Exploring the Hottest Fields of Investments in Mumbai
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The start-up ecosystem in India is gaining momentum with every passing day. From small towns to metro cities, individuals from all over the nation are harbouring dreams of bringing innovation to society. However, 90 per cent of the disruptive ventures are established in and around either Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai.
Now let’s consider this: if these cities together were considered a universe, eliminating the rest of the regions, only 20 per cent of the start-ups would be coming out of Mumbai and the rest would be equally divided between Bangalore and Delhi. Why? Because even though the city offers an elite lifestyle, the cost of survival is sky-high.
How feasible would it be for a consumer or product organization with minimum funds to set shop in a city like Mumbai? Many start-up founders in conversation with Entrepreneur India have earlier expressed themselves over the pros and cons of establishing a business in the financial capital of India. What about the investors?
Fuelling the startup ecosystem are venture capitalists who not only support potential ventures financially but also by providing strategic support to them. We talked to a few VCs to gauge their point of view on the hottest fields of investments in Mumbai. Here’s what we discovered:
Hot Areas for Investment
We have established that the cost of living is high in Mumbai but one can’t deny that the quality of life is better there in comparison to other competitive cities. Businesses that are linked to services or tech with the involvement of finance, fundamentally what we call FinTech, can find the required talent in Mumbai, shared Vikram Gupta, the Founder and Managing Partner at IvyCap Ventures.
Various companies in the pharma space have, however, established there R&D centres in Mumbai but people are always looking to move out to Tier-2 towns. To reduce the migration, Gupta suggests that the government can create startup zones where organizations if establishing a business, could be considered as special zone startups and get the tax aids and the benefit could be extended to their investors too.
Lightbox Ventures’ Investment Partner, Varun Kumar Varma of it believe that businesses are using emerging technologies to build intimate relationships with their consumers by crafting personalized solutions. “We have noticed some popular consumer-centric themes emerging that founders are using as the basis of innovative business models these include personalization, wellness and convenience to address consumer needs that we see in Mumbai.”
“We see more traction happening in Mumbai in FinTech but B2B SaaS companies have a more profound presence in Bangalore and NCR,” Gupta provided. We’d hardly find any product organizations in the city due to the high risk and major loss kind of nature these businesses have. “In Mumbai, product innovation happens in very specific areas like FinTech or the stock market or financial products.”
Backing the opinion, Dr Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, the Co-Founder & President of Venture Catalysts confirmed that Mumbai is all about Fintech, Enterprise Tech & FMCG. As for Navi Mumbai, he suggested that auto-tech & IT belt are creating hype too.
Unlike Gupta, Varma believes that Fintech is just a feature and any platform with a large audience would look to take advantage of it. “Financial services is a fairly established sector for which talent is more available across the country make us believe that despite Mumbai's legacy in financial services the potential for growth will exist across the country.”
In the past, many tech startups, despite having started out of Mumbai, have shifted shops to Bangalore or Delhi. Quora and Quickr, for instance, shifted operations to Bangalore due to quality of entry-level and middle-level talent found in that region. Mumbai while has no dearth of corporate veterans but startups can’t afford to get pricey employees on board before reaching a certain stage.
“When you are looking to invest in a tech company in Mumbai, you are bound to question how they would scale up and manage their costs while growing,” Gupta further expressed. He suggested that some organizations also choose to move their backend operations to Pune due to the presence of renowned educational institutions there.
As a state, Maharashtra is not just restricted to Fintech & FMCG, Dr Sharma furthered. “We see Pune as a huge Automobile & IT industry, Nasik as a home for agri-tech companies, besides Nagpur is a huge belt. Hence, it’s a huge state with diversified business opportunities,” he concluded.