August 24, 2015
The city is becoming an attractive option for start-ups. The low cost of operations and surplus manpower are said to be the reasons why the city is flooded with start-ups.
Many companies are giving Bengaluru the go by and are choosing Coimbatore, where they say they have the right atmosphere for their start-ups to flourish.
Dhruv Kumar, 27, started an online medical advice platform icliniq.com in 2010 in Bangalore. He has now moved to Coimbatore, where he says “there is a lot of positivity in the air.”
“I moved my company to Coimbatore in 2012. We have patients now in 160 countries and 1,000 doctors to attend to them. I would say we are doing well,” said the entrepreneur, who has completed his mechanical engineering in Anna University.
“There is less noise here. Coimbatore is very much different from Bangalore, where everyone predicts that something will go wrong with your company. Coimbatore people are very positive. We have the support of the middle class here, which is essential for my company,” he said.
“There are events all the time and the place is flooded with funding stories. Those days, we thought we were a tech start-up and did not focus enough on the health and business side.”
The cotton-growing region saw its first industries in ginning and moved on to make garments, machinery, automobile and many ancillary products. It used to be called the ‘Manchester of South India’, drawing comparison with the first industrial city.
Several young entrepreneurs like Kumar, who started up in Bengaluru were shifting to Coimbatore. Do-PartTime, a part-time job discovery portal, is another example and one of the reasons for the shift was talent retention.
“Every company has a dynamic workforce, which frequently shifts, and a static workforce with loyalty. In a place like Coimbatore, the teams stick around,” said Kumar.
Coimbatore has pleasant weather conditions like Bengaluru and is seeing its fair share of start-up activity. The Coimbatore Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a non-profit consortium that promotes entrepreneurship, has identified 47 active start-ups.
One of the catalysts for them is the educational institutions in the region that have helped establish a sound technical eco-system, TiE-Coimbatore President Selvakumar said.