One of the channels Indian startups use to make a dent globally is a well-heeled and networked diaspora that can make connections in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. A number of alumni and industry groups have tried to give this a structure over the years. Most of the exits that did happen were acqui-hires or small pops, rather than significant ones that signal a maturing of the venture capital ecosystem. This too has gone through several iterations over the past three years, but it began to move the needle on outcomes. Six of the startups in the programme got acquired. But the problem we were seeing was not just cross-border but more about scaling up the business.
Did that really happen? Nooooooo, it couldn't have.
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When Hirway was a kid, his parents, who immigrated to the United States from Maharashtra, in western India, began hosting Thanksgiving. The meal soon evolved into a hybrid of a traditional Thanksgiving and an Indian potluck. I asked Hirway whether the pie actually tasted any good. The filling is sweet and tangy and just rich enough from the cream cheese. The pie is irresistible. I reduced the sugar, switched out the premade crust for one made from scratch and replaced the Cool Whip with whipped cream, but otherwise kept everything else the same. It tasted great, if a little sweet, but all I could do was eat a few spoonfuls of the filling and toss the rest. There are no exact measurements!
One thing that scares every millennial to their guts! Aunties have the power to ruin your lives and make you look like Komalika, destroying your Tulsi like Image. But, they also add extra spice and drama to your boring lives. This aunty is the most frightening one! Whenever you spot her, you run for your life because she is going to dig up some deep dirt on you as well. She is going to follow your every move, wait for you to do something which is not acceptable to her narrow brain, and then go around telling an exaggerated version of the story!
They think you are nothing but a sum of the things that people perceive you to be. I call it a gross violation of basic human dignity. See, I empathise with the aunties. They are products of patriarchy and the way they behave is a reaction to so much surviving they have had to do. These cycles of hurt and survival only break when someone puts a stop to them. This onus should be on the aunties and uncles too. Every time someone comments on my weight, I ask them if they know their kid has been shamed into being perennially insecure about herself. Every time they try to complain about me to my parents, I leave them flabbergasted — because my parents know about every silly thing I do. As a result, most aunties and some uncles are now terrified. Not everyone has the privilege or the ability to do that.