India’s entrepreneurs look for networking, mentoring and learning opportunities ahead of access to capital, according to a study by the Bangalore Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

TiE Bangalore conducted an in-depth study with a leading market research firm amongst over 200 entrepreneurs across Bengaluru. Respondents included founders of early-stage start-ups across D2C, fintech, healthcare, manufacturing, gaming, mobility, agri tech, etc. and consisting of both existing, serial entrepreneurs and first-time entrepreneurs. Around 15 per cent were female founders.

The survey was to understand what matters to these entrepreneurs for their growth. As per the findings, funding is not the only goal for the Indian entrepreneurial community. About 77 per cent of entrepreneurs surveyed believed that networking was a major challenge.

“To increase brand awareness and access to potential partners and consumers, entrepreneurs are recognising that networking opportunities are paramount. This has been particularly hit during the pandemic — as online meetings offer very little scope for serendipitous networking,” the report said.

Further, 63 per cent of respondents noted that they need to rapidly build their own learning and internal capabilities. “Entrepreneurs are seeking to learn fast — in acquiring knowledge of markets, business and technology, and look to learn from best practices of other successful entrepreneurs,” it said.

Finding the right mentor

About 56 per cent of entrepreneurs also said that they found finding and connecting with the right mentors a challenge. “Both existing and new entrepreneurs recognise the value of a mentor for the business as well as for personal and professional growth,” it said.

Additionally, 40 per cent of entrepreneurs surveyed shared that they needed help in accessing capital.

BJ Arun, Chairman, TiE Global, said, “The Indian start-up ecosystem has indeed taken off with 42 start-ups becoming unicorns in 2021 and another 13 turning unicorns within the first three months of 2022. Start-ups are really driving the Indian economy through their innovation and technology. Therefore, it is even more important now to accelerate the growth of this entrepreneurial ecosystem to play a significant role in making India a $5 trillion economy.”

Madan Padaki, President TiE Bangalore, said, “At TiE Bangalore, we will continue to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. We will continue to drive flagship initiatives like the Matrix, TiE Young Entrepreneurs and TiE Women while seeking to establish newer partnerships with corporates and governments to expand the possibilities for our entrepreneurs.”

TiE Bangalore’s flagship event, Matrix 2022 is scheduled for May 24 and 25 as a hybrid event in Bengaluru and is being supported by the Department of IT/BT, the government of Karnataka as a State partner.