Why Indian Startups Need to Look Beyond Home Market ? Reaching international market has its own set of challenges like culture barrier, local competitors and finding the right talent

By Nidhi Singh

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Gone are the days when Indian startups limited themselves to the home country. Wide exposure and thirst for growth have turned catalysts to Indian startups eyeing overseas markets.

An aim at consumers globally soon after building a loyal customer base in the Indian market is working well for companies. Many Indian startups like Zomato, Practo, and Wittyfeed have ventured into the foreign land to expand their companies globally and have seen significant success.

Taking cue from Indian startups' success in the international markets, mobile applications-based OnDemand Services Marketplace OkSir launched itself in Hong Kong, which is its second market after India.

Founded by tech entrepreneur Arun Kapoor in 2015, the real-time, on-demand app provides individual, companies, and households with access to a diverse range of need of the hour services ranging from elderly care to beauty, housekeeping, automotive and more.

Since it has finished beta testing in August this year, the app has now enlisted more than 6,000 vendors in Hong Kong alone, lined up to fulfill almost hundreds of daily orders. It's primary objective is to enhance the quality of life in Hong Kong and will be available worldwide by giving customers a real-time, one-stop platform to connect with vendors of virtually any type of service from anywhere in the city, at any time.

With its global debut, Kapoor believes the company can bring about the significant positive impact to the collective lifestyle in the fast-paced global metropolis, in not only uplifting the services economy but also affecting change culturally for both customers and vendors.


Reaching international market has its own set of challenges like culture barrier, local competitors and finding the right talent. But on the other hand, it also promises a massive customer base.

"Getting Hong Kong vendors to share their personal and banking information was the most challenging part of setting up the business here," said Kapoor at the launch of OkSir's Hong Kong office.

In 2016, 89 per cent of smartphone users researched a product or service online, with 70 per cent preferring to shop online due to convenience.

OkSir hopes to tap into this market segment. In India, the company is present in five major cities and as many as 3000 services are completed daily through their Android and iOS app.

Kapoor aspires to have up to 25,000 vendors available within the next six months.

Deepinder Goyal's, Founder of Zomato, biggest learning after years of running a multi-country business has been identifying the real market size.

"Nobody knows your business as well as you do, so don't believe the press, the VCs, or market research companies. Listen to everyone, but then decide for yourself," Goyal wrote in a blog post.

All said OkSir's launch is a step in the right direction for Indian startups to be seen on the global stage.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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