The idea and setting up of start-ups were restricted to Tier-I cities on the pretext that there were more amenities and scope. This has almost completely changed with time. Slowly, entrepreneurs are retracing their roots for building their companies in smaller cities as it allows them to allocate their budget in a better way.
This shift to starting up businesses in smaller cities can be attributed to the advent of internet which allows one to work efficiently without location constraints. However, like no journey is complete with the hurdle; entrepreneurs face issues of funding, lack of knowledge among customers and poor infrastructure. However, when big budgets that need to be doled out are weighed, these cons seem quite insignificant and can be overcome with time. The increasing number of Small and Medium Enterprises in these cities show that the trend of start-ups in smaller cities is here to stay and grow even further.
For the past few years, start-up culture was stuck to a few cities in itself including Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai. As the previous decade passed, so did its boundaries. Today, it’s running all across the nation, right from big to small towns. People are investing in all scale businesses in cities like Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Pune, and Ahmedabad. This happens because of the presence of talent and to match with infrastructure and access to information available in today’s date.
Small towns have its own set of problems, thus, the idea of problem-solving needs to be provided with a proper set of resource and technology. With time, the awareness about different factors and opportunities has grown over the wide range. Now entrepreneurs know how to and where to get the best use of resources. Another factor that has helped small businesses flourish in India is the internet, which has proven to be a boon for this sector. With the help of internet, the vast amount of knowledge provided, now people could look over several problems and techniques related to their business.
When internet first made its debut in India back in 1996, only a handful of people had managed to recognize its potential in the corporate sphere, and how it helps businesses grow. Entrepreneurs are confident and are getting resources to cash it with the help of developing techniques and government support. With time, start-ups are overpowering metro cities with these smaller cities.
The impact of start-up culture in small cities is quite positive due to several reasons. One of them being very little competition in the market as most of the diversion is towards big cities. Therefore, competition is on a lower scale comparatively. On the other hand, with growth and an easy access to technology and internet, people now have access to new ongoing trends and networks for their business.
Bearing testimony to starting up businesses in unconventional cities is 4Play which was started by Anuj, Kshitij, and Sukrit who started a video content channel in Delhi and later shifted base to the quaint town of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. This decision was initially taken because Delhi when compared to the smaller and lesser developed hill stations, turned out to be too expensive for their meagre investments. While the three entrepreneurs cut down on high real estate costs successfully, they chose to move away from the conventional route. Instead of responding to BSNL’s customer service, they chose to set up an ISP instead.
4Play is one-of-a-kind video channel which exposes viewers to the world of extreme: adventure sports. Started as a personal experience of roughing it outdoors, the content generated by this start-up is anything but conventional. From experiences like kayaking in India to mountain biking, they aim to cover it all. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that they are willing to hire anyone who is “crazy” and can add to the company through creative yet offbeat ideas.
This strategic decision of shifting base turned out to be a brilliant one as not only were they able to overcome the infrastructural barriers but also managed to hire supremely talented people. From carving a niche for themselves in the video industry to providing employment to the locals of that region, 4Play has only gone to prove that Tier III and IV cities are indeed perfect for setting up small businesses.