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Indian Start-Up All the Way

We have a level playing field. MNCs are able to compete with Indian start-ups, and guess who’s winning?

Indian Start-Up All the Way

What we are seeing in the on-demand taxi industry is just a small symptom. At the end of the day, the simplest way to think about it is, it is a Test series where we are in the third day of the first Test. There’s a long way to go both in terms of massive opportunities and value creation and massive consumer benefit, but also there is going to be a fair bit of turbulence between now and the last Test.

As the internet becomes more pervasive and, let’s imagine...already, PayTM has 50 million wallet users, twice the number of users of their wallet as the entire credit card industry in India. Now, let’s fast forward two or three years and say that India has 250 million wallet users. Now how will the banking and financial services industry change? I think it could change pre­tty dramatically. You can go to education. Let’s ask how would you reinvent education using digital and mobile platform, you will see pretty fundamental changes.

We’re in the 3rd day of the first test in a series. Much will change by the last test.

What is great about what is happening in India today is Indian start-ups are winning. We have a level playing field. MNCs are able to compete with Indian start-ups, and guess who’s winning? The Indian start-ups. If you look at the travel space—Makemytrip, Cleartrip, Yatra—all Indian companies. If you look at e-commerce—Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and PayTM, three out of four. In real estate, all are local companies. In classifieds, Quikr, an Indian company, is by far number one. In restaurants, Yelp is not even in the picture, it’s all about Zomato. Even if you look at search, which is one of the businesses we are in, Just Dial is by far the winner in local search.

Indian start-ups are winning hands down and I think that is a testament to the capability of Indian founders and also to an ecosystem that has so far been a level playing field and a very attractive capital environment. It’s very important that India makes sure we continue to attract large amounts of venture capital. So obviou­sly as these companies develop and we see many more companies arrive on the scene, there will continue to be what I call inflight turbulence.

As told to Ajay Sukumaran

Rajan Anandan is managing director, Google India

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