The Coronavirus Can’t Get in the Way of Research: Study on Indian Start-Up Companies

Despite the pandemic, students conducted research analyzing the Asian entrepreneurial landscape.

Completed study despite the pandemic. Photo credit: Business Upper Austria

What does the automotive industry in India have to offer in terms of collaborative opportunities? As part of the initiative "Roadmap to Asia" (Upper Austrian business support agency Business Upper Austria), four students at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz formed a team to explore these questions. The findings were presented during a virtual meeting at the end of April.

In addition to providing detailed insight of India's overall economic situation and demographics, the team provided a comprehensive analysis of developmental procedures for start-up companies in India. Research was conducted primarily with secondary sources. The study’s special feature from the perspective of the young scholars included information regarding start-up financing, sectors, hubs, and state initiatives at the federal and state level. Even the COVID-19 virus was unable to hinder the team from pushing the research forward and delivering tangible results within an eight week period.

Prof. Auer-Rizzi (Institute of Organizational Science) praised the students’ work and remarked: "Naturally the restrictive Coronavirus measures made the students' work more difficult. After starting the project and conducting initial research, the team had to make radical changes. Some team members had to return to their home countries and the team then had to work online. As some team members were subject to strict quarantine measures after returning to their respective home countries, there was only a relatively small window available for daily joint meetings online, especially due to the 15-hour time difference. However, the team was able to masterfully navigate the obstacles on hand as right from the start, they created a strong foundation for a constructive work atmosphere. The Business Upper Austria agency also provided excellent support services."

What was most difficult for the team? The JKU researcher added: "Finding meaningful patterns for the client out of a sea of often contradictory information regarding start-up companies in the Indian automotive sector." The study’s findings will serve the participating companies as a basis for decision-making processes when entering the Indian market.