Market Discovery – India

Market Discovery: Exploring India with German Accelerator

Helping local companies grow is one of the most profitable things a government can do to increase future tax revenue. From a macroeconomic point of view, it is even better if that growth is fuelled from abroad, bringing new revenue into the country.

That must have been the idea behind German Accelerator (GA) – a German government-funded program helping German companies discover new markets. While the U.S. remains the most popular program for many, GA is also well-known for its ventures into the Asian and South American markets. As is already fairly big and well-established in the US, we applied to discover India instead, which, in our eyes, is the world’s biggest future market

Market Discovery - India

Why India?

India not only boasts the largest population on the planet with almost 1.4 billion people, but it is also an economy that manages to keep on growing independent of Western influences or disturbances. India is also a great market for German tech companies as the language of the Indian internet industry is English.

Unlike the Chinese or Japanese markets, where you won’t be able to succeed without localization and local language support, the Indian market can mostly be served with the same product you are already selling to other English-speaking markets.

Whilst still thought of as poor by many, India has a large, prosperous middle class and some of the best-funded companies in the world. Your approach to India will, of course, be different depending on whether you are selling to consumers (B2C) or to business customers (B2B).

When you are in the Indian B2C market, expect huge numbers of users with very low revenue per user. Many of the biggest social networks’ growth can be attributed to their presence in the Indian market.

The B2B market is different – you can largely get the same revenue per user as you can in the West, unless you target small businesses. In the mid to large company B2B market, you will also benefit from the massive scale of India. For example, if you are selling to universities, you will find over 1,100 universities and 43,000 private colleges in India which have high enough budgets to afford your solution. Germany, by comparison, has just 427 universities – that’s a 100X larger market.

To crack the Indian market, it’s important to get at least a handful of big names, as well as case studies and recommendations. If you can do that, you can expect huge growth from that sector.

Take live sports and streaming. Jio Cinema has set the world record for the most parallel streams with 32 million parallel streams during the cricket clash between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans on May 29 2023. A regular season game will get 10 to 12 million parallel streams, while the India vs. Australia series amassed over 120 million viewers. These are numbers only surpassed by the NFL Superbowl or the UEFA Champions League Final, which attract global audiences, while cricket is only popular in a select few countries outside India.

One note – if you are selling solutions that might attract large amounts of parallel users, make sure you have the technical infrastructure in place to handle this kind of traffic.

Finding product market fit

When starting to sell to the Indian market, you might find that your target customer is different from their Western counterpart. The product market fit you may have found in your home market may not be relevant in India.

Finding product market fit from home via video calls is nearly impossible. The best way to figure out if India is right for you is to go there. The German Accelerator program, powered by Start2 Group, offers German companies discovery and access programs which are three to six months long. You’ll be paired with expert mentors and guided through an intense in-country phase. Most of the cost for this program is covered by the German government, short of a nominal fee and your travel expenses.

Does it work?

Riddle is currently in the market access program. We will spend six months in the country and on calls with our mentors to find out if India is a market for our online quiz maker.

There is no incumbent local player that we could identify. Time will tell if this is a good or bad thing. But we know that our first set of Indian customers share similar needs with our current customer base: getting to know their customers (or fans if they are a sports franchise) and generating leads.

However, our customers’ audiences use the internet very differently from the West. A lot of B2C communication, for example, happens on WhatsApp, not on websites or via email. These are the sorts of challenges you only discover when you are on-site, talking to customers, and then adapting your product offering to find a product market fit for the biggest market in the world.

Follow us on LinkedIn to read more about’s journey to India and find out if we failed or succeeded.

About German Accelerator

German Accelerator empowers German startups to scale globally. We take high-potential companies on a fast-paced learning journey to understand, discover, and access the world’s leading innovation hubs in the U.S., Asia, and South America. Through highly-customized programs, mentoring from local experts, as well as access to our vast network of business partners and investors, we help startups from all stages and across various industries on their way to international success. Since launching in 2012, German Accelerator has nurtured over 850 startups which have raised more than $15.6 billion in funding so far. German Accelerator is run by Start2 Group and is proudly financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

About Start2 Group

Start2 Group is a global innovation leader taking your startup journey to the next level.

As a premier startup ecosystem platform, Start2 Group serves as the ultimate destination for growth-oriented startups, corporations, investors, and governments to shape and scale ventures with growth potential.

Founded in 2008, Start2 Group has consistently played a pivotal role in the success stories of thousands of startups, guiding them seamlessly from initial fundraising to global expansion. We operate in key markets across Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East, shaping the future of innovation on a global scale.

Scroll to Top