Big conglomerates like Cisco and GE India have expressed interests in acquiring innovative Indian start-ups in the near future. This could be seen as a huge positive sign for India’s startup ecosystem.
GE Healthcare recently announced that it will soon launch its John F Welch Technology Centre in Bangalore. The centre will be launched for startups with good ideas for frugal innovation in the maternity and infant healthcare space, an area which has recorded high number of deaths in the country.
According to Vikram Damodaran, director of healthcare innovation at GE Healthcare India, once the products are manufactured, the company will have a detailed discussion with developers on possible co-licensing or even acquisitions of these startups. India, where both medical needs and startups are found in great numbers is considered as a natural test bed for companies like GE Healthcare.
The intellectual capital will be provided by GE Healthcare and the technological help is being offered by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT). The help by MIT will be provided under its specialized wing CAMTech India. Later this month a hackathon will be organized by Ms. Elizabeth Bailey, director at CAMTech, Massachusetts General Hospital in order to screen and filter the right ideas.
Cisco investments also recently announced that it would invest around $40 million (Rs. 240.9 crore) in emerging Indian startups and would even consider acquiring them. The company’s fund will be invested in three verticals- connected mobility, big data and internet of things.
According to Joydeep Bose, Cisco’s MD for corporate development-investments and acquisitions, it is very important to embed these innovations as they bring exceptional amount of shareholder value.
Cisco has already invested in two Indian companies- Mob-Stac, which is a Bangalore based mobile app developer and Mumbai-based Covacsis, which is a real-time analytics platform for industries as a part of its $250 million (Rs.1,503 crore) global fund.
These initiatives by Cisco and GE Healthcare will provide a perfect opportunity to the 1,000 odd startups that come into existence every year. While these conglomerates have taken these positive steps, other multinational corporations like IBM still consider startups as an intermediary between clients and company.