Go East, Young Entrepreneur!

Go East, Young Entrepreneur!

Here are three stories of entrepreneurs that went east to India, survived, and succeeded:

Valerie Wagoner started her company ZipDial, which was acquired last month by Twitter, based on her insight of the potential of missed calls in the bandwidth deprived Indian mobile market.

In 2013, Greg Moran and David Back left the U.S. to work in India, but ended up starting their own company ZoomCar, a self-driving (ie no chaffeur provided)  car rental start-up. What started with just seven vehicles is now a business of 250 cars in the cities of Bangalore and Pune. They have plans to expand to 10 more cities this year with the recent funding they received from Sequoia. “I like the energy levels of the people here. Besides, starting business in India is becoming an easy process,” says Moran.

Eleven years ago, in 2004, Sean Blagsvedt came to India to head Program Management and Advanced Prototyping for Microsoft Research. He had no plans of settling down in India, but within months he quit his high-paying job, married an Indian woman, and set up a company to solve the problems of unskilled and blue-collar jobs in India. Blagsvedt has no regrets. He considers the move to become an entrepreneur in India one of his best decisions. “India is largely an under-served market, but has huge potential when it comes to adoption of technology. We are trying to solve some socioeconomic problems with the help of digital technology,” he says. His venture, Babajob, connects job seekers such as security guards, drivers, maids and cooks with potential employers.

With the start-up ecosystem maturing in India, the numbers of expat entrepreneurs are so significant that it has led to the formation of an Expat Entrepreneurs Circle, an exclusive organization of foreign entrepreneurs and non-resident Indians doing business in India.


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