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Anjana Sasidharan
Anjana Sasidharan

I am really passionate about businesses that have an unfair advantage in getting non-linear growth.

I focus on consumer and healthcare, which are both particularly exciting sectors in India right now. There is a real opportunity for entrepreneurs to build companies in this space that will have an outsized impact - both in India, and the rest of the world.

My energy comes from the inspiring people around me, including the community of founders and investors that are a part of our ecosystem. The world of venture capital gives you the opportunity to meet the most number of interesting people in a day, by far.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely job. And incredibly challenging. I see this with our founders, and closer to home, with my husband, who is himself an entrepreneur. Every day they juggle between putting out fires and solving strategic issues. The network that you operate in is vital to help you with the bumps. Make sure that you have a few mentors or board members as your trusted thought partners.

At Sequoia we genuinely care about our founders and always try to help them with what they need. Whether it's dedicated time - or tough love. I am very direct with my communication - sometimes probably to a fault. But I think honesty is important.

My one big advice to those starting up? Balance the Yin and Yang in your team. You need vision, passion and a host of capabilities to build a large, successful company. Know your own strengths and surround yourself with people who complement you.

It's hard to accept failure, especially if that means you might be letting down team mates or peers who are relying on you. I was a very competitive dancer and basketball player - till the day a serious injury forced me to stop. Dealing with adversity and learning to move on provided a very important lesson in my life, and helped me discover who I really am.

Becoming a parent has been another pivotal transition for me, personally and professionally. As a parent, you develop a new level of empathy and even creativity in how you engage with people. Your ability to step back from a situation where you don't have control - and look at it from a different perspective - changes drastically.

The most important thing that I can give my little girl is an internal yardstick, which, as she grows, can help her calibrate everything that life will throw her way. And that can only come from role-modeling a strong set of values.

I don't have one single role model. I draw inspiration from different people… Malala Yousafzai for standing up for her principles, Shreya Ghoshal for her sheer perfection in every language she sings in or my cook for her incredible work ethic.

I truly believe that our capabilities expand as we push ourselves to do more.