Indian companies shifting base out of the country in search of startup-friendly environments

Despite selling high-end software to the American space agency Nasa and French fashion brand Louis Vuitton, business software maker Druva has few customers in India. This has forced the young Pune-based company to set up another headquarter inCalifornia as it seeks to build deeper ties with customers there. "India has zero market for enterprise technology firms," says Jaspreet Singh, chief executive of Druva, which earns just a tenth of its revenues from India, with the rest coming from US and Europe. 

Druva's is not an isolated case — a number of Indian enterprise technology companies are now shifting base out of the country to grow faster. Lack of sufficient risk capital, not enough profitable exits for investors and fewer customers willing to experiment with technology are making hordes of entrepreneurs take this decision. "I met at least 30 entrepreneurs in the 
Bay Area in California who had recently moved from India," said Mukund Mohan, a serial entrepreneur and CEO-in-Residence at theMicrosoft Accelerator. Many of these firms are attracted by the startup-friendly ecosystem in the Silicon Valley that has produced iconic companies like Apple, Google, Salesforce and Twitter.

Young technology firms from India too are finding that being at the centre of the action helps grow business better. Cloud storage company Gluster headquartered in 
Sunnyvale, California was acquired by technology major Red Hat for about Rs 667 crore ($136 million) in an all-cash deal last year.

Enterprise software maker 
Zoho, based in California, has revenues of around $200 million. "In the US, enterprise technology companies get better exits and higher valuation," saysJitender Sharan of CipherGraph, a security software maker that set up office in the US last year and within a month raised funding from former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya.