Sunday, 22 September 2013

Jalandhar As A Location For Promoting Start Ups

Does Jalandhar, a city of industrial clusters can be classified as "Start Up Common" location?

The question is to be answered in terms of evaluation of Jalandhar on the various parameters of presence of entrepreneurial ecosystem in the area. Pater Cohan from Babson College, USA in his MIT Entrepreneurship Blog designated a suitable location for promoting start ups in an industry as "Start Up Commons" and has suggested six major elements of "Start Up Commons" as criteria for evaluation. These locations supposedly get strengthened by respective generations of successes and failures. The unfunded start ups try to get advice, people and funds from the industry, but, very small percentage are funded. Citing example of Silicon Valley as a lucrative and suitable "Start Up Commons", Cohan has attributed the location as an important attribute for high number of start ups from specific locations. 

Jalandhar, a prominent emerging metropolitan of Punjab has developed as an industrial hub. With various clusters functioning here,a few of them, namely,  Hand Tools, Sports Goods, Pipe Fittings, Leather Goods and Surgical Goods are quite prominently active. With many of units in these clusters are highly export oriented, the contribution of these units in economic development of Punjab can never be doubted. What is needed is to evaluate the true entrepreneurship potential of these units, an evaluation of Jalandhar as "Start Up Commons" is badly needed. Jalandhar's evaluation in terms  presence or absence of six common elements as an entrepreneurial location can be summarised as follows:-

  • Pillar Companies : Kalsi Pumps, Ambika Overseas, Atam Valves, F.C. Sondhi to name a few. Question is that whether these companies help the start ups in terms of hand holding, availability of trained manpower and even seed financing?
  • Universities : Jalandhar has gained the advantage of having 4 universities in and round it. Primarily, the advantage is truly world class, as, these institutions have excellent infrastructure, creative research environment and global reach.
  • Human Capital : A good number of graduates passing out from these universities are technically qualified and able enough to start their own ventures. They have examples of existing units who have excelled over a period of time in spite of not becoming big and confining as small and medium units.
  • Investment Capital : many government and non government agencies including banks provide seed capital financing and different types of support to help  and facilitate the start ups.
  • Mentoring : All kinds of mentoring is possible with establishment of right platforms for interaction of experienced players with budding start ups. Such mentoring can be extended from business development to hiring to souring of raw materials and to apply for government grants and subsidies. In fact, the academic environment has the capacity to guide such start ups in more diligent and aggressive manner.
  • Values : The value system comprises of intellectual capital and the way of doing business ethics being passed from one generation of entrepreneurs to another. Undoubtedly, such value system flows from the organisational and industry culture of big players providing support and guidance to smaller and newer units for long term sustainability.
The above inputs and analysis is just a starting point of a possibly long discussion. A survey of size able number of units in different clusters of Jalandhar can truly determine suitability of Jalandhar as possible lucrative location for promoting entrepreneurial spirit and thereby developing strong, favourable ecosystem for establishing start ups in different technology related /unrelated areas.

P.S. I hereby invite any of readers of this blog to approach me at my mail id in case if interested in carrying out a research project on above issue. 

1 comment:

  1. Prof. Chitranjan Chatterjee from IIMB has recently posted his views on promoting entrepreneurship within an organisation (called as corporate intrapreneurship) and the various models applicable to such support to ideas from the employer (Link to his article is . A pertinent query being raised is the level of expenditure made by Indian government on promoting entrepreneurship within our country through its various organisations and programmes. The author has recommended intrapreneurship as a possible source of next wave of big ideas coming in a resource deprived country like India. However, my opinion is to evaluate first the level of penetration of such government programmes to the grass root levels, I mean the polytechnics, technical colleges and management students in cities and towns other than metros and among institutions other than IITs and IIMs. Don't have the data right now to support my argument, however, in most of Indian universities and technical colleges where entrepreneurship is taught only one subject to management students and is not on the curriculum for all other technical courses, we still have a long way to go. In fact, the need is to diffuse innovation to all these institutes by holding regular competitions and programmes involving participation from all streams of students. As academicians and practitioners of entrepreneurial ideas, let us ponder over it.

    P.S. In fact, I take Professor Chatterjee's idea very seriously and plan to do research on evaluation of entrepreneurial programmes of government to understand the real situation. Anybody interested can post a comment and share how they can contribute to my proposed research idea.