Suraj Agarwalla

  • Growth
“Together, we can and we will.”

I grew up in Dhanbad, a small town in India, in a large joint family. My dad and all six of my uncles owned different small and medium enterprises. Chatter in the house was always around the highs and lows of their businesses. None of them had a college degree, but they could all do margin and return calculations on their finger tips in seconds. This all gave me a deep understanding of ‘dhanda’ (a colloquial word for business in India) from my earliest days.

I was the first member of my family, including some 50 cousins, to attend university and pursue a career outside of the family businesses. After graduating from Shri Ram College of Commerce and completing my CA, I worked at Grant Thornton and later joined BCG. During this period of my career, I gained exposure to what large, enduring organizations look like and how to build sustainable companies.

When the opportunity to join Sequoia India presented itself, I felt this was an opportunity to get back to being part of ‘dhanda’ and into the weeds of company building, up close. I look forward to every day at Sequoia as it gives me an opportunity to work alongside the daring founders who are defining what the country and the world we will live in will look like in the decades to come.

When India’s cricket team, led by M.S. Dhoni, landed in South Africa for the 2007 T20 World Cup, nobody would have bet they’d win. But the young team, with an average age of less than 25, stunned the country and the world. They were the underdogs, the defiant, and the resolute – and they had something to prove.

I love to work alongside founders and teams who share this spirit. Who are underdogs, but irrationally optimist and obsessed with winning. A team which is deeply passionate about what they are building and is unwavered by the noise that surrounds them. A team which does not rest on its laurels but continues to look for new opportunities.

I sincerely believe that a great team is not a function of great resumes, but of the founders’ ability to bring out the hidden best from each team member.

Get in touch with Suraj

Food / Family / Maths / India