During recent years there have been an increasing number of celebrities transforming into startup investors. These stars have shown that their talent exceeds taking a great selfie in front of the camera or on the field and they are ready to use their celebrity status and power to increase their millions outside of their normal comfort zones. From retail to aerospace to fitness, Indian celebrities are keen to own a pie in the country’s startup ecosystem, both global and local.
Indian celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan have invested in “Edu’s Fun” and “Just Dial” , Virat Kohil has invested in “Wrogn” the gym chain “Chisel” and Convo and Indian Cricket Captain Run Adam has invested in Cars 24.
This phenomenon of celebrity investors isn’t a surprise or anything new, but the fact that the role and equity of a star are moving beyond brand ambassadors endorsing the product is an curious trend and one that is likely to expand in time.
A recent television interview with a group of startups about this growing trend of celebrity investors. The product advertising has been a lot easier by Facebook’s new initiative ‘Boost with Facebook’ empowering businesses across India with digital education to allow for their business growth.
Anything from retail, aerospace and fitness , Indians are keen to own a piece off the pie. Indians are investing their millions into start up companies.
From local to global the start up companies are looking for celebrities to do more than endorse the products like men’s grooming products. The small and medium businesses are looking for big investors and to contribute to brand ideas.
Across the globe, there are approximately 90 million Small – Medium businesses (SMBs). In India, there is exceptional commitment to giving a boost to the SMB ecosystem. There are two sets of SMBs in India, where a fraction that know how to do business online, but the level of understanding is really small. Suprisingly there are SMB’s that haven’t come online yet, and are still learning the online world completely. For the first set of people who are already online, there are several programmes launched recently to support them. This includes the Venture Capital (“VC brand incubator”) that helps Facebook partner with VCs and as a result helps micro-business entrepreneurs skill, mentor, and train. Small businesses and startups who have small budgets can access various workshops where leaders from Facebook extend solutions that can enable them to grow and scale their business. Facebook recently also launched the SheLeadsTech programme exclusively to encourage women entrepreneurs. The programme has enabled 600 women entrepreneurs access to tools, mentorship, and resources to help overcome barriers, and build a successful business in technology.