changing landscape scope and scale it is challenging and at the same time exciting where things are happening.
        I could relate to all that you have so succinctly identified and profoundly articulated. This is exactly what we all startup entrepreneurs go through day in and day out.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks so much Mani for your good wishes and yes things are opening up big in this space and we have started seeing lot of traction…hoping for a better outcome in the startup set we are in.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s an empowering post on what works and the need to offer something unique to a state. Of course, 3 Ts matters above everything else. I have a start up India that I intend to work in a couple of years. This post is an education and of course, talent and funding matter the most. We need to be patient, have the passion and belief for the long term. I think the biggest issue that people offer short term solutions to make quick bucks. It’s never about the money at the start but the vision in crafting your USP. It’s about the people and quality.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. An inspiring post, overflowing with pearls of wisdom. Cultural influences and too much advice does cloud the minds of those who still take the risk of diving in! Patience and perseverance are the key factors besides all those points you have mentioned. I am glad two of your friends have been so successful Mani. My best wishes for them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Such an informative piece on startups, Mani. Finding someone that can work well with you can be a challenge. I’m particular picky when it comes to working with people, loving it when ideas are shared and no one gets put down 😊 In Australia there is cultural diversity too but sometimes that can get in the way of impressions and opportunity due to racism. That said, that landscape is getting better here and more and more each of us are moving forward with our individual interests, be it pop up cafes, pop up clothes stores and blogs 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great to know how things are going on in your country, Mabel. I think every country has its limitations and advantages. We, the citizens, should try to understand the problems and make things work in the right process. Society is here also changing rapidly. There was a time when Indian families averted sending their children overseas for jobs/studies/business. But, now, the number of people going to other countries for different purposes is increasing thick and fast.

      Thanks a lot for sharing your views, Mabel. Always a pleasure to hear from you… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Some very good pointers.. to start up takes a lot of time and patience I know as I am struggling since the last 8 months now.. but still hoping for best and staying strong.. fingers crossed…

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Here in Canada people can get a small loan for start up business and it is like anywhere else know your product and know who will buy that product. It seems more difficult in India with its many diversities that it would keep business to a locality instead of mainstream across the country eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Despite all the knowledge and information, you’ll never know what’s in store unless you try. Quite like testing the waters. Even when all the elements are in place, a boat may not make it through… that’s life. Your five points are bang on… Great write-up Maniparna

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Very apt post for the times Maniparna. Lack of funding and mentoring, innumerable layers of consumers and the differences in their choices, typical ways of doing business, finding the right talents etc remain the key hurdles in entrepreneurship in India. Besides these, the expectations of quick returns from the family and stakeholders add on to the challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

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