If you are an entrepreneur or a professional and wish to be more successful and productive, it goes without saying that you should be on LinkedIn, unquestionably the world’s largest professional network.
According to the latest stats published on Fortune, LinkedIn now has over 500 million users from more than 200 countries and territories, 10 million active job posts, and data for over nine million companies.
India figures largely in these numbers. Akshay Kothari, LinkedIn’s India head, has said that India remains one of their largest markets with 42 million users, second only to the US, and is among its fastest-growing countries.
Add to this the fact that 10 of this 42 million were added just in the last 15 months. It stands testimony to the conducive atmosphere for business growth and development currently prevalent in India.
All kinds of marketing and sales now has an online component, so social networking is the essence of business today. Whatever may be your interest, whether it is sales growth, raising funds, hiring talent, connecting with like-minded professionals and potential business partners, or just staying updated with the current industry trends, making and maintaining these connections is of vital importance.
With nearly over 2 million groups, LinkedIn can be the ultimate solution for improving and growing your business. Joining some of the groups that appeal to you based on interest, organisation or affiliation is a great way to connect, and to learn.
Here’s my list of the top 10 business networking groups on LinkedIn, slightly biased in favour of groups that have large numbers of CEOs, founders and executives from businesses based in India.
Number of members: 6,49,783.
The group, easily the largest entrepreneurial startup group on LinkedIn, covers discussion on topics related to startups and/or small businesses. Whether it is financing, marketing, sales, operations, talent recruitment, everything you need to know to run a successful business venture can be found here.
Number of members: 364,975.
A community formed with the objective of connecting like-minded professionals in the field of marketing, sales, business development, demand generation, and inside sales function. Though technology professionals are preferred, non-professionals are also welcome.
3. I Love Startups.
Number of members: 2,67,251
A startup specialists group online global network for entrepreneurs, startups, founders, mentors, and investors.
Whatever it is that you are looking for, with regard to a startup global ecosystem, you are sure to find it here. Whether it is for new ideas, startup support, best practices, incubators, accelerators, founders, co-founders, VCs, angel networks, crowdfunding, mentors, or just networking, you name it and you can get it here.
Number of members: 15,815.
This community for India specific networking for startups came about when a group of entrepreneurs puts their heads together to find answers to the problems they encountered while setting up, running, and growing their technology startup in India.
Number of members: 11,569.
A forum to discuss anything and everything about Indian Startups, Startup deals, funding, joint ventures, partnership, mergers & acquisitions, etc.
The discussions can cover a wide spectrum of topics from defence, space security, robotics, innovations, human-machine interfacing, entertainment and advertising, nano-technology, bio-informatics, artificial intelligence, infrastructure, smart transport to agriculture.
Number of members: 8,037.
A community for those who are either running a startup or exploring the option of starting one in India with the main focus on founders, CEOs, and investors.
Complex issues on the likes of company formation/registration, obtaining a business license, marketing, sales, sourcing of funds, software development etc are dealt in by this group.
Number of Members: 3,938.
An online “Ladies Only” community targeting women entrepreneurs, mentors, professionals, executives, and like-minded startup specialist and/or those women aspiring to be one of these.
Number of Members: 3,553.
Sharing the same owner with the group I Love Startups, this group is for those raring to start their dream projects in India or for those who are already in the planning or incubating stage.
Number of members: 2,985.
A group specific to the IT capital of India, formed for funding and helping startups and growing businesses in this area.
Number of members: 1,876.
An investor specific networking group that discusses the challenges hindering optimum efficiency in startups and their solutions, thus helping startups realise their vision.