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Going global: Indian start-ups tweak strategies to woo NRIs

Virendra Pandit Ahmedabad | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 07, 2017

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Even as the IT sector struggles with multiple crises and fly-by-night start-ups shed flab to consolidate, some successful Indian start-ups are now going global to woo foreigners, including NRIs and PIOs, towards opportunities in the country.

Incepted in 2016, Bengaluru-based PropUrban, targeting potential clients in East Asia, is all set to expand base there.

“Apart from our existing overseas centres at Dubai and London, we now plan to go to Hong Kong and Singapore by July-end. And we will have around a dozen centres overseas by the end of 2017,” Mir Jaffer Ali, Founder-CEO, told BusinessLine.

Between March and May, he said, 17 per cent jump was noticed in real estate business in India, particularly in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kochi.

“We have done 14 major global transactions in India, originating in Dubai and London, with a gross value transaction worth $2.7 million. Besides, we have also done 27 Indian transactions worth $2 million,” he said.

Ali pointed out that his company expected 75 per cent of revenues to come from overseas market in the next five to seven years, in view of the country’s consumer-friendly policies, increasing transparency, GST and ongoing correction and consolidation scenario.

Real estate platform

An online-to-offline (O2O) real estate investment advisory and transaction platform dealing in commercial and residential properties, PropUrban aggregates and showcases real estate properties listed by individuals and institutional sellers to global investors and end-users.

It is a single-point transaction-enabler real estate platform for industry service providers and vendors to showcase their products and solutions, and provides end-to-end solutions, he said.

The New Delhi-based TravKart, an online portal offering both online and offline holiday solutions with air and non-air travel packages, is now targeting the Middle East, South-East Asia and the Far East.

“By the end of 2017, we will have our first global set up in the UAE. We are contracting with hotels and others in the hospitality sector. We will also introduce out-bound tourist packages and consider a franchise-model”, said Manheer Singh Sethi, Co-Founder.

Leisure travel

In 2016, 23 lakh overseas tourists came into India. They included about 4 per cent of leisure-seeking tourists from the Middle East. This segment has seen a 20 per cent increase in CAGR over the last three years.

The in-bound leisure tourists brought in $20 million worth of revenues in 2016. The overall turnover of tourism, including domestic, in-bound and out-bound, in 2016 was around ₹12 lakh crore, he added.

The Ahmedabad-based Salebhai, an e-commerce marketplace offering a range of native specialties to those living away from hometowns, recently launched international delivery of its services across 195 countries, with focus on the US, West and South Africa, Middle East and the UK, primarily to the NRIs and PIOs.

Favourite of NRIs

“In 2016, our offer of couriering “rakhis” overseas evoked good response. Now we get an average of a dozen orders daily from NRIs, a number which goes up with particular seasonal needs. Now our focus is to provide handicrafts, décor and other items to NRIS,” said Vishwa Vijay Singh, Co-Founder, Salebhai.

According to a 2015 report by Nasscom, three to four start-ups were, then, being set up every day in India.

The country had, by 2016-17, more than 19,000 technology-enabled start-ups, led by consumer Internet and financial services start-ups. However, data collected by Nucleus42, revealed that more than 500 Indian start-ups closed down between January 2015 and August 2016.

Published on June 07, 2017
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