Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Desi startups make a splash at the ICC World Cup

Bira and Ola have signed big-ticket sponsorships for the global event, making a massive marketing pitch

Rajiv Singh
Published: Jul 3, 2019 01:49:06 PM IST

Desi startups make a splash at the ICC World CupImage: Shutterstock

In 1983. the Indian cricket team was billed as an underdog against teams such as Australia, England and West Indies. Yet, they went on to make history and win the World Cup.

In 2019, with the cricket World Cup being hosted in England again, two Indian startups—Bira and Ola—are now trying to do something similar. Bira, makers of craft beer, has become an official part of the World Cup after it signed a five-year global deal with the International Cricket Council last November. Its ads are now splashed across London.

Ola is also making news despite its services not being present in the UK. A report by Morgan Stanley says that the Indian cab-sharing startup will be the main threat to Uber when it debuts in the country by year-end. “We believe Ola is arguably a greater threat if media reports of Ola’s entry into London prove accurate,” say analysts.

Marketing experts are not surprised. Indian startups have become bold, confident and are flush with funds. “Their aspirations are not confined to the country,” says Ashita Aggarwal, marketing professor at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research.

(This story appears in the 19 July, 2019 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)