India is a land of opportunities and abundant resources. We merely have to set our priorities right and channelize our efficiencies better to find the next few billion dollar opportunities, according to Rajan Anandan, VP and MD Google India. Startups need to mine these unexplored and untapped areas to uncover opportunities with potential to scale, he adds.
Follow the leaders
TCS is the primary example of a company that is quietly making waves in the international landscape. Did you know that TCS' market value is more than that of Yahoo, Twitter and Linkedin? Infosys' market value is higher than Yahoo's. So, these companies have shown that it is possible and start-ups must take a leaf out of these successes and believe in themselves and their capabilities.
There are 30 publicly traded internet companies in the US in the Billion dollar bracket, of which 10 are in the SaaS segment, with Salesforce leading the way. China has 17 publicly traded firms in the Billion dollar bracket. Anandan believes that India may see 10 or 15 such firms in the next decade.
The SaaS and Advertising spaces are most attractive segments to explore. Saas is interesting because there are, by this time, seven billion dollar Indian companies in the IT services sphere. They just have to power their prevailing influence, portfolio and potential. They can sell straight to the US since they already have setups in the US market.
Next, consider this: There are 2.4 billion consumers online but one fifth of the companies online are selling on the internet. This is a huge untapped opportunity here. The advertising space with mobile ads, display ads, video streams etc. is one more area which has plenty of scope for domestic start-ups. There are millions of SMBs in India, but only a few use the web to advertise. Local classifieds are naturally going to evolve with more movement of the SMB chunk onto the online space. In the coming areas the number of advertisers in this segment is going to increase and that signifies a huge market to make use of.
Anandan feels that Ecommerce and Local Classifieds are two areas that can make penetration smoother into a new market. More and more online transactions mean that billion dollar companies can emerge in the ecommerce market. Out of the 150 Million online in India, only 20 million engage in online transactions. However, with better connectivity and bandwidth, it is predicted that the number of online transactions will go up to 500 million by 2020 in India. With online payments accelerating forward at a rapid pace, start-ups should gain a foothold in his space. Vernacular Voice access services are also ripe for exploration.
In conclusion, the startup community simply needs to dream big, believe in itself, pool resources and move steadfastly towards its goals.