Famous quotes

"Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually" - Stephen Covey

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Aravindswamy - Bosskey Interview

It was a delightful experience to see Aravindswamy in such a casual interview with Bosskey. This looks like a conversation between two friends and surprised by Aravind's sense of humor esp at the end. Such a classy guy, reminds me of Ajith. 

Why arent Indians investing in Indian startups

If we look at all the recent successful Indian startups in the past decade. We could see that almost all are funded by non indian funding. Look at some of the few here

Tiger Global Hedge fund - (USA) - 10 Million
USD Dragoneer Investment group including Sofina (Belgium) &am; Morgan Stanley Wealth Management - 160 Million USD
1 Billion USD - Tiger global management LLC including GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Limited)  

Bessemer Venture Partners - 45 Million USD
EBAY - 50 Million USD
 EBAY and BVP again - 133 million USD including the now Indian Kalaari Capital
SoftBank (Japan) - 627 million USD which made Soft Bank the largest investor
Additional funding of 500 Million USD which included Alibaba Group (China)  

Acquired by the renowned Naspers Group (South Africa) which owns other major e-commerce sites like Ibibo, OLX etc.

And the list goes on .........

Most of these companies are now valued at around billions of dollars and it is really a disgrace that none of the above had significant indian investment.

The Indian middle class saves around 20% of their income but dont invest in any viable startups.Even some of our Corporates are sitting on huge stock pile of Cash and none of them seems to have the business acumen to provide seed funding to any seemingly commercially viable ventures like above. What are the constraints which Indians seem to believe in where reputed international PE firms do not. 

I believe it is in the Indian psyche to be risk averse and it is acting as a deterrent for Indian entrepreneurship. We all agree that flipkart is a good idea but when they require funding, none of us was ready to put money in it. I didnt know that Government of Singapore was investing in Indian startups until I did research on it. Infact they revised their investment framework recently in 2013 which states and I quote "investments that may be riskier in the short term but would generate returns in the long-term" How does it feel that a foreign government has invested in Indian startups whereas the Indian government is still trying to remove roadblocks in starting business ventures here in India.

While Im glad that foreign investment is driving innovation and strategic thinking in India but I'm disappointed that the excess cash savings of the Indian middle class is foolishly being invested in Real estate, Gold and Fixed deposits which are non liquid and infact not even profitable.

Almost all the above firms are going to come out of the indian market once it goes public or acquired by another entity and are probably going to end up with hundreds of millions or even billions in profits. Good for them.... for believing in Indian entrepreneurship in a way we Indians never had.