The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2009 - issue > Editor's Desk

Homegrown Startups Taking a Beating?

Pradeep Shankar
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Pradeep Shankar
Earlier this month we had been trekking at the highest peak of Karnataka— Mullayyanagiri. There was a police checkpost at the top
with a wireless device that relied on Line of Sight transmission, as the only channel of communication.While talking casually, the policeman in charge mentioned about the difficulties of being at such an altitude, especially when the communication gadget failed to work most of the time.

Unable to hide my curiosity, I tinkered with the device and observed that it was manufactured by an American multinational. The irony of the situation dawned at me when the policeman said that the earlier instruments,
which had been provided by Webel Electronics, a West Bengal government undertaking, had been of much superior quality and the problems were not many when it came to the transmission of signals.

The question here is why must a device be changed when it had been perfectly working, to the satisfaction of the user? An obvious answer might be that someone at the top did not renew the contract with Webel Electronics.

Or perhaps the ‘made in India’ product failed to win the tender? Over the last few months we have been talking to a number of Indian
startups, especially those who are building products for local markets. In many instances, these companies mentioned during the discussions that either they do not qualify for the tender process or if they do qualify, they

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