HP Singh likes to travel, and considers it the best way to learn. And now, he would like to take Indian startups and SMEs with him, to “give them a global exposure that will help them do better, dream bigger”.
Two decades after starting up, and establishing a leading micro finance firm, Satin Credit Care, where he is the CMD, 'HP' has decided to make a difference to India’s startups. Through the non profit Global Social Foundation, he has started Tomorrow’s India, which aims to connect Indian startups and SMEs with the world outside on equal terms, even as he leads them to a fresh foreign shore every six months. Yes, you read that right. A new country every six months. Having completed a successful maiden trip to Singapore, it has Seoul in its sights as the next stop.
The idea is very simple. “ I find that the quality and ambitions of our startups and SMEs are no less than anywhere else in the world, and one key missing ingredient, actual exposure to other global startups, is what we are filling with Tomorrows India. This tour cum conference format seeks to do more than just provide a quality networking opportunity for our startups in the countries we visit. It is also an opportunity for startups in those countries to get a first hand exposure to our firms as well as Indian culture, and learn about the possibilities in India through our most dynamic business segment today, Startups and SMEs," says HP Singh.
At Singapore, joining an eclectic batch of Indian startups from sectors as varied as healthcare, logistics, education, digital marketing and printing, were familiar, well known and familiar experts, from the start up ecosystem, be it Pramath Sinha or Pradeep Gupta, joined by corporate honchos from the Bhartiya Group, Apollo Hospitals and many more.
Thus, for the young founders and would be entrepreneurs, not only was the Singapore trip an opportunity to meet and explore opportunities with Singaporean startups and investors, but also a chance to get quality time with these experts. A lot of them took full advantage, gaining insights in areas as varied as growth, to capital structure and culture. All topped with a visit to the Indian High Commission on January 26 for republic day celebrations.
The cultural exchange continued with a fantastic fusion performance by the band Oorja at the Singapore National Library auditorium.
The reason we have such a varied group of participants is two fold. Besides the opportunity for counterparts in the countries we visit to interact with truly successful Indian entrepreneurs, it is also a way to showcase larger, proven opportunities that exist in the country today. Also, these are people who have already got a global footprint, thus making them strong ambassadors for the country.
Singh points proudly to the fact that at least one firm has already signed a partnership agreement with a Singapore firm during the trip, while many others have enriched their understanding of the market.
While we understand that formal business relationships take time to establish, Tomorrows India is very clear that the platform will go just beyond immediate business. We will be creating forums, even a helpdesk, to enable firms to get answers to queries about doing business in the countries we visit.
For Jatin Modi, CEO, FrogIdeas, a Mumbai-headquartered digital agency, who was on the trip, adds
India presents a stable political and financial environment as well as a growing consumer class. This makes it ideal for investment especially considering challenges that China and Brazil are facing. Tomorrow’s India is a great attempt in bringing this story to businesses across Asia, allowing them to invest factoring in market opportunity, risk, and capital growth.
With Seoul looming up next on the horizon in Sept 2016, this could be a good time to start thinking Korea first, if going global is part of your plans.
Note: The YourStory representative travelled with the Tomorrow's India team as a guest of the organisers.