Startup culture: here’s why Mumbai is losing to Bangalore and Delhi

The country’s financial capital is a “difficult” city to live in due to infrastructure problems associated with the high cost of living, the founders of multi-billion dollar startups said on Friday.

The city loses out to others due to its lack of ability to create communities, which deters talent made up of technologists who want to have a better place for their children to grow up which is also cheaper, Ashish Hemrajani said, Founder and Managing Director. by BookMyShow.

Making it clear that the megacity, home to 20 unicorns or startups valued at over $1 billion each, has many advantages, Hemrajani said we must address the challenges the city faces to ensure it stays relevant.

The 48-year-old entrepreneur, who was born and raised in Mumbai, said he was only home to traditional financiers and was losing out to new era financial services players.

“Although the city has phenomenal advantages, it has given me everything, we still need to roll up our socks and do a lot more to attract more talent and make it more livable for new businesses,” he said during of the annual summit hosted by TiEcon here.

Echoing similar concerns, Shaadi.com’s Anupam Mittal said the cost of living is a “real challenge” for the city and also suggested tackling the same issue.

Highlighting the space that exists to the east of the city, Mittal said the government must take the lead in developing a “start-up city” where businesses act as catalysts through the thousands of people they employ.

He said the government could control rents and prices for the first few years in space, adding that global cities like Seattle grew in size because they were home to companies like Microsoft.

Mittal added that Bengaluru, the country’s undisputed startup hub, is also experiencing similar issues with rents that have doubled in recent years.

A thriving startup ecosystem requires a city to be truly cosmopolitan, and Mumbai scores on this as it is home to creative industry, finance and healthcare professionals, he said.

Rizwan Koita of Citiustech also hinted at the infrastructure issues that exist in the financial capital and added that the space is getting very competitive with other cities like Noida and Gurugram also vying for the preferred choice for startups. All of the founders, however, made it clear that they would not move anywhere.

Harsh Jain of fantasy sports company Dream11 said its investors had asked for the company to be relocated to Bengaluru.

“We’re not going anywhere,” he said, adding that the spirit of the city is the closest thing to portraying entrepreneurship where a person has to endure challenges before they can succeed.

Siddharth Shah of Pharmeasy said the city has given him everything, including friends from his neighborhood who became co-founders of the company, and there is no way they will even leave the suburb of Ghatkopar.

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