Singapore University of Social Sciences

Startup Culture in India

Startup Culture in India (OEL324)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Linguistics and Languages, Business Administration, International Trade, Science and Technology

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: College of Interdisciplinary & Experiential Learning


The objective of OEL324 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of Indian startup culture vis-à-vis the experience of unequal development. This objective will be achieved through a combination of experiential learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to Bangalore and Mumbai. Bangalore became known as the Silicon Valley of Asia for the ubiquity of firms and educational institutions that churn out quality IT products and talents. Many of these talents began with dreams of working for western tech giants like Google, but in recent years, they have gravitated towards entrepreneurial ideas that seek to address the problem of scarcity/unequal development. Just like many other global cities where entrepreneurs gather, Bangalore is highly internationalised and cosmopolitan, and hence no longer presents an accurate representation of Indian cultural pragmatics. Mumbai fills in this learning gap for its “Jugaad (innovative fix)” mind-set that the locals employ to overcome day-to-day challenges associated with unequal development like ground logistics, water & waste management, and selling-buying in retail market. Mumbai offers a great challenge to all entrepreneurs as well as a unique learning opportunity on how to fix these problems in a cost effective and sustainable manner, keeping in mind the self-interest imbalance between people who will benefit from a solution and people who uses the inefficiencies as a means of daily livelihood. Through reflecting on the relationships between Bangalore’s startup culture and unequal development in India, students would be able to better appreciate how a cultural invention like Jugaad not only evolved from having to deal with the inequalities of everyday life, but also how it has seeped into the domains of commerce and technology.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July


  • Experiential learning
  • Key historical and political development in India
  • Cultural pragmatics in Mumbai
  • “Jugaad” and its nuances
  • The startup scene in Bangalore
  • Scarcity/unequal development in India
  • Sustainable and cost-effective innovations

Learning Outcome

  • Identify the startup trends in Bangalore
  • Examine the factors influencing the growth of startups in Bangalore
  • Explain the roles that the Indian culture play in shaping entrepreneurial behaviours in India
  • Apply social scientific perspectives to relate startup culture to unequal development
  • Deconstruct preconceptions about India and its startup scene
  • Examine how communities, government and private sectors contribute to the problem of unequal development
  • Construct new ways to relate startup culture to unequal development
  • Verify new interpretations with local stakeholders
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