MNCs and corporate giants have gradually warmed up to the startup ecosystem, owing to the tremendous amount of talent and innovation that exist in them. Major Indian and U.S.-based IT giants have allocated funds to support startups, a number of them have initiated accelerator and mentorship programs.
In an endeavour to do the same, earlier this month Indian IT major Wipro Ltd said it would work with startups in India, which are associated with Microsoft Accelerator , to help them scale their businesses and reach out to global customers.
The partnership is part of Microsoft Accelerator’s CoInnovate programme, under which it also joined hands with another IT major Tata Consultancy Services in June.
K.R. Sanjiv, CTO & Sr. Vice President, Wipro Ltd told Entrepreneur India about what the IT major expects from this collaboration and his perspective about startups –MNC bondings.
Here’s what Wipro seeks in startups
According to Sanjiv, the following are characteristics Wipro looks for in startups -
- Agility and speed to market have always been important, but it is has become more critical now, as the pace of technology changes have significantly accelerated. So, it is not sufficient to be fast, you have to become faster. More partnerships and more innovation is the way forward
- It is clear that there is an enormous amount of innovation that is possible. The corporates need a change of mindset and culture by being open to getting things done via open innovation processes and systems (as opposed to doing it themselves). Succeeding is difficult because of lack of control on development and value proposition, but with additional effort, there is a possibility to succeed in more areas and pursue more opportunities which will offset any loss of control
- A variety of innovation is being done in technology. You have to have a portfolio approach in order to scale and reduce your ‘innovation risk’, and that requires more open innovation.
“There is a larger network effect and social impact too. The Indian technology industry will be stronger with a more successful startup ecosystem,” he added
Startups & MNCs can work together and how?
For startups, connecting with larger MNCs can give them the resources and mentorship required to scale their product. According to Sanjiv, for startups to connect with large MNCs the following qualities are required -
- Medium to large start-ups solutions which address new or known customer use cases in an innovative way, should be enterprise-ready (i.e. scalable, integrate-able), can be applied across multiple industries and are relevant to us
- Good management talent in the start-ups is also important, for obvious reasons, but it is also important for us as the start-ups scale.
Wipro-Microsoft Accelerator plan to help late stage or growth stage companies/startups with GTM efforts than product development. Most of the late stage or growth stage startups already have a matured product for target market segments. If the product development roadmap requires fine-tuning, then Wipro would further mentor/advise them.