Six years ago, in India, there was a single billion dollar product company in terms of market cap, Info Edge. As of 2014, there were five – MakeMyTrip, Info Edge, Just Dial, Flipkart and Snapdeal, and others coming up.
What do these five all have in common? They took advantage of the new wave of Technopreneurship. The internet, smartphones, and new tech are still very new in India, with a history of barely five years. However, the impact has already been felt. Today’s startups are the technopreneurs.
The Indian Association of Mobile and Internet and market research firm IMRB International reported in March 2017, that internet users in urban India had already crossed the 60 percent mark, and that rural India as per the 2011 census, had only 163 million (17%) Internet users. There are a potential approximately 750 million users yet to be accessed. The market, in a word, is huge.
Startup culture in India has transformed with the coming of the digital age, and it has transformed the economy in turn.
Case Study of Technopreneurship: PayTM and Radio Cabs
In 2016, PayTM internet mobile wallet founder Vijay Shekhar was the richest under-40 entrepreneur. Notably, another technopreneur, the co-founder of Ola Cabs Bhavish Aggarwal is another notable young one on the list. They are both great examples of successful technopreneurs.
PayTM started as a classic mobile wallet, offering utility-bill payments and mobile recharges. It is now an end-to-end consumer marketplace; with over 120 million active users who use the wallet to do everything from booking cabs and hotel rooms to buying movie tickets.
Based on the volume of transactions in India’s top 10 metro cities, PayTM is hogging the market share at 67.9% while rival Freecharge had a share of 11.4%. This proves a truism of Technopreneurship, all other things being equal, early adopters will get preference. PayTM has continued to evolve, and is now unlikely to lose out to any other mobile wallet offering the same options.
WhatsApp proves this, having no real rival in the Indian market, so does BookMyShow. There are other options, but only when these have failed.
Uber and Ola Cabs have created a gig economy with self-employed cab drivers and have nearly driven out all others in the business including the limping Meru Cabs.
The Radio Taxi Association of India mentions that the taxi business in this nation is steadily growing at a rate of 20-25 percent every year. The organised-taxi side of the sector just accounts for 4-5 percent of the taxi industry and totals close to Rs. 100 Crores. The growth potential is clearly massive. The importance of Technopreneurship is that new markets are created, rather than companies fighting for ever-smaller shares of old markets.
The next big thing will probably be in the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT). About two-fifths of the world’s IoT market is owned by the information technology (IT) service companies in India accounting for approximately $1.5 billion or 43 percent of the world’s market of $3.5 bn.
The largest share of the Indian IoT is owned by Product engineering services, of about Rs. 4,168 Crores as of 2017, but the fastest growth is expected in managed IoT services where data collection and interpretation and management is outsourced to outside parties.
Just like with mobile apps, IoT has a massive potential, particularly with clever start-ups that can find the right market.
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