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Mumbai Meri Jaan..

As a start-up entrepreneur based in India, what I have been looking for for past 3 years are business opportunities. Though Bangalore is a great city with it’s nice weather, abundant software talent and relatively laid back attitude, it has limited business opportunities. As someone who lived in Bangalore doing business development for years told me recently, “there are more people selling than buying in Bangalore”. You gotta love Mumbai that way.
In one of my recent visits to the Maximum city it re-occurred to me why I love Mumbai so much. There are 3 simple things about Mumbai (seen from an entrepreneur’s perspective) which makes it one of the most exciting business cities in India if not world !
1. Opportunities
Mumbai is one place where if you decide to network with people, you will be swamped with opportunities so much so that it’s quite easy to loose focus. In my last visit to Mumbai I was swamped with opportunities in everything from creating a web application to installing TV screens in retail stores !! People are extremely forthcoming wrt what they need once you meet them. It usually matters less what exactly is your niche … this sometimes happens in other places too but the difference is that in Mumbai people are serious about it. I mean lot of people use some big opportunities just to talk big. But here, guys really have budget to back up their big ideas.
2. Speed
If you are new to the city, that’s one of the first things that hits you like a thunderbolt ! Everyone is in hurry and running around. Everyone wants to break his current orbit and get into next one let it be promotion, business expansion or just becoming taxi driver from a rickshaw-wala. Everyone is in hurry to achieve his/her dreams.
Decision making is extremely fast here. There is a realistic chance that you can finish a decent size deal in a week here. what better can a start-up entrepreneur ask for?
3. Professionalism
Average Mumbaikar’s professionalism is something that sets Mumbai apart from all the cities in India IMHO. Let me give you an example :- The other day, I took an auto from a Hotel near Airport to Parle station , the meter showed 42 rupees. I gave him a note of 50 since I did not have change. The auto driver requested for 2 rupees change and gave me back 10 rupees. I did not posses the change so I gave him back the 10 rupees and asked for whatever he change he had and told him to keep the rest. The guy just smiled, gave me back by 10 rupees and sped off leaving me speechless. After coming across all the auto-wallas in Bangalore and Pune, this was completely new to me. The guys here would save time and chase new customers rather than fighting over small change.
And this you can see in every aspect of business here. ‘Value for money’ is revered ethic.You experience ‘Customer satisfaction’ truly in plenty of facets of daily life. Everyone is expected to work hard for their living and you can expect the same in return !
So if you are a start-up entrepreneur doing business in India, make sure you have your footprint in Mumbai !
Disclaimer :- I was brought up in Mumbai so I have a soft corner for the city so much so that I support “Mumbai Indians” in IPL though I have been living and working in Bangalore for past 6 years.

Comments (3)

  1. Wow!!!!!!!!! n Wow!!!!!!!!!!
    It’s better than that senti stuff.

  2. Well said. As soon as I reach Mumbai via Train or Car, I am engulfed in the fast paced life, which I definitely miss in other cities like Pune and even Delhi. Having been born in Bombay and spent my childhood there, I love it in every way. You just gave me more reasons to defend my stance.
    But don’t you think that the cost of operations for a startup in Mumbai will be high, compared to other cities? Also, the market is so huge, the entrepreneur is always overwhelmed on how to capture a small size of the huge market.

  3. Rishi,
    You are right, cost of operations in indeed high . It’s not necessarily optimum to run a 100 people operations here but even a startup can have a dedicated sales team of 2-3 people mostly working from home / customer premises ..:-)
    Regarding finding your niche , you know it better as and entrepreneur.

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