As those living in tropical climates already know, monsoon patterns can impact almost every aspect of life. Particularly in the Indian Ocean, these seasonal variations in rainfall and wind patterns can have a drastic impact on things as far reaching as food prices, travel plans, insurance rates, and poverty rates.
Why do monsoons matter?
Shifts in monsoon patterns are caused by the El Niño Southern Oscillation, a semi-yearly change in ocean temperatures which causes a ripple effect through atmospheric patterns. Research has shown that global warming is exacerbating the effects of ENSO, causing more extreme monsoons and more extreme dry seasons.
Yearly changes in ENSO patterns (image: appinsys.com)
How do monsoons impact India in particular?
The monsoon season is particularly important in India. It has one of the most extreme fluctuations in the wet and dry season caused by monsoons. It also hosts one of the strongest tech industries in the world; Bangalore has long been called the “new silicon valley,” as it is home to over 30% of start-ups in the country.
India has experienced serious consequences from global warming: the country is experiencing record temperatures year after year, and the annual monsoon has been delayed three years in a row, causing serious fluctuation in crop and energy prices.
Bangalore startups are particularly impacted by monsoon season because without the extensive infrastructure of an established company, it can be harder to bounce back from environmental changes such as monsoons.
Entrepreneurs can be the most prepared, well-planned, organised managers of their start-ups, and still, they cannot quite buffer themselves from the effects of monsoons.
Business and tech are expanding extremely rapidly in India, but much of the infrastructure has been rapidly constructed as well, sometimes leading to insufficient systems to handle the needs of a huge population
Startups and Internet in Monsoon Season
Internet connectivity, in particular, is an extremely big problem for start-ups during monsoons. Start-ups often depend on overhead lines or underground fibre cables for their connections.
Larger companies who can afford dedicated leased lines do not suffer from as many connectivity problems. Start-ups using less expensive internet options often experience loss of connection in conditions as tame as gentle rain.
Worse, it is difficult to tell whether, in any given meteorological event, the internet will stay connected or not. Therefore, it is hard to plan the week and set strict deadlines for projects, since it could be impossible, logistically, to keep them. Planning a big event or conference could go completely haywire if the internet in the neighbourhood goes down due to a fallen tree. We depend on the net for almost everything, and a start-up could suffer even more if the loss of connection happens to occur on the due date for a big bill or contract processing.
Looking to the future: rural vs. urban impacts
However, in other respects, many businesspeople believe the importance of the monsoon for the investment market overall is in decline. Even though the monsoon may be becoming less predictable, its largest impacts are on rural populations. As time goes on, the stock market is being dominated not by energy or agricultural staples but by urban consumers and businesses.
Keywords: startups, Bangalore startups, India, monsoon, El Niño Southern Oscillation,