Having thrived at home for nearly a decade, India’s startup scene went global in 2018.
Ola, the country’s largest homegrown ride-hailing firm, set the ball rolling in January when it drove into Perth, Australia. Soon, hotels chain OYO followed in a big way. The country’s newest unicorn, Byju’s, has also announced its international plans for early 2019.
Needless to say, there are serious risks to such global expansion dream.
“Internet is the foundation of their business, but they are as offline as any other business. Some have to form alliances with drivers, some with local sellers, some with educational institutes, restaurants, etc,” said Yugal Joshi, vice-president at Texas-based consulting firm Everest Group. “Though they can port their technology platform to these markets, they cannot create these alliances overnight. They aren’t Netflix which just has to stream existing content and can do easily in newer markets. These firms need a robust offline operating model to work.”