Everybody’s a Winner: How Unidimensional Scaling up as an Entrepreneurial Rite of Passage is Beginning to Be Resisted in India’s Startup Capital

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Taking India's startup capital Bangalore as its field, the paper researches the absence of conventional scale as a potentially positive emic experience for the entrepreneur. The study leverages a mixed methods approach, employing semi-structured interviews with select entrepreneurs, employees, investors, advisors, and staff from startup-incubators, participant observation at both startups and startup-incubators, textual analyses of business literature, semiotics of popular culture as well as auto-ethnographic reflection by the authors themselves on account of having co-founded a company in Bangalore in 2018, therefore establishing their positionality as ‘an-other’ (Sarukkai 1997, 1408), by ‘thick participation’ (Samudra 2008, 667). The authors examine the current assemblages within the startup ecosystem, to demonstrate that even the dominant and conventional notions of scale have begun to demonstrate multidimensionalities. At the same time, the authors advocate a case for tethering at different points of the scalar continuum as an alternative model of entrepreneurship. The authors share ethnographic evidence from their research on startups that are increasingly beginning to explore potentialities and innovation at the existing point of the scalar continuum through an exercise in consolidation and tethering. Finally, the authors advance the proposition that a quest for value is not necessarily resistant to scale, and concomitant streams of nonscalability as lines of flight existing along the periphery of incumbent structures, always carry the possibility to escape and thus, create potentialities for creativity and disruption.

Keywords: Scale, Startups, Entrepreneurs, Interscalarity

Article citation: 2020 EPIC Proceedings pp 27–45, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic

Pages: 1 2 3

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