Coming back to India was the best decision I ever made. The energy, the opportunity is unparalleled.
If I had to do a startup again, I would do it with fewer safety nets. I would bring in co-founders who had a mindset of going all in and not just testing the waters.
As an entrepreneur, you have a blank sheet to work with everyday. Tomorrow will be defined based on what you write on it today.
As a venture partner, you can’t dictate or prescribe to companies even if you feel you know what’s right for them. Influencing is the best you can do.
An entrepreneur once told me: The investor and founder each hold a piece of a lottery ticket that is useless by itself. But if we put those pieces together, great things can happen.
When you have worked with a company for four to five years, there is a special equation that develops. You know the founders, their struggles, the sacrifices their families have made. This transcends the material aspects of the partnership.
Do we have disagreements with founders? Sure. You want to be able to say what you think and not sugarcoat anything. But it helps to sit down with them and say: “Look, I am not out to attack you; I want the same things as you for the company.”
My mother is a counselor and psychologist. So, I am tuned to try and figure out who’s saying what and why. To me, IQ is needed to start a business and EQ is needed to scale it.
There may be some people who find me tough. I think I am largely flexible though – a person whom founders are comfortable calling.
In this job, there are no rewards without risks. We get rewarded to discover good businesses before it’s obvious it’s a good business.
I would spend a lot of time in selecting a co-founder. It’s not always a friend who proves to be the best business partner.
Get out in the market – fast. Often, too much time is spent on planning, trying to perfect the product or answering theoretical questions on the business plan.
There’s a fine line between persistence and stubbornness. Learn to recognize when things are not working. Passion is great but not when it blinds you.
There’s no single winning style for entrepreneurs. But I’ve noticed the most successful ones have insatiable levels of ambition and drive.