28% of Immigrant Entrepreneurs In US are Indians

Rediff (Indian online newspaper) writes :

Indians account for 28 per cent of all foreign-founded private start-up companies in America, according to a first-of-its-kind study, ‘American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on US Competitiveness.’

The study found that over the past 15 years, immigrants have started 1 in 4 (25 per cent) US public companies that were venture-backed, representing a market capitalisation of more than $500 billion. Moreover, a survey of today’s private, venture-backed start-up companies in the US estimated that 47 per cent have immigrant founders.

India was the most prevalent country of origin with 28 per cent followed by the United Kingdom (11 per cent), China (5 per cent), Iran (4 per cent), and France (4 per cent).

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Inspiring Entrepreneurs – Lord Karan Bilimoria

I must admit I have been a die hard fan of Lord Karan Bilimoria, more than Cobra Beer :). Lord Karan is the Founder and Chief Executive of Cobra Beer. I have been following Cobra Beer’s innovative initiatives, be it the ultra cool Cobra Advertisements, Cobra Vision, Entrepreneur support activities like in TiE.

Through Cobra Vision, Cobra conducts, sponsors competition for producer, director, scriptwriter, AD film maker, etc.

One thing inspires me about this company is their sheer passion to “Be different”. Rediff (Indian online newspaper) has published an excellent interview with Karan. Some insights to how Karan has built Cobra with a decisive passion, commitment and eye for detail.

Rediff quote

Wasn’t it crazy of you to venture into business on your own?
My family thought I was mad! They did everything possible to discourage me. It all started when I was once playing polo in India. A polo stick maker said: ‘Look, why don’t you sell our sticks in England?’

I was 27 at the time. I always knew that I wanted to get into business at some point in my life. So I said why not give it a shot? I sold Indian polo sticks to places like Harrods and Giddons, the suppliers to the Royal family’s stables.

It was difficult. The buyer at Harrods was very rude to me. But eventually I managed to see the head buyer and got my foot in the door.

I discovered my core advantage was the fact that I was totally at home in England, and totally at home in India.

I could add value by putting the two countries together. I didn’t make much money. But that first year gave me the experience of importing, sourcing, market research and selling. Invaluable!

Did you have a mentor? Someone to guide you around the pitfalls of the business?
There was an Indian gentleman in London called Keshav Reddy. He introduced us to Mysore Breweries. He was the uncle of my partner at the time, Arjun Reddy. Arjun was a childhood friend who had an entrepreneurial bent: he’d been involved in managing his family farms and business from a very young age. So we teamed up to start Cobra. But he left the company a few years ago.

How did you raise finance?
In every possible way you can imagine! And that’s where being a chartered accountant helped a lot. It was always the biggest single problem I had: how to build a brand with no finances of my own. But one thing I believe in very strongly is the brand and the future of the business. So I’m very, very reluctant to sell my own shares. And that’s difficult because people say to me, your company is going places and I want to buy shares in it. No, sorry. You can’t.

How long you should take to implement and launch a new idea?

I met with an entrepreneur in City who has a great idea but he went “cheap route” to implement his idea. He outsourced his idea to an IT professional in some third world country with a condition that his cost of development will reduce to 1/9 and the developer will take 9 months in developing the solution!!! So if the cost would have been 9,000 GBP, it will cost him only 1000 GBP :-). Sounds cool on paper. But after 9 months he realised that what turned out is a crap product development and total waste of 9 months!!!

During this 9 months time, there is already slightly similar concept already in UK marketplace and his solution is still far from achievable. This case opened my eyes that how come entrepreneurs keep forgetting the basic market principles!! As a Startup entrepreneur, I think one should

-Move faster into marketplace

-Reduce entry barrier (mainly cost which is major factor for Startups) but not at the cost of time to enter to market!!! Very Very Very important

-Feel as if somebody else is dreaming your idea

-Invite partners to your idea (This reduces the burden of upfront investment)

– Build what is essential to enter to market

-Participate in the product development, be it marketing or on technology side

Any other key suggestions ?

Enterprising Young Brits!!

enterprisingyoungbritslarge.gifPart of the Make Your Mark – start talking ideas campaign, the competition is open to anyone aged 30 and under who has grown their own idea, exploited an opportunity, or developed a new way of doing things. The judges are looking for a balance of commercial flair and creativity, and will reward not just the quality of the idea, but also how you made it happen. This could be by starting up a business, developing a social enterprise, or doing something enterprising in order to help others.

THE CATEGORIES

Business Entrepreneur –
For enterprising individuals that have started their own business, large or small.

Social and Environmental –
For ventures combining the principles of a successful business with an emphasis on the social and community benefits it can provide.

Innovation at Work –
For someone who has had an idea and made it happen within their workplace.

Teen –
For anybody making an idea happen who is aged 13-19.

Creative –
For enterprising individuals, businesses and endeavors in the creative industries.

HOW TO ENTER

Find all details in http://www.starttalkingideas.org/youngbrits/

October 23 is deadline for submitting your entry!!!