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What's Driving the Startup Ecosystem in Mumbai? Understanding the hidden potential in Mumbai's disruptive organizations

By Aastha Singal

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Regarded as the financial hub of India, Mumbai is not far behind than other metro cities when talked about adopting the startup culture. When the entire nation is swept by the wave of technology, this megacity is not immune to the power it holds. However, unlike the southern cities, this Maratha land is driven by the organizations operating in fintech and enterprise tech spaces.

The city not only houses the world's biggest entertainment industry residing in its heart but also has multiple legacy businesses, conglomerates and financial institutions running their operations here. While the condescending attitude of family organizations during the years of startup innovations was a problem but increasing government support and flourishing ecosystem has turned the tables.

Mushrooming Angels

Mumbai's high-end nightlife, financial power and intellectual background make it an attractive market for young entrepreneurs to set up their innovative ventures in. Understanding the hidden potential in these disruptive organizations, established businesses are extending a helping hand towards the budding startups through angel investments.

Many entrepreneurial veterans including Anand Mahindra, Azim Premji and others have been actively pumping in money into the startup ecosystem, providing the skilled leaders with financial support. Reliance's recent investment in the conversational AI startup Haptik is an investment that corporates do acknowledge the talent.

Infrastructural Challenges

What push the younger lot towards southern cities for establishing their startups are Mumbai's sky-rocketing real estate prices, traffic situation and the overly noisy environment. While the fostering culture of co-working spaces, cabs taking the ownership of city roads and the availability of convenient home-delivery services has worked well, there's a long way to go.

Maharashtra government has been time and again criticized for not taking enough initiatives to handhold the startups. The past year, however, has been different. Not only did the state government sanctioned a network of 16 startup incubator centres across the state to promote the state's entrepreneurial talent and provide them with a startup ecosystem, but it also took the onus of inviting startups for long-term Business-to-Government (B2G) collaborations.

Learning Opportunities

The house of big names like Justdial, Bookmyshow, Toppr, Ola Cabs, Pepperfry, Cleartrip and Quikr, Mumbai today holds the third position in terms of overall funding activity in India. To further catalyse the growth of startups in the state, the Maharashtra government recently organized the Maharashtra Startup Week.

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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