They say Ahmedabad is going rapidly and many startup accessory companies are lining up here but we still don’t have many success stories here. ZoomCar, a startup that rents cars for self-drive, kick-started in Ahmedabad some time last year, which is around 3-4 years late. Even some of the MNCs such as Starbucks haven’t entered in Ahmedabad yet.

From what I have noticed and how I see things today, these are the startups that should be there in Ahmedabad but are missing for one reason or the other:

  1. Food/Tiffin Delivery: In spite of being such a big city, we have not been able to do a commendable job at tiffin deliveries. There are a lot of them available but none like the ones in Mumbai (FreshMenu in Mumbai is yum and amazing every day) where you have a variety of options and can order something of your choice.
  2. Travel-Art-Theatre-Dance: There aren’t many excursion or adventure groups out here. Big cities like Mumbai, Bangalore has things like White Collar Hippie where they take you for camping, band camping etc. So when there is weekend, there isn’t much fun to do. What is sad that Ahmedabad has a hell lot of places, art and culture around itself that can be explored. We need to claim our public spaces, use them to create music, dance and art.
  3. Uber Black: Luxury uber service available in the bigger cities. Ahmedabad people are sure now getting into the showing-off business. The people who have money, have filthy amounts of it, would love a Merc cab at their doorsteps.
  4. App to locate best Hostel/PG/Rent Houses: Currently it is largely happening through Facebook groups and friends connect. Also Couch Surfing, Home-Stays should be explored. There are very specific problems that students face. The usual PGs try and avoid Hindi Speaking people, students from Delhi, etc in their apartment thinking they’ll create a nuisance. If there’s an app that can easily let someone list their apartment/room for rent and someone to look and contact, it’ll be a great business as well as a great need fulfilled.
  5. Customized Shoe Making Startup: What should big foots such as me, do? I’ve had instances where I’ve walked into a shop on Relief road, and they’d have looked at my foot and said, “Madam, your size will not be available.” The same happens to a lot of men too.
  6. Traffic Identifier: Although Google Maps can be used for this but there’s a little more help required here. For example, I should get notifications such as there’s a Jain procession going from Paldi to Jamalpur today afternoon (marked that because I was once stuck in a 30-minute jam because of it), so avoid that road.
  7. Non-Veg Food: Non veg food over here is unnecessarily over priced. Startups that can make it affordable, bring it back to the streets. It is also a little risky to start here though. There is a lot of opposition against non-veg food being served. Kolkata streets should be checked out for inspiration. Every crossroad has different varieties and flavours of food: Rolls, chats, samosas, chicken, grills, sandwiches, etc. Unlike the popular opinion (Bengalis only eat fish and rice), they eat much more variety than us. And food is so cheap too.
  8. Online News Content in Regional Language: Even in popular newspapers like Divya Bhaskar have an e-portal, strong journalism still faces problems of access in regional language.
  9. Jobs Portal with Offline Workshops, Simulations, Career Assessments, Explorations.
  10. MidNight Home-Deliveries: There are things like Muncheestan but these are still fewer options if one wants to order food at night, to every corner of the city.

 


Apart from these points, the problem with Ahmedabad is that even the best of the concepts don’t get enough leverage here- in terms of users or investors- the Ahmedabad audience has traditionally been an adopter, not a first hand/quick user. Things trickle down to us from Mumbai and Delhi. Incubations are not very tech-savvy or even fast paced. The investors are largely Gujju businessmen who don’t see what startups are all about, they are just looking for a ‘lucrative’ place to hold their money, get easy-quick returns in 2 or 3 years, They lack understanding and vision. Hence, nothing radically innovative gets very quick user adoption. That’s what pulls down everything here.

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