In a reversal of a trend that started some years back, a small but noticeable group of Americans are moving to India to create startups. Bangalore, already considered the country’s technology capital, is drawing many of these entrepreneurs, including Valerie Wagoner, who left Silicon Valley five years ago and now owns ZipDial, a marketing company that takes advantage of a growing mobile phone user base to pitch its advertising. According to her, “There’s such a huge opportunity here to innovate and build businesses which are unique to this market.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Factors that attract foreign businesspeople to India include a high concentration of skilled engineering graduates and changing cultural norms. With regards to the latter, Adam Sachs, who used to own an online dating site in New York, recently moved to Mumbai to start one in a market that he felt needed its services more considering that dating before marriage is becoming more common. His site, Stepout.com, has 4.5 million subscribers. “[E]specially in the younger generation, the 20-somethings who are our target audience, the average marriage age is getting older, the rate of arranged marriages is decreasing.”