How India and Sweden are synergising through each other’s startup ecosystems and entrepreneurs

Speaking at the 12th edition of YourStory’s TechSparks 2021, Cecilia Oldne, Senior VP, Sweden-India Business Council, brings out the opportunities Sweden and India are creating together for startups and entrepreneurs.
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Known for giving the world Skype, Spotify, and Truecaller, Sweden has been disrupting the tech ecosystem for a long time, and like India which is currently witnessing a unicorn boom and already has 66 startups crossing the billion-dollar valuation mark, Sweden too has been producing a lot of unicorns off late.

“When Sweden and India come together with advisors, startups, talents, investors etc, the magic really happens, and I look forward to more of this magic,” said Cecilia Oldne, Senior VP, Sweden-India Business Council at TechSparks 2021.

Speaking at YourStory’s flagship startup-tech event, Cecilia enlightened the audience with the opportunities Sweden and India are creating together through Sweden-India Business Council, which helps Swedish companies to enter India and support the ones already present. 

“The Council is also the Secretary for India-Sweden Business Leader Roundtable, which is a network of over 40 Swedish and 20 Indian CEOs. These CEOs are connected with the startup ecosystem through the Sweden-India Tech Community that has businesses right from the startup stage to scaling up, academia, media, influencers, and so on,” Cecilia explained. 

“It is very important to work in a collaborative way and connect the big companies with the startups. We also have investors as part of the Sweden-India Tech Community,” Cecilia added.

Sweden also organised a Stockholm Tech Week where Sweden India Business Council, along with YourStory, took a delegation of 20 startup entrepreneurs, influencers, and investors to the event to learn about the startup scene and opportunities in Sweden. 

Niramai, founded by Geetha Manjunath, is a great example of this collaboration. Cecilia revealed that Geetha had flown to Sweden along with the delegation, and now, she looks at Sweden as an opportunity and is planning to work more in the country.

Why are Indian startups in Sweden?

Cecilia strongly believes that the Swedish startup ecosystem is best suited for Indian startups. She says that Sweden has a strong education system, and the country is extremely tech-savvy where 19 percent of all the employees in Stockholm – the capital of Sweden – work in tech, and there is also a very strong demand for tech entrepreneurs and IT professionals. 

“Sweden had brought broadband in the early 1990s and has been ahead of the game when it comes to tech adoption,” she added.

Sweden’s strong suit of sectors includes gaming, fintech, music, life sciences, and sustainability, providing an opportunity for Indian startups to shine in them.

Cecilia also mentioned that Sweden’s goal is that 50 percent of future unicorns should be led by women. 

Sweden-India similarities

Both Sweden and India are unicorn factories, Cecilia quipped. From Spotify to Skype, Klarna, Truecaller, and more; like India, Sweden is producing a lot of unicorns as well. 

India and Sweden have signed many Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs); one is between NASSCOM and Swedish Science and Innovation Blog. There is also a joint action statement between the two Prime Ministers who are working to collaborate more towards the space segment. There are many collaborations lined up in the sports sector too. 

“There are a lot of Sweden-India opportunities, collaborations, and magic happening today in the ecosystem. I am also looking for a lot of investment opportunities in the Indian startup ecosystem. I am also going to bridge and connect Indian investors in Swedish companies,” Cecelia signed off.


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For a line-up of all the action-packed sessions at YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference, check out TechSparks 2021 website.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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