How Bengaluru’s HSR Layout has emerged as the startup capital of India
Over the years, India has witnessed an uptake of innovative startups. With the right blend of environment, investment, innovation, patents, products and services, startups can scale their way to being profitable. What they need is a breeding ground for innovation and creativity, or in other words, access to ‘Startup Hubs’.
These are areas that provide startups and new initiatives a pedestal to grow and make a name for themselves. Bengaluru, the startup capital of India, has been the genesis for well-known startups like, , , among many others. Back in the day, people flocked to the city for its IT opportunities, but now the city is paving the way for young entrepreneurs. Koramangala, which was once known to woo startups, has now handed over the baton to HSR Layout. But before we get into that, let’s delve a bit into what makes Bengaluru an attractive startup destination.
Bengaluru startup ecosystem goes global
Bengaluru has rightly been christened as the Silicon Valley of India, as it boasts of various technical firms, good transport links, close access to top universities, abundance of talent and the favourable weather is, of course, worth mentioning. Holding 30 percent of the shared office's space in the country, the city also houses popular co-working spaces like, , , , and Regus.
In fact, according to Startup Genome's annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021, Bengaluru was one of the top startup hubs across the world. The research also showed that the city and the surrounding state of Karnataka is also the world’s fourth-largest technology and innovation cluster and home to more than 400+ global R&D centres.
Making it big in Koramangala
Koramangala is a premier location in Bengaluru with easy access to the metro, taxis, shared vehicles, housing popular eateries and tons of paying guests and living options for those new to the city. This attracts a huge cosmopolitan crowd and youngsters, which makes it a fantastic testing ground for young entrepreneurs trying to launch new products and services.
Koramangala currently houses multiple hot startups and incubation centres, making it easier for entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and explore business synergies. Flipkart was founded out of the first floor of a two-storey building on 12th Main. Infosys opened its first office in the area in the 1980s. When the dotcom revolution took off, several companies like Microland and Indya.com were launched here. From Ola to Swiggy, Hackearth to FreshMenu, many familiar names took flight from Koramangala.
How HSR Layout rapidly gained momentum
Today, the spotlight has shifted to HSR Layout. In the last eight years or so, this area has given tough competition to Koramangala with the number of startups setting up their bases in the neighbourhood. So, what makes this a great place for startups to set up shop?
Placed south of Koramangala, HSR Layout has a better layout and digital infrastructure and its grid system is far more sophisticated for housing and working. It's right next to the Outer Ring Road, which connects to all corners of Bengaluru. Also, since a lot of apartment complexes have cropped up in Bellandur and Whitefield, startup founders and employees find it easier to travel to work to HSR Layout than Koramangala. You can easily access metro stations in Silk Board, Bommanahalli, Bommasandra and Kudlu Gate once they are operational and in the years to come, these stations will have a well-connected metro line to the Bengaluru Airport.
Following a regular workout routine is vital for all. HSR has running tracks and parks all over the area, with Agara Lake and many natural bodies in near sight. If you want to grab a bite while hosting a meeting, there are several well-known pubs and restaurants that have relocated to HSR Layout.
When it comes to accommodation for entrepreneurs and startup employees with different salary levels, many co-living spaces like Zolo, Nestaway are headquartered in the area. Moreover, the prices of residential as well as commercial spaces are relatively lower in HSR Layout, as compared to Koramangala.
According to Shweta Malagi, Principal Architect, BHIVE Workspace, HSR Layout is Vastu Shastra-friendly for businesses as it lies in the farthest south-west sector of Bengaluru. “According to this science, entrepreneurs should sit facing the north, east or north-east direction as it is considered auspicious. Also, Agara Lake is located towards the north-east and the land is inclined towards the south, which makes the water drain south as well,” she says.
Other factors that will attract entrepreneurs here are the good availability of Kaveri water and great parking spaces. And finally, it houses Adarsh Esplanade, one of the wealthiest hubs and a perfect weekend getaway for a lot of startup founders. All these factors are also why the Reddy community, otherwise known as the key landlord community, heavily invest in this area.
Today, HSR Layout boasts of, , , , , , and a dozen other startups. A lot of companies from other Indian cities are also directly setting up headquarters here. The perfect amalgamation of the corporate lifestyle and vibrant social life in the area will open up new avenues for startups to scale. and perhaps even become unicorns with a valuation of $1 billion.