ET Power Of Ideas: Hyderabad emerging as top startup destination

HYDERABAD: While some may think that Hyderabad is still playing catch up with Bengaluru with respect to a burgeoning startup ecosystem, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, being hosted in Hyderabad at the end of this month, is a testament to how the city is slowly becoming a global destination for technology businesses and entrepreneurs, according to the panellists at the roundtable discussion at The Economic Times The Power Of Ideas event in Hyderabad.

“I think Hyderabad is positioned very well to be among the top 10 startups destinations in the world in the next few years,” said Jay Krishnan, chief executive of Telangana government-backed incubator T-Hub. “The GES is a testament to how we as a city are able to win it from many other cities.”

Echoing his views was the cofounder of software-as-a-service company NowFloats, Ronak Samantray, who believes that Hyderabad is the best city in the country for any entrepreneur to start up since the market is accepting of mistakes.

“The market is very accepting unlike Delhi or Bengaluru,” he said. “Also, with the high number of coffee meetings, mentor sessions and conferences you have in other cities, when can the entrepreneur work? It’s a distraction.”

However, finding and retaining the right talent is a challenge in Hyderabad, conceded some of them. The city, which has traditionally been known for its pharmaceutical and infrastructure businesses, has struggled to develop its identity with regards to the startup sector. However, the entrepreneurs and startup mentors from the panel believe that the backdrop of the city as a vaccine hub and an IT destination will bolster health technology and biotechnology startups.

“Given that we have research institutes like the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and the University of Hyderabad, it can give birth to academic innovation in the sectors of biotechnology and healthcare,” said Anu Acharya, chief executive of genomics startup, MapMyGenome.

While the city still has a long way to go, entrepreneurs are buzzed about the upcoming summit, which they believe would open several doors for the city and its entrepreneurial ecosystem. “It will help bring Hyderabad into the spotlight and when the delegates of the summit arrive and look at the infrastructure and the companies here it will make a big difference on how the city is perceived,” said Acharya.

“Moreover, the theme of the event is women entrepreneurs, which will help and encourage a lot of women entrepreneurs to get noticed in a global setting.”

(The Economic Times Power of Ideas is presented by Facebook, in partnership with DST, Govt of India, and CIIE, IIM-Ahmedabad)