William Bao Bean

China’s internet companies are moving fast into India, but find a very different situation, says William Bao Bean, managing director of the Shanghai-based Chinaccelator and founder of the MOX SOSV’s Mobile-Only Accelerator. India is very diverse, offering a more competitive environment, not dominated by big players like China, although the acquisition of customers is extremely costly, he adds at Inc42.com. William Bao Bean has extensive experience in both markets.


In China, since the consumer market is dominated by very large players, it becomes difficult to compete, Bean insisted. However, India is a mixed bag of everything — on one side you have internet giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon offering one size fits all products for the world. On the other, you have startups that are backed by Chinese investors like Softbank, Alibaba Group and Tencent, and Chinese companies like Xiaomi and ByteDance directly foraying into India, Bean explained.

This, in a way, makes the Indian business ecosystem a bit of a battleground, thereby complicating life for early-stage entrepreneurs to survive.

“The truth is, no one can compete with the elephants,” he added…

Bean said that India is a land of multiple opportunities due to its vibrant ecosystem, ethnicity, social and economic diversity. “We believe in helping companies work together — advice and mentor them to be competitive in the Indian market. In fact, India is a complicated market. It is not just about the big players versus the small players. Interestingly, India is not just one market, it is a cluster of many markets,” he added..

There are many reasons why startups fail in India and across the world. Apart from the founders and investors getting along. Most challenges can be eliminated by focusing on companies that are backed with data.

“A lot of times, entrepreneurs focus on gut instinct, instead of data. Ideas are like noses, everyone has it,” quipped Bean.

Bean said MOX takes those ideas, tests them and make decisions based on data. “Since we are a cross-border internet platform, we don’t have 10K hours of experience to find out things by doing guesswork. We focus on data — we invest in startups backed on data, talk to customers through data, make changes that show data and then iterate quickly based on data. This pretty much solves the hassles and complications from occurring in the future.” Bean asserted.

More in Inc42.com

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