It’s been a few days since my return to the U.S. and as I settle back into work, I can’t help but think about the experiences I’ve taken away from the trip. It was my first time visiting India and I’d never been on a group trip before. As I mentioned on my KickOff post, I found that the trips in between the start-ups where I got to talk with other geeks about India and the emerging market opportunities was just as interesting to me as visiting the local startups.
My best learning experience from the trip was definitely sharing the experiences with other geeks. Geeks On A Plane is unique setting and I don’t think there is any other way to consume as much information as I did in such a short period of time. I’m going to miss all of the geeks and I know that I will certainly remain close to them and they’ll become life long friends.
Another learning experience I had while visiting India was definitely understanding their infrastructure and the challenges it presented for opportunities for the local startup community as an entrepreneur. I left India with a lot of take-aways and some of the immediate opportunities I noticed were in the mobile industry. I think that there are few ways to capitalize on this category, one quick use case would be to develop SMS based learning applications to help with health or nutritional education. For instance, if a woman was pregnant, she could send a text message saying she was 1 month pregnant and receive a text message every day with advice about how to care for her baby at that particular time. The SMS aspect of the application in this case would play a big part because of the lack of mobile data infrastructure. This same concept could be applied to things such as dietary restrictions, for example, a diabetic could send a text message about certain food types to learn about their nutritional value.
Another area where I saw opportunity in this sector was with long distance calling. While I was there, I noticed that I had occasional challenges in placing long distance calls and thought it would be interesting to have a way to send a text message with the number that you’re trying to dial and it would text you back informing you that it would connect your call within a certain amount of time, for instance 20 minutes, and then 1 minute prior to your call you would get another text message informing you that it was about to connect your call. You might be able to reply URGENT for an additional fee and it would prioritize your call. This would not only lower long distance rates and open communications between India and other countries, it would also load balance the mobile carrier networks.
Both these ideas could be applied to other emerging markets such as Latin America.
During the trip, I met Milind Doshi, who went to Babson College. He shared a lot of interesting stories about opportunities in India. Milind is a local entrepreneur who is trying to connect like-minded individuals. Milind who was part of the GOAP trip is one of the local entrepreneurs who I know I will remain in ongoing contact with and I hope to visit him and other entrepreneurs I met again.
Sean Percival wrote a good post, “Startup Lessons from the Busy Streets of India“.
BOALT ‘Geeks On A Plane’ India 2013 Blog Series:
- Geeks On A Plane: Overview
- Geeks On A Plane: India 2013 KickOff
- Geeks On A Plane: Bangalore
- Geeks On A Plane: StartupWeekend
- Geeks On A Plane: Mumbai
- Geeks On A Plane: India 2013 WrapUp