Alan Rosling’s book Boom Country?The New Wave of Indian Enterprise offers a new perspective on new age Indian businesses
What are the factors behind the rise of entrepreneurship in India? How is a fresh wave of enterprise and start-ups; and rapid advancements in technology contributing to the changes in the Indian economy. These are the fundamental questions that former Tata Director turned entrepreneur Alan Rosling’s book Boom Country? The New Wave of Indian Enterprise seeks to answer. The book was launched at the Taj Vivanta in Bengaluru recently.
Talking about the book, Alan says, “I drew inspiration from the multitude of stories I have heard and the issues I have witnessed in my journey as an entrepreneur in India. I noticed that more and more people from non-business backgrounds were becoming entrepreneurs. The best companies are losing their best talent to startups and people creating something of their own. I interviewed many Indian entrepreneurs — from the traditional leading business houses, first-generation entrepreneurs and new-generation start-ups.”
He adds, “I think this trend is an impact of liberalisation that opened up multiple sectors of the Indian economy in the 1990s. It is also easier to raise money for a new venture from venture capitalists, provided you have a good story and a nice team. There has been a fundamental cultural change in India, with regard to the perception of business. People are ready to take risks, and have enough opportunities available to them, even if the business does not take off.”
Alan offered a word of caution. “Entrepreneurs continue to face multiple challenges, including lack of innovation, sectoral changes and access to capital for those people who cannot speak English. The proportion of women in business is also abysmally low.”
At the launch, Alan was the participant and moderator in a panel discussion featuring Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon, Amuleek Singh, founder of Chaipoint, Sharad Sharma, co-founder of iSpirit, and Saroja Yeramilli, founder-CEO of Melorra.
The emergence of a Bengaluru as an aspirational IT hub, the need for more inclusion of women and the use of biometric data to make doing business easier were the main points of discussion.
Amuleek Singh pointed out,”Whenever I go back to Baramulla, my hometown in Kashmir, I find more and more people looking towards Bengaluru as a startup hub. The city in itself is seen as a role model. I know of people who head to big cities with a business plan, do not succeed and then head back to set up the same business successfully in their home towns.”
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw talked about venture capitalists not being keen on investing in businesses that take a longer time to give returns.
The discussion concluded with the panellists expressing confidence that India would be able to shed the question mark that accompanies all stories about the Indian economy and emerge as a major player in the world.
Boom Country is published by Hachette India is available for ₹459.