On Tuesday 20 February, we took a closer look at Danish SME-challenges in India: Kasper Rost from Calcabis (from the CPH Fintech-tour), Steen Thygesen from Audientes (from the Coconut Bootcamp) and Neelabh Singh from Quercus Group (from the Smart City project) all provided great presentations and a good panel discussion afterwards. Here are the main take-aways
- India is different; there are different ecosystems & different business culture > do your research and dig into India before going there
- Find yourself a local partner – and an ally within government
- Send C-level to present and communicate, or you won’t be taken seriously
- Take nothing for granted, follow up constantly and communicate with greater precision than ever – your Indian counterpart may have totally different expectations than you
- Build trust, invest yourself personally, and brace yourself for many trips to India
- Never build anything for free, except a proof of concept
- Price matters! You’ll probably be offered a lower price than you expect. If necessary, modify your pricing model towards lower returns and larger scale
- Size matters! Have a scalable solution
Furthermore, consider this before going to India
- Is the potential big enough – India is different, so is demand. It might not fit your products or value proposition
- How hard and how tough is the competition? You’re not the only one looking at India. Besides, you’re bound to bump into tough homegrown competition working on a minimal price
- How well connected are your competitors? Stay away if they’re tight with local government – you won’t stand a chance
- Consider the Proof of Concept. Your Indian counterpart will usually expect a PoC before committing to a contract. How will you do it? Where? With whom? How much will it cost. And, can you do it in under two months (or you most likely won’t be taken seriously)?
- Where is the Indian market heading? Is it heading your way? Or are there better/easier ways to grow your revenue? Again – take nothing for granted
- Decide upfront how much you’re prepared to invest.
Feel free to contact Peter Johansen from Asia House for further information on India.
Just as important, the SME’s – that form the bulk of the Danish enterprises – are showing increased interest in India. In November, Copenhagen Fintech organized a tour to Bangalore and Mumbai, and early December Coconut Bootcamp sent a HealthTech/ GreenTech-delegation to Bangalore. Also, Asia House has been building a platform for Danish SME’s accessing the Indian Smart City program.