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How cheesy question for you? Do you have you have a lot of money to be to become a VC? No, I have no money. In fact, I'm probably the least net worth individual in my peer group because of all that when venture I did so I don't have any money, but you can just become I think you just need to follow your passion VC or not VC. It is a matter of time happens or doesn't happen doesn't matter. So as long as you're following your passion, you're happy about it. So what do you do in your in your job then? When do you read about startups or do you investigate or explore where they good startups or good entrepreneurs or wait? We should invest in things like that. What do you do in a typical day? On a typical day, you would expect to get a lot of problems. Here are typical typical Venture investor has easily 8-10 different meetings to do they could be meeting there will be calls they could be attending to Once to attending to some emails Etc. The most important thing of a venture capitalist is to change the context very very fast, you know on an average day you would be you'll be thrown problems. Evaluating a start-up which you are not never heard about you have no idea. So use your first principle thinking in the very next feeding. You're talking to a potential hire for a portfolio company the next meeting you are pitching to a venture capital investor for a follow-on round of your portfolio company in a meeting in a couple of emails. You might be answering queries from various colleagues about however companies performing and not performing or what help you need. From the platform in other couple of meetings, you might be advising entrepeneurs as to what you do or don't do when you become an entrepreneur yourself and so in an average day, it is very difficult to say what are the things that you do? However, the kind of impact that you have actually shows up among the companies that you work with and that happens slowly, but surely it happens over maybe six months maybe a year. Sometimes even more. So it's a slow process and you aren't doing one single thing for a long time ever. So it is a little bit scary that way. Okay. So now tell us what are the couple of startups in your portfolio that you're most excited about. So I'm very excited about things which are strong IP lead because of my background academic Ventures. This is company called gray orange in our portfolio. Which I have huge respect for these two people Akash and Samay from bits pilani and they made India's first humanoid robot when they were in school all the way in in bits. Pilani. They real they had some with exceptional skills in making a robot, but unfortunately the industry did not want those skills because they couldn't do much with it. Thankfully they met some people from an e-commerce company in India named. Flipkart and they asked them, can you help us solve our warehouse automation problem? And they said yeah we have in we understand how it works. Let's go to your warehouse and see what we can do with it. And we came up with a fantastic solution which is called a sorting machine, which is now a very mature and more than 50 customers in India have their sorting machines. They also created a system called butling machines which actually which are even more high-tech and they Dramatically save the time of average warehouse person and you know, bring efficiencies bring predictability reliable into your system. The best thing is that they have a custom. They have a long list of customers and customers willing to wait for months before they start working from their order which like amazing, you know back in 2011 when they started they didn't know what they were come this far and I think the journey has been fascinating both for them and for Us when we invested in them, they didn't have much idea as to what they were going to do with the money that we will give them. But today they are probably World beaters in the kind of thing that we do. I'm really excited. Wow, that is a great story. That is a great story of innovation and adoption as well. Absolutely. I think there is a concept of product Market fit and it cannot get better than this. Absolutely, absolutely. So let's talk about investing for a bit. Let's start off with how many cold emails do you get per day? That's an ugly truth Jai. A lot of people keep referring to us. Hoping that we will be able to help there's only so much we can do and I'm going to take this opportunity to tell them that if we are not able to respond to your emails now is not because you don't respect you, but just because we are Short of time and we have to prioritize things according to whatever filters have worked with for us in past. So and you know, we will probably at some point get better, but we aren't there yet. Do you read all these emails reading? Yes responding? No. Unfortunately, I only get to this suppose I get on an average day. You'll get 20 or emails from people who expecting to take funding from you, but you only get two responsibility for five of them. So yeah, 75% of them go down the drain and probably will never get picked up which is unfortunate again. So therefore we have advice a lot of people that if you need to approaches, please approaches through some some person that we respect so that there is some degree of filtering that we can do effectively, but unfortunately that there is always not possible. Yeah, that's what that is something. I try as well try doing like using Common incredible connection when you're approaching somebody as so that they will chances are more likely that you would respond. So for an email tell me what takes your boxes to respond to your email. For let's say if it is coming from Jai. Yeah, you know if it is coming from Jai or a person that I respect, you know, typically a lot of our portfolio Founders keep referring their friends to us. So that is very valuable because the portfolio Founders Know What It Takes and they still want to refer as which means that they'd probably think that this guy's a rock star so that's I think very important sometimes for Coinvestor. for example Rajan and then who's Google India MD whenever he sends an email to us, we typically take it up much more seriously than when he would when someone else would because we have had a great relationship with him and or last five years. We might have been about 20 Investments together similarly show. He knows what we like and we know what he likes. So it kind of it's a mutual mutually beneficial. A relationship and respect similarly, if people that you otherwise respect for example, you might respect engine investor into one of our portfolio companies. And if he says that this is an interesting person. Please go and meet we typically do and so on such for you know, basically it is a whole spectrum of respect that you have for people and the kind of