India Inc. Interview: Need for India’s emergence as a product nation

21-Mar-2016 #Digital India Source: India Inc

Dr. Ritesh Malik, a serial entrepreneur & founder of venture capital firm Guerrilla Ventures spoke exclusively to India Inc. on the opportunities India startup ecosystem offers to investors and highlights that the government has a key role to play in developing India as a product nation.

1. Does Start-up India hold promise for start-ups like Innov8?

Yes, it’s a good start. In 2014 the government orphaned the start-up industry by saying that government has no role in the development of entrepreneurship ecosystem. But 2016, has been an amazing pivot in the government’s strategy as building India into a Product Nation is the need of the hour to generate employment for world’s 2nd most populated nation.

2. Is the start-up ecosystem building up in the country?

It is building in the right direction, correction was required & structuring of capital & protection of the interests of investors & entrepreneurs is critical to the growth. India is still considered as a hostile environment for business & MNC Start-ups still prefer going to China before India. This has to change, slowly its changing but there should be a specific ministry for Start-ups & Entrepreneurship to monitor the growth. SEBI listing is the only way to keep the ecosystem running, until investors get liquidity for their investments the ecosystem won’t boost.

3. What are Guerrilla Ventures’ major investments?

Guerrilla Ventures is a focused fund for hardware, impact & thought leadership investments. We’re a part of over 25 companies. Some of the interesting ones are ExplorideFin RoboticsKettoAsimov RoboticsInc42ThinkpotJosh TalksAddodoc etc.

4. What are your future plans for the Indian market?

India has an amazing potential for investors provided they invest judicially & focus on building the companies with the founders than just handing them with dead cash. Start-ups are all about unconventional disruption, value creation & scaling up quick. For all this, investors have a very important role.

5. What are the top 5 reasons to invest in Indian start-ups?

  1. Number of start-ups (We’ll be the largest start-up producing nation in the world in the next 3 years).
  2. Conventional businesses are at an all-time low, share markets are crashing. It’s always good to diversify your investments & hedge risks.
  3. ROI: Return on investments, if made judiciously can be embarrassingly large.
  4. Building Intellectual Property & Future of the Nation
  5. Learning experience, The Start-up Life teaches you so much.
  6. What is the key to being singled out as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Venture Capitalists?

I think focussing more on creating value for your start-ups & looking out for the entrepreneurs & comforting them through their journey. Start-ups are awfully hard, most of the investors build a lot of pressure on the entrepreneurs, at Guerrilla Ventures we have a culture of support groups & emotional backing. We help our founders achieve their dreams & respect them for what they’re doing! I think emotional support & creation of a family bond helps to build an atmosphere of optimism & growth. That is one of the reasons our portfolio is doing well.

Dr Ritesh Malik is an Indian doctor, entrepreneur and investor. He runs a virtual Start-up Accelerator in India, currently investing in and mentoring 20+ start-ups across various industries. He is leading an angel fund, Guerrilla Ventures that has invested in over 20 companies mostly in the hardware space. Since 2014 he cofounded Harvin Academy, Thinkpot, and Innov8 Coworking. Ritesh is honored to be in FORBES 30 under 30 Finance and Venture Capital List- ASIA of 2016.

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