This is not about some journey from the midwest of the US to the middle of India. This builds on my post a couple weeks ago about understanding your target market.
I grew up about 100 miles south of Indianapolis (Indy) and looking back on it, Indy is a test market dream. Indy is a good proxy for getting a cross-section of the average US consumer and costs are low. I remember visiting Indy as a kid and wondering why did they need 5-6 electronics stores (HH Gregg, Circuit City, etc…), then I read that Indy was ground-zero for the battle of big-box formats in the 80’s.
India has a similar city – Indore. It’s right smack in the middle of the country. I’ve visited Indore many times through the years and the more I visit, the more I see similarities with Indy. In both cities, people tend to be more conservative but willing to experiment with new products/services.
For most business the Tier 1 metros – Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkatta and Chennai are good enough. But, if a company is looking for size and scale they will have to look beyond Tier 1 metros. And that’s where Indore comes into play, if your product/service gains traction in Indore I’m pretty confident you can reach across India.