Humans Of Startups

Lakshmi’s take on startup culture differences


With change in location, comes change in cultures. Well, we already knew that, but how much of a change is there really when it comes to the startup culture. What is the one main thing that differentiates our startup culture when compared to the rest of the countries.

Women of Startups

We spoke to Lakshmi Narasimha, Vice President of a huge investment bank and asked her to share her opinions on the same.

What, according to you is the difference between India and the other countries in terms of startup ecosystem?

In  terms of the difference on what’s happening in the US or Europe, it is that the rate of scale up of startups is very very fast.  They’ve all scaled up within a span of say 2-3 years.  This could be because of many reasons like availability of resources, risk taking ability, etc. There’s a huge difference in the mentalities too.The mentality of India is to invest first, see the growth and then put more money in it. That’s not how it’s in the US. They go full steam ahead. They just roll with it.

Startups is the way to go and I always say that. I’ve lived in Mumbai and San Francisco,  spending a lot of time at these places and so have seen the mindset of these places.


But why the difference, is there any reason that might have lead to this?

In India I’ve typically experienced that with different policies, governments, different schools of thought,  the way the peer  and social system works, and the way the business world works, suppose if there are eighty good ideas generated, more than half of them will ultimately experience a burnout before they can even reach anywhere.

The biggest difference is leverage. In the US you can leverage a lot. That’s why someone like Zuckerberg could come from anywhere and be richest man.

The startup ecosystem should not exist just because you’re running after money, it should be about building something tangible, and that, is something that most people are forgetting.


So within India, how is the culture different?

I’ll take two cities, Bangalore and Mumbai, to answer that.

In Bangalore, starting a startup is way more easier and the culture is way more evolved than the startup system  in Mumbai. I think the reason is the experience requirement pattern and old school business families where Mumbai comes from , so that becomes a harder clique to crack in, in comparison to Bangalore.

Bangalore is the youth city whereas Mumbai is a mix and has the power.

(What do you think? Bangalore vs Mumbai, how is the culture different? Let us know in the comments!)



So now that you’re in this ever evolving startup ecosystem, has there been any incident that’s been of a substantial impact to you?

Oh, lots of moments have changed me personally and professionally!

The highlight of these moments has to be when I quit my corporate job after 8 years. Just like that!

After that I dabbled in a lot of startups for 3 years. Then I went to Croatia on a boat and met a CEO and joined a tech circus in LA and I had a blast.

And I’m still having a blast. I’m experiencing the different startup cultures. Life is good!

Is life good for you too? No?  Find a job you love at Jobspire. Life might just get better!

Want to see some of the best office cultures that you can work for?

Read – 8 Startups with awesome offices in India




Related Reads – Struggle to get investment: Shalu’s story

From corporate to startup: Megha Gajjala’s inspiring reason to shift

Founders, “Culture is everything” and taking groupfies


Sabaa Hayat

The author Sabaa Hayat