'Virtual explosion' of entrepreneurship in India: Mahindra
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra today said energy levels of Indians make him believe there will be a "virtual explosion" in entrepreneurship going forward.
"If I use the adjective explosion, we will not be hyping it up...we have amongst the highest energy levels both in quality and quantity anywhere in the world. I see a virtual explosion in entrepreneurship," he said.
The noted industrialist was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of a start-up award by visiting British royal couple - Prince William and his wife Kate.
Though he acknowledged there is a talk of the start-up bubble bursting up, he said the Mahindra Group will continue to invest in the ecosystem through a specially-created venture called Mahindra Partners.
There is already a talk of start-ups acting like "cockroaches" --- resilient beings which die rarely and can switch to frugal role in face of difficulties --- rather than being unicorns (those with over USD 1 billion valuation).
Mahindra said the Group is willing to look at a company for what it is doing and the value in doing so, and will not shy from investing in firms which may be a potential threat to the existing businesses his conglomerate is in.
Citing the example of the auto company Smart Shift, Mahindra said, it "might be intrinsically against our core business because using it will mean lower sales for our commercial vehicles, but if we see an opportunity, we are using the start-up culture and ecosystem to spin them off as a startup."
He, however, refused to disclose the sum total of the investments done by the Group till now or which businesses they are looking at.
It can be noted that there is a greater thrust on entrepreneurship in the country after start-ups like Flipkart and Paytm achieved unicorn status and the Government launched a mega initiative to build a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and helping early stage companies.