Expanding your Business into the Indian Marketplace
“Going global” are two words every entrepreneur wants to say about their business. For small startups and emerging businesses, expanding globally brings unprecedented challenges that will tax the entire organization from the top down. The business must continue operations in their home country, while somehow diverting resources to expanding without any interruptions. The costs are high, but the rewards in terms of revenue, global awareness, and business glory are delightfully sweet. Below are tips to expanding your business into the Indian marketplace, which will give you valuable insight into what to expect as your business expands.
Research Indian Culture: To be successful with the expansion you’ll need to know your audience inside and out. For expanding your business into India, this means understanding the nuances of the Indian culture. You need to perform a market segmentation analysis to determine how your product or service will fit into the local market. For instance, you need to know approximately 38% of the people in India live on less than $1/day. There are still obstacles with a social and cultural acceptance of Western products, and penetration into rural areas can be difficult because of slow infrastructure growth. This also means you need to perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis). It’s vital you understand the customer because mistakes can be unforgiving.
Learn Regional Differences: It’s recommended to not think of India as a single entity comprised of a homogenous people like Australia. India’s constitution recognizes over 22 different languages, all with regional dialects and slang. It’s best to think of India as a collection of region states, each with their own customs and cultures which determine their perception of the world. Communication has greatly increased the similarities between the different regions, but there are still many differences the people of India recognize. It’s recommended to develop a plan for each specific region of India in relation to the market segment you choose to approach.
Select Indian Executives: We’re adding this because you may not want foreigners to run the Indian branch. It’s highly recommended to not launch a global expansion with only executives from the parent company leading the way. We recommend finding an executive who has a deep domain experience in the market to help build and mentor the leader who will operate in the Indian headquarters. Allowing your business to hit the ground running, quickly validate any assumptions, and push through any last-minute unforeseen obstacles.
Setup an Indian Headquarters: It’s highly inadvisable to build a local team from scratch since there are many unspoken rules and practices for somebody outside the country to understand. This means finding the appropriate partners and agents within each region who will best represent your company and provide insight into the hidden etiquettes and practices of the locality. By building a headquarters in India you’ll promote local brand knowledge, goodwill with the Indian government because you’re creating jobs for their citizens, and a deep understanding of the marketplace which will inevitably help with future product launches.
This information will put you on the right path towards tapping into the vast Indian market place. It won’t be easy, and you have serious work ahead in order to utilize the rising wealthy middle class, but the rewards will be well worth the effort. If you believe your startup is poised to be the next Indian household name, reach out to us. At the Tandon Group we’ve partnered with and invested in dozens of companies over the last two decades and have met with massive success along the way. We’d love to be your partner for the road ahead.