Bandra of Bangalore, GK-I of Delhi, that’s Koramangala. This is startup universe, the hub of ideas, inspiration and all the action.
It’s half past seven on a Monday evening. The ‘footfalls’ haven’t begun yet in earnest at Prost Brewpub which has five home brews on the menu. A group of three is among the handful sipping their drinks quietly. Cut to half hour later, and the place is buzzing with activity. A large group of 11 troops in for what seems a reunion party. The tables fill up. Some step out onto the balcony with their beer mugs for a smoke. The din throws up snatches of a conversation. “Scaling up...demand hai,” one of the trio says to her companions. “....you need that value addition,” says another, a bit sceptically. Out comes a notebook and they rummage around for a pen. Then furious scribbling and lots of questions and answers. Another round of drinks. It’s been an hour, but the conversation is far from over.
The discussion is about a startup idea (not surprisingly, two of them work with startups; the other, who didn’t have much luck with his first venture, is sounding out a new idea) and it’s unfolding at a microbrewery on Koramangala’s 80 Ft Road. Why? “It’s convenient. And, you can get some beer.” It’s the sort of answer you get anywhere in Koramangala, the place many are calling India’s busiest startup locality. The building next door to Prost shelters a couple of startups and there are a few more in the street across the road. They are all over really, and no one keeps count.
Less than 50 feet away is a Costa coffee outlet where headphone-wearing youngsters keep at their laptops all day. Twenty-seven-year-old Akshay Kingar says he knows of at least 25 people who work from there. He’s one of them. His firm foOfys creates mobile apps and his team sits in an office 10 km away where he hasn’t been to in over a month. He doesn’t need to: he spends Rs 12,000 a month to collaborate with his team—with tools like Wunderlist, Slack, Trello, Mockup, AWS—to be AWOL.
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