As cliché as it may sound, there’s no running from the fact that India is one of the youngest countries in the world. Unlike earlier where people aspired to be working with top-notch brands, we are gradually moving away from this thinking.
Just a couple of days back, at my school reunion, when I met my friends, I was amazed by the discussion we had over dinner. Blame the alcohol or nostalgia, we spoke about how we’ve moved forward from school crushes to serious relationships, from being a fan of eating at swanky restaurants to how we’ve realized the importance of home-made food, we poured our hearts out. In the midst of it all, a friend stood up and ‘made an offer we couldn’t refuse.’ While some of us were all settled with our jobs and families, there were some who wanted to break the monotony and start ‘a thing of their own.’ She discussed her idea of starting an all-inclusive event and communications agency, had a name for it, a team, place, etc. When asked about investments and finance, she said, “Heard about crowdfunding, fellas?”
This, set my horses running, and just when I was wondering how beautiful this concept is, I read an article that said, over the next few years, say by 2020, India is expected to have more than 11000 start-ups and was awestruck with how India is already in love with crowdfunding. As I began reading and researching about why India is in love with crowdfunding, or should I say, why entrepreneurs are opting for Crowdfunding, to raise funds for their projects, I gathered the following points.
1. Fund start-ups – Many of you I am sure, like my friend, have an idea and are waiting for the right opportunity to launch. Here’s your shot, crowdfunding are a great way to finance your project. Crowdfunding is not a great financial tool but also helps you set your marketing strategy rolling. Given the growing population and the rising disposable income levels, in India, it is easy to team-up with like-minded people and use their established contacts, to fund your project.
2. Puts us on global pedestrian – Crowdfunding is relatively more popular in the U.S. and the U.K. than in India. However, the trend is picking up with great speed. The advantage is, you can pitch to overseas investors as well, thus, expanding the scope of your project, from being centered in India or your city to crossing international borders. This also benefits India at large, brings into limelight the potential we have and the amazing business proposals.
3. Collaborate with SMEs – We would all agree that unlike other countries, India poses a unique set of challenges for businesses, whether it be a compulsory 2 percent contribution to CSR or focus on rural development. Crowdfunding is a great way to collaborate with SMEs and utilize their potential, not only regarding manpower but also established a network of clients and investors. India has a large base of SMEs, hence crowdfunding benefits us like no other.
4. International clients – This, I feel is the greatest benefit you derive out of crowdfunding. Unlike other mediums, the internet does not restrict you regarding boundaries, you can set up a video call with potential investors, seek assistance from people across the globe, etc. India, needs more of foreign investors and hence, crowdfunding is gradually emerging as a preferred medium of raising funds for businesses.
5. Unlimited job opportunities – Crowdfunding gives you a chance to speak with a lot of people, present your ideas, gel with them, and work with them. Entrepreneurship over service, anytime! With crowdfunding taking care of your financial needs, you can now give your dreams wings to fly and achieve heights. What’s better? You are being employed by your friend, be around friends all the time, thereby giving you a breather from corporate politics, and stress, because you are doing what you love and on your idea/business plan.
6. Enhanced customer interaction – Now, your sole motive behind crowdfunding could be fundraising, but you cannot afford to miss on the opportunity to interact with your customers. The potential investors you interact with for funds, might not invest in your plan, but would be your customer, in near future, thus, helping you work on your customer interaction strategy.
I am certain that you’ve analyzed many more benefits of crowdfunding, or by now, both of us have good enough points to think why crowdfunding is changing everything in India. But, why are we talking so much about it? Because, it’s time we acknowledge that India has an army of young entrepreneurs ready to take on the world. Their ideas might seem small now, but in near future, they could be taking the world by storm with the way their business is progressing.