I had experience of working in couple of major cities of India in startup environment and I certainly know someone running a successful startup and business from all the 8 major IT hubs/business centers of India – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, NCR/Gurgaon and Pune (I have no idea about Ahmedabad but afaik, it is more of an old school biz center).
Here are few factors which everyone should consider before choosing any city (assuming you do not live in any of the above mentioned city, in which case, you should ALWAYS start from that place only)
- Where you and your team will stay ? How far it is from your office ?
- How costly the work place is ? can you afford it for next 18 months without making any profit from your startup
- What is Commuting Time ?
- How costly is Food and other basic things ?
- How easy it is to get quality Human Resources
1. Bangalore – Hub of almost all web startups and if you are looking for quality and experienced programmers or people with already having experience working in startups, this has to be the place to be. It is not cheap by any means though but if you can get a place to live (you can easily find a shared apartment) and a nice place to work from, Bangalore is thee best place for your startup. It has a great culture and lot of similar minded people so you can easily get lot of guidance not to mention, you can make good connections too.
2. Mumbai – Too costly but a good number of offline startups are based in mumbai, specially those who are looking for local business. Mumbai is the perfect testing ground for your business idea, if you are looking to offer some B2B service, start with Mumbai (or delhi) for sure.
3. Delhi – Delhi is often considered to be relatively cheap as compared to mumbai, and is a good place to start business if you can get a decent office or working place. It doesn’t have that much power problem and you can get human resources easily.
4. Hyderabad – I have spent our 5 years in the city and its a great place for a startup specially IT based, it is certainly cheaper than Bangalore and you can get an office for real cheap in non IT centric areas. If you are not new to Hyderabad then I say go for it!
5. NCR/Gurgaon – I am seeing lot of startups having offices in NCR/Gurgaon too, I think most of them were working there in some IT companies and then after few years, founded their own startup (this is how it works everyone actually). From whatever I have seen, there is NO point in going to NCR/Gurgaon if you don’t have any strategic advantage like oen of the co-founders already has a house and can manage an office too for cheap.
6. Chennai – Haven’t seen anyone, not of chennai going to Chennai for his startup, I know few companies though doing well from there but the founders were from chennai itself.
7. Pune – I honestly don’t know much about it other then the fact that it has made lot of growth in becoming an IT hub of India, though I am not much sure about offline business. For someone who is not aware of the city, he can certainly skip it.
8. Kolkata – I was told that if you are looking to start a company in Kolkata, you will be facing lot of bureaucratic problems and certainly, until and unless you have real strong reason (the only that I can think of is you live in kolkata) you should avoid it. It does have offices of almost all IT companies as it is the biggest city of eastern India but I don’t see any startup culture there.
Final Conclusion – If you are looking for online startup, go with Bangalore and for offline startup (most likely in B2B) go with mumbai. If you think otherwise, please do post in comment why you think so