My life-changing experience - surviving the Gujarat earthquake in 2001. I was on campus at IIM Ahmedabad and one of two students who was badly injured.
An experience like that at 23 gives you enormous perspective – very few things overwhelm you after that.
I like products focused on middle India because you can build large businesses with tremendous scale for that segment. Premium businesses require a mix of art, science and luck to click.
Often you meet entrepreneurs who have struggled to make it in a tough neighborhood and you can sense the fire in them. It is the tough times that test the mettle - those who are willing to hang on for those parts of the ride are motivated about building a real business.
I use my first meeting with an entrepreneur to earn the right to a second one. If you cannot convey what you offer during that first meeting, it’s a lost opportunity.
Sequoia is here for the long haul in India – whether the rupee is at 40 or 70.
The best thing to happen to me was the 2008 recession. If someone had told me when I started out that what goes up also comes down, it would have been hugely valuable.
It’s a strange thing in this business. You have to be less confident after you have seen some success and more confident after you’ve experienced failure.
There is no such thing as a Midas touch. Our job is about navigating uncertainty, persistence, building relationships and working with ambitious and passionate entrepreneurs
Venture investing is not a lone person’s job. When you are going off track, you need somebody you trust to rein you in. And when the going is rough, you need somebody to tell you it will be OK.
The hero of our story is the entrepreneur. Hopefully, we are not bystanders, but partners in that journey.
Our business rides on trust and a belief that the other side will do the right thing. When this trust is breached, it’s a tough thing to deal with.
Indian consumers are my passion. Getting into their head - understanding their aspirations, frustrations, optimization routine - intrigues me.
What I enjoy most when I meet entrepreneurs is listening to them talk about how they have modeled for this consumer in their head and are solving for this in their business.
It’s important to put some distance between you and failure. Don’t let it consume you.
The last book I read was called ‘Age of Wrath’ - a gripping history of India during the Delhi Sultanate. It reminds you that real life can be more stark and dramatic than what you see on TV.