‘Start-ups work differently’

Manohar Esarapu, head of Bosch India’s Start-Up Alliance programme, discusses intrepid entrepreneurs and cooperation based on trust.

Manohar Esarapu (Photo: Thomas Grabka)
Manohar Esarapu (Photo: Thomas Grabka)

Why is Bosch supporting Indian start-ups in a programme involving Intellecap and GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)?
When start-ups develop new products and services they also create new markets, which makes them interesting partners for us. But there’s also their attitude. They don’t shy away from obstacles, they tackle problems head on, whereas multinationals are more cautious. Start-ups work differently, they really go for it.

Why should German start-ups be keeping an eye on India?
Because India is a major market and there’s a lot going on there at the moment. That makes it an interesting place for German high-tech companies – in particular those operating in the wind and solar energy sector. In Germany, for example, people no longer remember what it’s like to have a power cut. But we know all about that here.

‘India is a very creative place’

What do Indian entrepreneurs stand to gain from their visit to Berlin?
It’s a great experience for them. You can see how motivated and enthusiastic they are. They are keen to learn from their German colleagues, particularly in terms of technological expertise. They also benefit greatly from the workshops. India is a very creative place – here in Berlin, ideas are structured and the entrepreneurs receive methodical instruction.

Will Bosch be investing money in some of the start-ups represented?
It’s possible, but too early as yet to make commitments. Our priority is to help the entrepreneurs work on their technology and business model. But of course we keep a close eye on developments. Several of the start-ups hold out a very real prospect of future joint ventures. Through boot camps and demo days we can create a relationship based on trust.

The interview was conducted by Astrid Herbold.