Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Posts Tagged ‘global

ABCD – American Born Confused Desi. That’s what they’d call an individual whose parents are originally from India, but probably gave birth to, and raised a son or daughter in the American Soil. The kid probably grew up with nothing more than strong dose of american culture, idealism and the values which grow with interaction of the location population, but the skin color just gives it away. No matter how american you are on the inside, you always end up having to live up to the expectations that rise because of what is visible from the outside.

I remember some of my friends growing up in other countries, that whenever they met people who had lived their entire lives in India, they’d ask them something about the hometown of their parents and some remote village, or some news which was a headlines for a while, and they’d draw a blank. I knew that they always whispered under their breathe that this kid was pretentious, when he or she really wasnt.

That’s not where the issue ended. The issue really began there. The issue really got worse when it came to social engagements. Now Whom would an ABCD marry? An indian girl – in which case the girl would beat him with a worn out pair of slippers cause he’d be clueless about any of the local customs, or a foreigner of the land who’d possibly adjust well with him, but his parents and family would have a hard time reconciling?
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Once a while I actually go on crazy cruise mode and just randomly search for keywords that strike my fancy, hoping to come across a blog or a news article that catches my interest. Its an excercise to get out of the “echo cloud” which happens quite often when you keep listening to the same set of bloggers and writers. I don’t blame them. When all of Paulo Coelho’s book start to sound the same after reading two of his series, I am not surprised that it becomes a case with most bloggers.

So coming back to the point.

While one such exercise, I am across a post from a blog that I used to follow once: Venture Explorer. There was a post on how in this day and age, every startup from day one has to focus on the global market place and do competitive analysis, and potential market analysis of the globe as a whole from day one. That was a pretty interesting read to say the least.

While my trip to delhi this weekend, I met up with quite a bit of folks, and some old time friends that I haven’t had a chance to catch up with lately. So while during one of the dinner meets with someone who is running a fairly successful – actually very successful – internet service, he mentioned how for the past four days his service is under DDoS attacks from China, because them not liking some content which is up on the site. The attacks are apparently causing some slight issues and troubles with the hosting provider who is just plain simply confused at the scale and frequency of the attack which doesnt seem to stop.

Now I am wondering as to what is the solution for such a thing. Globally speaking, the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo and Google have succumbed to the demands of the Chinese government and have let them have their say in whatever these guys do. The Indian government repeatedly gets hacked by chinese hackers who deface government sites, and we are still working on the security protocols to keep them out. And to effectively fight back against these attacks, you need some pretty heavy weight hardware to defend yourself – something that startups don’t have. I mean, if MS, and Google who do have the muscle in terms of popularity, their stance, and technology don’t stand up, what chance does a startup have?

This is a troubling question though, and one that needs to be answered somehow. Maybe we need to put together our elite squad of hackers to fight back, should the need arise. Maybe. Maybe there are better and less complicated solutions.

I believe we are racing towards a global economy. With th US economy getting colder, the heat is quickly going to turn to India to kick off and see some high returns quickly. That’s a theory that I am going with, for now.Here’s a snapshot of the Global Telecom market. It helps to keep this chart in the back of your mind.

Global ARPU

PS: India is the lowest.

Credit: I stole this from Alec Saunders’ Blog.

A friend of mine and I, had this elaborate discussion on some of the advantages of actually being in the valley. Well, Thomas Fieldman is proving himself to be right with the globe turning more and more flat as the years pass by and I am quite positively sure that position holds not that much of a relevance and trumph card anymore.

As it is, I understand that most startup projects that are happening in the valley are being outsourced to companies here in India to be developed. The reason being cost and the availability of talent.

The fact that the dollar is dropping, added to the fact that the ruppee is appreciated is really not helping the case. In most cases, apart from the added headache of managing your team remotely, your cost also ends up being the same. What is even more empathetic is that most of these silicon valley companies end up handing their product developments to companies that probably aren’t the best of the breed when it comes to development – the biggest issue when it comes to outsourcing.

I am all for outsourcing service-related work. Management of networks, servers and mindless crunching of data and numbers seems to be a valid point, but would a startup want to outsource its most crucial asset – the product itself? Hmm… I am not sure if thats the right way to go.

So, what does a startup need anyways?

Access to the market, capital, human resources and the depth in a market to build a product that actually makes sense. An entrepreneur from the valley will always have his roots there, and does have the liberty to fly to and forth, along with taking advantage of the evolving business models of the east.

Being a global entrepreneur, might be the trend of the future to match up with the world becoming flat.

I question, Why don’t most of these silicon valley entrepreneurs move to India anyways? It might not be the way to go as the business scales up, but for being on bootstrapping mode and to get a product and team together, I strongly believe that India is the way to go. If you are the next Mark Zuckerburg trying to build the next big thing, India is very much the place to be.

An elaborate post on this, is soon to follow.


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