CXO Bytes

Why are Indian entrepreneurs taking their startups overseas?


“Indian entrepreneurs’ appetite for investments into global markets and the willingness to become global citizens signals an era of Global Renaissance. There is an immense opportunity for meaningful global collaboration and growth.”


India is the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world and increasingly offers new opportunities for international growth and expansion. Indian entrepreneurs are rapidly expanding into other countries to grow their business and to pursue a better quality of life. Developed countries like Canada are recognizing that global startups and founders can be key drivers of a global innovation economy and building infrastructure for entrepreneurship that offers fertile ground for expansion. According to a KPMG 2019 report on Fintech and start-ups fueling India’s USD 5 trillion economy, Indian entrepreneurs are embracing the global ecosystem and introducing fresh innovation models and cutting-edge technologies that have huge audience appeal.


India has a long and established relationship with global economies. Indian entrepreneurs have had great success creating jobs, securing funding, and building technology and value. The report also states that they have a flourishing presence in the agriculture, fintech, edtech, information technology, and advanced manufacturing sectors; they have an immense opportunity for global collaboration and growth.


Several Indian Unicorns have made significant contributions in the SaaS, fintech, agritech, edtech, and B2B commerce spaces and are now expanding into offshore jurisdictions. Of India’s 100+ unicorns, 30 percent have expanded internationally and are having greater influence in global markets. The unicorns are also exploring new ways to attract foreign capital and are looking for regulatory bodies to pave way for an overseas listing. Incubating overseas can help Indian entrepreneurs obtain early access to tools and technologies, mentors, investors, and to special resources and business services in addition to capital markets.


Indian Entrepreneurs driving the tech revolution have a great advantage globally. Besides gaining access to the advanced technology ecosystem, they are constantly adopting a new socio-cultural mindset that fosters trust and lasting relationships with their global business clientele. This opens avenues for Initial Public Offerings and increased shareholder value.


When they enter global markets, entrepreneurs and high net-worth individuals are moving into countries that have a stable political climate, favourable socio-economic and immigration policies, moderate tax regulations, and high mobile and broadband penetration.


Expansion into the North American market, specifically Canada, is an attractive option for growing businesses. Canada’ is strategically located next to the world’s largest economy – the US. This proximity benefits Indian entrepreneurs as they can be closer to North American customers, and it facilitates collaboration with peers and subject matter experts who can play a critical role in their expansion programs.


The Canadian Government offers attractive pathways for entrepreneurs who want to scale their businesses globally and are interested in gaining permanent residency in the country. Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program (SUV) is attracting entrepreneurs from across the globe. The SUV enables the entrepreneurs’ entry into the Canadian ecosystem further facilitating a permanent residency.


Recently, Ontario launched a new “Move for More” campaign to market destinations outside the Greater Toronto Area as the best places for immigrant entrepreneurs to start or buy a business. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program – Entrepreneur Success Initiative is an unprecedented push to attract global talent and business investment to Ontario by helping at least 100 immigrant entrepreneurs identify business opportunities in the Province and give global entrepreneurs access to Canada’s business ecosystem.


(The author is Mr. Vikram Khurana, Chair, TBDC, and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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