The startup ecosystem in India is evolving and we are seeing phenomenal increase in number of startups founded. Although my history in the startup world is very short, I can see that some of these startups are very mature and are solving some real good problems. However, I have also noticed a pattern – startups copying ideas from other countries, more specifically, the US. Well, no harm in copying good businesses but sometimes there is a clear product-market misfit seen in such startups. The problems in India are different from those in the other developed countries. And the main reason we (including me) forget this is because of the literature we consume – TechCrunch, VentureBeat, YC, blogs etc
Here I have listed some problems that are specific to India and hence some possible startup ideas around them. I would keep this a live post and add more ideas. Obviously, I have not given a lot of thought to these ideas so would love to hear from people who are already working on any of these.
Learning English – Already see some startups trying to solve this problem. In offline world, Veta has already been doing lot of work. There are different target markets – graduates looking for jobs but lack good english speaking skills, english learning for school kids, english learning for adults to keep up with their kids etc.
Toy Sets build around Indian stories – Kids (2-5 years) love imagining the stories they hear. There are a lot of toys available on western themes, be it Spiderman, Ben 10 etc. Why aren’t there many toys around Indian stories?
MOOC supported higher Ed – The massive open online courses have been huge success with lot of students enrolling from India. However, there is a large section of students who are not qualified enough to understand what is taught in courses from Udacity, Coursera etc. May be a more structured system can help, where there are real instructor curating the courses from MOOCs and helping out Indian students with more personalized attention.
Real job training inside college – This idea of finishing schools in India is not new. There are a lot of them functioning, however, none of these have been hugely successful in scaling up. Can technology be leveraged along with existing college infrastructure?
Distraction free working and tracking – With so many social networks and other distractions available online, employers follow one of the two things – they either live with the employees wasting time on internet or they do a blanket ban on all the websites. Can a system be created to enable better self-discipline among employees without this blanket ban?
Teacher training – We are facing a severe shortage of teachers in our schools today. The B.Ed program has become very popular but still not keeping up in supplying the teachers.
Preventing from cold / Homeless – Every year hundreds of people die in India because of the cold, specially in the north India. And there are thousands of homeless people all over India. Is it possible to solve this problem with a profitable or non-profitable business?
Shitty idea – I wrote about this idea a few years back. With more than half of the Indians shitting out in open grounds, brings some uncomfortable problems like lack of hygiene, health problems and compromise with women safety.
Women safety – Inspite of so much uproar over women safety because of unfortunate Delhi rape case, I havent seen any major attempts at solving this problem (the hypocrites got busy with their lives and media got something more sensational to report, some genuine ppl are still involved though). With mobile penetration so high in India, I am sure there are possible solutions using mobile or internet.
Human Computer Interface – The number of computer users in India are growing but I still see the problem in usability across some sections. More specifically, I have seen elder people having tough time using the computer.
Hospital beds in india – I don’t have much insight in healthcare in India, but this very alarming – for every 1000 people in India, there isn’t even a single bed. The number according to World Health Statistics is .9 per 1000 population.
Hope to see some good startups coming out of India solving these problems.