Akshay Agarwal

“Sometimes all you have to do is put your head down, keep doing your work and wait for serendipity to do its magic.”

I come from a family of generational entrepreneurs where focus on education wasn’t that high. When I got into IIT Bombay, it was considered a big thing. At IIT, I gained first hand appreciation for the ‘building from India for the world’ thesis while teaching math to kids in the US at $20 an hour (which was higher than I later made in the early years of my career). I joined Bain straight out of college where I was fortunate enough to work with some of the new economy companies and this was my first encounter with the startup world.

From a young age, my parents have taught me to trust in three things – hard work, perseverance, and serendipity. Having watched my father build his business from scratch, I have always appreciated the importance of the first two. I was less of a believer in serendipity, till Sequoia India happened. Before I sat through the interview process, I had very little idea about the venture capital industry and less about the growth category.

Looking back, I consider myself extremely fortunate that Sequoia India took a punt on me and gave me the chance to discover what I love the most. This has given me the opportunity to not only work with an extremely smart and diligent team, but also exceptional founders, both of whom force me to reconsider my most closely-held opinions every single week.

Success is the sum total of tiny recurring efforts. I believe that in the long term, perseverance and hard work trumps most other things. In a Formula 1 race, just having the pole position doesn’t guarantee a place on the podium. Only the driver who maintains focus and maneuvers through the challenges across all 70 laps is able to win the race in the end.

I’m on the lookout for founders who are obsessed about the problem they’re solving and are always hustling. For authentic founders who are building a product that solves a challenge they’ve experienced firsthand. For people who are dreaming of building something that outlasts them.

I enjoy playing any part, big or small, in the founders’ journey – be it a tactical discussion on the MIS or a brainstorming session on the long-term strategic decisions. It’s such a privilege to have a ringside seat to India’s startup ecosystem. I look forward to seeing many founders build great companies, in the years to come.

Get in touch with Akshay

Formula 1 / Pizza / Travel / Spy thrillers / Badminton