The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Next large entrepreneur from education, tourism


Areas including education, tourism and brand building are where Sri Lankan entrepreneurs have the opportunity to build large companies, according to Rajan Anandan, Chairman of local venture capital firm Blue Ocean Ventures (BOV).
Mr. Anandan, an investor in Indian tech companies such as Taxspanner, Buytheprice.com, Hungryzone, Druva and Viedea as well as being the Managing Director of Google India, was speaking to the Business Times this week on the sidelines of the finale for Venture Engine, a startup competition organised by BOV and the Indian Angel Network.

The inaugural edition of the contest, which concluded recently, had business technical support provider 24/7 techies win top honours, while BPO skills trainer Lanka BPO Academy came in second and Trekurious came in third. All nine companies who participated in the Venture Engine finale were funded, with a total of Rs. 100 million divided amongst them.

Further, Mr. Anandan also noted th

The winner

t, while local startups such as the Lanka BPO Academy were currently in the higher education space locally, there were many more opportunities in this area in terms of different types of training or even offerings, especially after private education truly took off here.He also added that the same applied to ancillary businesses supporting tourism in Sri Lanka, such as restaurants, boating rentals, etc. He noted that, while starting a hotel was a capital intensive undertaking, which many entrepreneurs may not be able to achieve, there were many other complementary fields in which they could start businesses.

Mr. Anandan also noted that other local startups that he was excited about were in the areas of building brands, especially in terms of the fashion designs he had seen coming out of Sri Lanka. He also added that, domestically, he had seen many programmers who were very creative in terms of their startups.

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