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India's smaller cities take bigger share of startup boom

Lower operating costs attract entrepreneurs despite shortage of investors

Staff at Merako Media, a media, marketing and design startup based in Mysore, a city with a population of less than 1 million people about 110km from Bangalore (Photo by

BANGALORE -- After struggling to find affordable office space in Mumbai, India's financial hub, Sarabdeep Singh decided to move his startup company more than 1,500km north to Mohali, a town with a population of 176,000 in the state of Punjab.

Singh, co-founder of Bodhik, a financial technology company, had been operating from shared office space, which proved inadequate when his team expanded. An office for eight to 10 employees in Mohali costs about 15,000 rupees ($231) to 20,000 rupees a month, including utilities, compared with more than 50,000 rupees excluding utilities in Mumbai, he said.

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