Tech majors HP, Google and Microsoft reach out to local start-ups to gain foothold in SME sector

Friday, May 4, 2012

Large technology companies have a clear target group in mind when they design initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Start-ups that engage in these programmes are typically led by founders set on building the next big technology service product. But not Vanajakshi Raveendra Lokhande, the owner of a small business that makes pickles and noodles in the north Karnataka district of Bagalkot.

Lokhande, once a manual labourer, was trained by global technology major Hewlett Packard to set up her small business. From partnering with pickle makers, baking units, coaching institutes and also technology start-ups, global firms such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Google and Microsoft are digging deep into the bottom of the pyramid level as they seek to gain a greater foothold in the small and medium businesses space in the country.

“It is a win-win situation for both, as these programmes help us identify new opportunities in emerging markets and build strategies and solutions around that,” said Jeannette Weisschuh, who leads Hewlett Packard’s entrepreneurship and education initiatives. Lokhande’s husband was a daily worker and their monthly income was Rs 2,000. Now she earns ten times that amount as a business owner.

Source: Economic Times (link opens in a new window)