I have been meaning to write about this for a while. Amit, who heads the Uzanto team in India started a new blog on the Indian web products scene called Webyantra (the word Yantra literally means an instrument of means. From wikipedia: “The yantra is like a microcosmic picture of the macrocosm. It is a focusing point and an outer and inner doorway”). This blog has changed my view of the Indian startup scene. If you follow newspapers, magazines about the tech scene in India, or even some of the big blogs like Om Malik or Content Sutra who write about India, you will hear about what the big service companies (Infosys, Satyam) are doing. You will also hear about the wheelings and dealings of the broadband, or mobile market. What you will not about is the small startups, the new tech entrepreneurs, the people starting new web services for the Indian market, or the two person teams starting up in their living rooms (the whole garage thing is less common in India).
Overall the feeling I get is that of a nascent startup scene, entrepreneurial activity, many people giving up the relative safety of jobs (this one is surprising!) to pursue a small startup. I discern three types of startups in this midst.
a) Companies creating web products and services for the Indian market (MeraSnap, Pune360)
b) Companies creating web products and services for an International market (Zoho)
c) US based companies with an Indian team working on the product (Riya, http://peopleaggregator.com/PeopleAggregator, MindCanvas)
Webyantra has also become a hub of conversation about such topics. Amit’s latest post about social bookmarking sites in India has an active discussion about the different styles of social bookmarking in India, and a heated discussion about whether one of the popular Indian bookmarking sites is a porn site.
While on the subject of India and startups, we (Uzanto) are looking for engineers in India. If you are a geek and looking to work in a cool startup then drop me a line. We are looking for bright, motivated people – having an active web presence, participation in open source projects are things we value way more than degrees (previous work experience is nice, but not required). Apart from MindCanvas, you will be working on another cool Web 2.0ish product, and getting experience at AJAX, Ruby, and the other technologies the cool kids are using nowadays! We build products with a focus on design and user experience, so we especially like engineers who have an eye for design.