choices that they are making that you want to take up a sit up and take notice or you know, plainly reject them. I mean That's one thing right common connection or someone getting an email from someone. You already know but let's say you don't know me. Anyway, thanks for the compliment. Their that was very flattering. Yeah, let's say you don't know me. I'm trying to fetch my startup for funding through an email to get some time with you. So tell me what what takes your boxes in that email to respond or to to have you want to have a meeting with me. Me so I'm assuming you do we didn't have a relationship and you're not referring to a reference. Okay, I understand. So I think the very valuable thing is if there are if you are working on a start-up that I am looking for for example today. I am looking for great IP LED companies to be investing it to be investing into and if there are certain companies which come to me which are IP layer. And there are very good people who are in that company is entrepreneurs working in it. I would like to read and respond and probably get back to them at some later point of time for a meeting. But that is what I will check my boxes to to give you a broad idea. Basically, whatever is most interesting to us and obviously you have no way to find that out unless I publish this through my blogs whatever is most interesting to us typically gets you to respond faster. Also, if there are certain areas that we are curious about they also kind of get a meeting Pastor. So it is usually about the the market that you are working in and the kind of business that you're doing which reflects into response Sometimes the fact that they are great entrepreneurs in it also gets your response, but it's mostly usually about the thesis area that is in question. Awesome. If you're listening to this interview right now and you're looking for funding or if you're planning to cold email somebody this is a great advice for you, please follow our pits as well advice. Thank you very much. So what happens in that meeting our pits? See usually meetings are straightforward as you would imagine between any two people one person pitching to the other so I suppose I'm an investor in question and their entrepreneur in front of me. I'd usually starts with the Roundup introduction. I ask them about themselves. They tell they ask me about myself and we typically try to understand as to what these people have built in past which is worth the credibility that they are claiming they have and I think that is very important to understand as to what kind of people they have been. For example, if people have been entrepreneurs in past It straightaway becomes highly respectable if people have also had some degree of an exit which is relatively uncommon in India. There also is another checkbox. Similarly people have been generally high performance in their career and they are doing things which are fundamentally innovative. That is very valuable. So in a meeting typically round of introductions, then we talked about the business and I'd always like to quickly come to distill the entire idea into a very very tiny thing called value chain, and I always like to evaluate the idea on basis of value chain figuring out. What is the value that this business is going to add to an existing industrial chain. It could be a b2c idea could be to be idea but it definitely improves efficiency or cost in some significant Manner and I want to understand what signifies how significant is that and that will reflect into the kind of money that you can make in terms of Revenue or valuation, etc. Etc. And therefore that is very valuable to understand even if you throw a random ID at me. I think I am capable to put anything into a value chain system and quickly get to And what is the value that you are adding to the particular use case and most of the discussion then comes down to just this distilled down version of the business model through that almost always new ideas come up. I am able to do some pattern matching in my head and come up with an idea that they can take back home. Even if you are not investing or I can possibly leave them with a couple of questions where they can find and get back to me with an answer. That is a ton of great advice for somebody who is listening. And do you think that experience of asking the questions or looking for entrepreneurs previous broad background and everything else? How did you get that expertise? Do you think that experience you got from working with Head Start Network Foundation? So it is very difficult me to pinpoint how I got it. But I think there are two three pieces to it one that I have been with entrepreneurs and I must have seen. I must have seen something like a thousand plus entrepreneur is over a long period of time very closely. I spend time with them. I have a fair sense of what are the characteristics personality traits that make great entrepreneurs again. It is a very personal lens. So it may it may seem like I am kind of reinforcing the kind of person. I am onto the entrepreneur which is reasonably true. Plus I have been an entrepreneur myself so I know what X and whether this person will test the time or not. Apart from this over a period of time because now I work very closely in and within with entrepreneurs in a deep manner it reflects into the fact that what kind of entrepreneurs will be able to build a great organization versus not even among the portfolio companies. So three things basically that I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs that I've been an entrepreneur myself and that now I know what onto but what it takes for on Tobar to scale a company. Which is most important one thing that I always look for is whether the entrepreneur is interested in listening or seeking feedback. Because only when you because not because my feedback is any grade, but I'm you know, I'm basically shooting from the hip mostly but what is very important is to understand if entrepreneur is willing to is entrepreneur knows his boundaries is willing to break through the boundaries by taking feedback implementing it and coming back saying okay. This is why it works or doesn't work. Which I think is a very important characteristic for any entrepreneur to be able to seek feedback very quickly much before it becomes very difficult to you know point of no return. Do you get a lot of fun trip owners who think they will prove you wrong. I do I know and I take it very positively when they come back and say that I you know, I will prove you wrong inevitably. I also know At some of those entrepreneurs are still willing to take feedback and also they know their boundaries. They know the limits right? There is a difference between people saying that okay, I will be you know, I am exuberant an arrow again and I will prove you wrong and a person who knows his limits you can be both together, okay?