TL; DR: While Indian startups have gone through periods of low investment in the last five years, the country’s economy remains strong. That’s why HostNamaste wants to empower more entrepreneurs in India’s startup community by offering high-performance virtual servers and fewer barriers to entry. The hosting provider’s team is dedicated to delivering affordable plans, robust customer service, and tools to grow. To further that commitment, HostNamaste offers free hosting for open-source projects that can help Indian startups succeed.
From 2014 to 2016, many Indian startups were trying to remain viable as investment money left the country. The average funding deal for a tech startup fell to $4.9 million in 2016, dramatically less than the $15.8 million average the sector saw in 2014.
That drop in investments left many entrepreneurs second-guessing their business strategies, and some even thinking about closing up shop. Amid these challenges, HostNamaste was founded to help entrepreneurs get online projects up and running quickly — and remove barriers to entry.
HostNamaste offers high-performance virtual servers in five locations around the world along with a suite of tools aimed at helping startups succeed.
Its list of features and services include fast SSD hosting, cPanel, WHM access, unlimited free migrations, and a 100% network uptime SLA. And HostNamaste is powered by some of the best technology in the business — CloudLinuxOS with LiteSpeed Web Servers.
The company’s ultimate goal is to help even the smallest Indian ecommerce entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
“If a few guys get together and decide they want to change the world, we’ll be their backbone. Our hosting allows them to do that,” said Justin Smith, Account Advocate for HostNamaste.
Because HostNamaste uses highly redundant and stable Intel processors with RAID configurations, clients know their sites will stay protected and online. And if customers need help for any reason, HostNamaste’s effective support team is available 24/7 to answer any questions.
HostNamaste nurtures entrepreneurs and startups and has become a trusted name in Indian web hosting in a short period.
Helping Startups Stay on Track During a Dip in Investments
Justin and HostNamaste Founder Suresh Kumar knew each other well before they teamed up at HostNamaste. The pair came up together in the web hosting industry and had already collaborated on a few other large projects.
During that time, the Indian startup economy experienced dramatic ups and downs. “That’s a big part of the reason we wanted to launch a hosting provider to support Indian startups,” Justin said.
And many of those startups needed assistance after the sharp downturn in investments they saw in 2016.
Part of the problem may have been investor expectations about the rise of India’s growing middle class, which differs from those in Europe or the U.S. Many new members of India’s middle class don’t own cars or have credit cards like their Western counterparts. An average person in India’s middle class may live on $6 a day.
Potential entrepreneurs in the middle class may not have much disposable income — much less the funds to invest in a new website or purchase hosting services. But HostNamaste lowers barriers to entry for that segment of the population with affordable, all-inclusive plans that allow startups to grow, no matter how small they begin.
But it isn’t just its powerful and cost-effective hosting packages that guide clients on the path to ecommerce success. HostNamaste also offers helpful and proactive customer service.
“We provide an unparalleled level of service, which means more than tracking our support response times,” Justin said. “We focus on solving problems right away, eliminating wasteful and unnecessary support ticket ‘ping-pong’ with silly questions and back-and-forth responses.”
Customers agree that this forward-thinking approach saves both time and money. When one customer, Mauro Hernandez, needed to fix an issue with his site, his previous host refused to help. So he migrated to HostNamaste’s OpenVZ VPS hosting.
“I’m here to stay because I got really good service and help,” Mauro said in an online testimonial.
While HostNamaste’s commitment to customer service makes it one of India’s premier hosting providers, it also differentiates itself by helping entrepreneurs in many other ways.
Taking Advantage of a Strengthening Indian Economy
Despite difficulties, the Indian economy’s fundamentals remain strong. In fact, more than 30 unicorns — or startups valued at over $1 billion — have been founded in India. The country’s economy is also growing at an annual rate of 7.3%, which puts it among the top in the world in that category.
And while India only had 86 million Indian smartphone users in 2012, that number exploded to 530 million by 2018. The country also boasts the second highest number of internet users in the world.
And HostNamaste connects those users, and entrepreneurs, to the world through its five global datacenter locations. In addition to Mumbai, India, HostNamaste has a state-of-the-art facility in France and three in the United States.
The Indian startup ecosystem is ripe for growth, and investors have taken notice. Softbank, a Japanese corporation, has invested $8 billion in Indian startups. In 2015, the multi-national Chinese conglomerate Alibaba invested heavily in the Indian company Paytm, an e-commerce payment and digital wallet platform. Another Chinese company, Tencent, invested in Indian companies Flipkart, an online electronics retailer, and Ola, a taxi-booking platform.
Things are going so well that some Indian companies are starting to look outside of the country’s borders for opportunities in foreign markets. Oyo, India’s largest hospitality company, is expanding its service into the U.K., the U.A.E., and China. While it’s difficult to know how business models designed for the Indian market will fare abroad, it’s clear that Indian entrepreneurs are feeling increasingly confident.
That is the kind of thriving ecosystem that HostNamaste supports. While Suresh and Justin are from different cultures — Suresh is Indian, and Justin is American — they believed they could build HostNamaste with the advantages of each country.
“We thought it would be possible to integrate our skillsets and provide a unique product for Indian entrepreneurs,” Justin said, “One of the things that separate the American and Indian hosting spaces is the fact that large affiliate hosting companies don’t dominate Indian hosting.”
And because Suresh already had connections to the Indian web industry, HostNamaste had a head start in a fast-developing market.
Supporting the Ecommerce Community with Free Hosting Services and Open-Source Software
Everyone who has any experience in the hosting marketplace knows that it’s just as susceptible to trends as any other industry. And that is just as true in the burgeoning Indian hosting market as it is throughout the world.
“One such trend is the crazy amount of money companies are pouring into site builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. Companies spend so much money to develop these SaaS tools and even more to market them,” Justin said.
While SaaS tools are often powerful, the HostNamaste team thinks it’s vital to continue fostering the development of open-source software, even though SaaS is the dominant trend of the moment. And HostNamaste wants to bring open-source solutions to the broader web, tech, and developer communities.
That’s why it offers free hosting to open-source projects upon request.
According to Forrester, 76% of developers have used open-source technology, with its collaborative nature and cost savings being popular reasons. Open-source solutions can allow ambitious Indian entrepreneurs to start small, move fast, and scale up when business succeeds.
“Our business is all about helping Indian entrepreneurs. We want to put our money where our mouth is and support the kind of open-source solutions that startups need,” Justin said.