What you must know before starting a Hardware company

Hardware is not the new software’, and putting together a hardware team to make a real tangible product requires dedicated effort that is very different from software. Further, the gestation period in hardware sector is very high, requiring patient capital and talent.

Hardware is an emerging sector but is still the most difficult one to scale in India. Moreover, there is a dearth of hardware accelerators or incubators in India that stalls the hardware community here from flourishing.

Despite success stories from India such as MSwipe payments, Dosamatic dosa maker and Robots Alive, the number of role models in this sector are few and far between. The challenges vary depending on whether the hardware product is embedded, mechanical or electronics/electrical heavy. Despite many basic tips and open guidance from existing startups, the forums for hardware entrepreneurs are few and far between. YourStory recently played host to hardware startups at a dedicated meetup in our bid to enable this group of entrepreneurs with more resources and networking. Read on to know more about some key insights and here’s hoping this is the year hardware gets its sexy back!

Hardware_Meetup_v2_MS_15072041

Note:

  • Some charts do not add up to 100% because the startups did not fit into any category
  • Some charts add up to more than 100% because the startups fit into more than one category

Stage of the startup:

  • 39% of the startups have received Series A or follow up funding, whereas 27% of the startups are bootstrapped, surprisingly high number for hardware sector
  • 2% of the startups have received only seed funding while 39% of the startups are at in an ideation stage

Sectors:

  • 55% of the startups are in consumer electronics and only 8% of the startups are serving the education sector
  • 12% of the startups are catering to Healthcare, whereas 16% are in E-Commerce

Production:

  • 43% of the hardware products are completely made in India, whereas 2% of the products are completely designed and manufactured abroad
  • 10% of the products are designed in India and 12% of the products are only assembled in India with components sourced from outside

Conducive Environment for Hardware:

  • 49% of the entrepreneurs feel that the startup ecosystem for hardware sector in India is manageable but could have been better, whereas only 2% of the entrepreneurs feel that it is highly conducive
  • 27% entrepreneurs feel that it is very difficult and 4% mention that it is not conducive at all

 

Hurdles in Hardware (Ranking of challenges):

  • 47% of the entrepreneurs feel that the need for more prototyping facilities is very high whereas 28% of the entrepreneurs feel the need for more mentors with hardware startup knowledge is more pressing
  • 28% of the entrepreneurs feel that import duties on hardware components is very high, while the other 28% feel the gap in workforce with efficient hardware skills is a big problem when asked to rank order

Challenges:

  • 43% of the entrepreneurs need more knowledge and mentorship in the ecosystem and 37% need quick and easy prototyping facilities
  • 22% of the entrepreneurs need more skilled workforce in hardware design and manufacturing
  • 16% of the entrepreneurs are facing challenges on the high import duties on components, whereas 2% of the entrepreneurs need more hardware benchmarks in India

 

According to you, what are the hurdles and enablers in Hardware, please let us know the in the comments below.

Manu Shrivastava

Manu Shrivastava