Exclusive: Rajan Anandan, VP, Google India says that it is the Beginning of the Start-up Boom in India



With the median age of 27, India has the largest number of youngsters and the Google chief says that they’re born digital with a growing insatiable need for the internet. When it comes to the internet, the growing tribe of emerging businesses on the internet can’t be ignored.
Anandan feels that the country is beginning to see innovative companies coming up in the country through applied innovation. Innovation comes from necessity and he thinks that we’re now seeing start-up founders from tier-2 and tier-3 cities that are committed to developing the country, who will take the Indian story forward.

Business Insider caught up with Rajan Anandan, VP, Google SE Asia & India to understand how the internet landscape has changed for small businesses in the past few months.

“Since the past 12 years that I’ve been in India, I’ve seen the quality of ideas and the founding team improve 100x. This is just the beginning of the start-up movement in India; there’s a long way to go. In 2020, I think the quality is just going to get better with more founders coming from tier-2 and tier-3 cities who solve real problems of real India. Problems like Agriculture, Education, Healthcare, Financial Inclusion and Clean Energy in the country remain unsolved and start-ups need to step in these areas to create real impact,” Rajan Anandan says about the emerging companies that will get India on the Innovation map.

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One interesting consumer insight that Google has seen is the rise of the lighter version of Apps and websites in India, even with start-ups as they realize that is it the fastest way to scale-up.

India has about 51 million small businesses and they account for about 37% of India’s GDP but only 30% of them have any form of web presence. Google has committed to getting 20 million SMEs online which make up for 40% of SMEs.

“A small business that gets on the internet earns revenue and profit twice as fast as they’re able to access new markets and new customers. To create an ecosystem, locally-relevant apps will be coming from India itself. To encourage that, we have committed to skill two million Android mobile developers over three years in India. We’ve partnered with 40 Indian universities that already have 200,000 students enrolled in this program, currently,” says Anandan, on Google’s contribution to the growing SME movement.

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The company also supports the startup ecosystem through various initiatives. In fact, Google was first to partner with NASSCOM three years back for the 10,000 start-ups initiative:

Several initiatives have been undertaken by the company to help both early stage and mid stage startups with programs like the Google Launchpad, Google Launchpad Accelerator, and +GCP program.
• The Google for Entrepreneurs team, that partners with startup communities around the world to help them grow, implement new programs, and connect to other leading startup organizations around the world
• The outreach programs focus on educating and empowering individuals, teams, and entrepreneurial communities.
• Google announced a program to help startups with $20k of cloud credits in India to help startups scale without having to worry about technology infrastructure support

Capital G is a late-stage investment arm by Google that is investing in mid to large sized startups through Google Capital and have already made investments in Indian startups like:

 Commonfloor
 Practo
 Freshdesk
 Cardekho
 Cuemath

Launchpad Accelerator Program:
In India, the most recognized program is the Launchpad Accelerator Program, which provides late-stage startups (mobile apps) with mentoring and resources to successfully scale in their local economies.

In the last year, 13 Indian Startups have participated in this program and next seven are now undertaking the program.

The program entails an intensive two-week Accelerator kickoff in Google’s Mountain View headquarters, Google engineers from different product areas, as well as experts from other companies, to provide startups with mentorship on how to scale and monetize their apps, and ultimately, build successful businesses. The teams will continue developing their products with the support of up to $50,000 in equity-free funding, six more months of ongoing mentorship, and a breadth of developer tools from the Launchpad Accelerator program.

With all this and more Google is ensuring that they're a part of the answer to every question that is thrown at the viability of the upcoming Indian growth story.
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