Manufacturing Start-ups in India Garner Attention

Simon Mundy reported yesterday at The Financial Times Online that, “Start-ups in ecommerce, apps and IT services have swept India over the past decade — producing a cohort of young tech multimillionaires. Their peers in hardware have received less attention, and their expansion has been more modest. Between 2014 and 2016, hardware-focused Indian start-ups raised $210m, according to the research group Tracxn — just 1 per cent of the total funding for unlisted technology companies in India.

But even this sum represents an eightfold increase on the previous three years in a manufacturing sector that accounts for only 17 per cent of gross domestic product and has traditionally been divided between slow-moving conglomerates and sub-scale, low-tech local industries.”

The FT article noted that, “Investors chasing quick returns have tended to shun the developers of physical products, [SS Pillai, of Proklean, which produces a probiotic cleaning product for use in textile processing] says. ‘If it’s ecommerce, SoftBank is willing to come and pump in billions of dollars,’ he says, referring to the Japanese group that is one of the major investors in Indian start-ups. ‘But they’re not looking at companies like ours. It’s one of the challenges we are facing today — over the past year, we’ve spent a significant portion of our time raising money instead of doing business.'”

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