Reasons why startups are a lot like driving in India:
- Both require healthy disregard for established convention and rules.
- Both require absolute fearlessness.
- Space fills quickly — White spaces don’t stay white for long. If you identify an opportunity, you have to act fast or it will be filled by someone or something else.
- Intense and varied competition — Constantly competing against all manner of man, beast and machine. Jumble of old and new. Shiny Audi A6s jockey for space against heavy trucks, old buses, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, pushcarts, pedestrians and the occasional camel.
- Horn OK Please — Everyone is always making noise to let you know that they are disrupting and overtaking you.
- Friends and family — Both often put friends and family at risk. Startups often risk their friends’ and family’s money. Drivers in India often risk their friends and family. Rather disconcerting seeing a family of four, including a toddler and infant clutched in Mom’s arms, atop a Hero motorcycle zipping in and out of traffic.