Investors play a very vital role in boosting the growth of startups and wise words by investors will help startups learn a lot and choose the right path to grow their business. This week we are going, to begin with our Startup Investor Series where investors and mentors will provide valuable advice which will not only aid startups but also limelight their thoughts on the startup ecosystem and its potential in the future.
Team Sociobits got in touch with Mr. Farzan Ghadially, Senator India -World Business Angels Investment Forum. He is an experienced investor and deal maker for the Indian market. Along with being an avid investor, Mr. Ghadially is a financial columnist in the Mid Day Newspaper and a visiting faculty at S.P. Jain FMB, Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research.
Adding to his merits, he has also authored the books – Investing in Turbulent Times and Investing in the Turbulent Decade that Was & Beyond. He is also a mentor at the Atal Incubation Center.
He shared his views on the growth of budding entrepreneurs and gave details about his investing journey. You can read this in the interview below:
Team Sociobits: What do you think is the future of the startup culture globally?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: The Startup culture globally is a force to reckon with. New-age companies that have been in existence only for a few years have raised billions of Dollars and thereby attained Unicorn status. The startup companies are challenging and competing with established old companies and capturing market share by leveraging high-end technology and attracting the best talent. In the coming decade, startups will occupy center stage in the financial markets and be a force to reckon with. In the next 5 years, India would be the startup capital of the world by startup companies attaining supernormal growth leveraging the Startup India and Make in India theme of the Government.
Team Sociobits: Is there anything that we can change to develop or give a boost to the startup ecosystem?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: Mentor and provide the right kind of advice to budding entrepreneurs for scaling their businesses and raising the appropriate kind of risk-adjusted growth capital and help the existing set of investors by providing them an exit in the private and public markets in India and overseas.
Team Sociobits: How important is the role of mentors when it comes to guiding budding entrepreneurs?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: A Mentor is a foundation upon which the startup story is shaped and grown to the next level. A mentor is a friend, philosopher, and guide to the startup founders and a bridge that provides a smooth transition from a Startup to a Unicorn.
Team Sociobits: If you would like to give one piece of advice to all the budding entrepreneurs who are looking to raise funds, what would that be?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: The present decade belongs to India. We will witness supernormal growth and attract the highest amount of Foreign Investment among Emerging Markets of the world. More wealth will be created in the next 10 years compared to the past 75 years and this is a movement to innovate, leverage technology and grow a business. If the business is scalable and addresses a gap in the market, large amounts of capital will chase the company. Be patient.
Team Sociobits: What have you learned in your journey as an investor?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: India is one of the best markets to invest in. There could be turbulent periods for investing in the short term but on a long term basis, India is the most vibrant, stable and well-governed investment destination in the world and the growth story for the Indian stock markets and private investors has just begun.
Team Sociobits: How did you get into the investing or funding space?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: Passion and love for financial markets with an urge and desire to spread financial knowledge and financial inclusion among the masses in the country leading to the overall development of the nation.
Team Sociobits: What are the easiest and toughest things about being an investor?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: Easiest – Investing in the Indian growth story.
Toughest – Spoilt for choices and the number of opportunities and kind of investment opportunities that exist in the length of breadth of the country and the great Indian entrepreneurial mindset of people.
Team Sociobits: What is the common mistake that businesses make while pitching to investors?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: Having the wrong mindset and attitude that I know it all, the greed of excessive valuation of the company with a mindset only to raise valuations rather than growing a scalable and profitable company.
Team Sociobits: How do you spot a good founder?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: A Founder with a positive growth-oriented attitude and one who believes in the great Indian growth story and, one who is open to learning new things and most importantly accepting his/her mistakes with an ability to say “I don’t know”.
Team Sociobits: What are some of the red flags that you have faced in your investing journey?
Mr. Farzan Ghadially: Corporate governance and transparency is the key. Abort the investment even with a loss /haircut if corporate governance and transparency become a concern.
Investors like Mr. Farzan Ghadially are an asset to the startups they decide to invest in. He will be a strong motivation and build an apt foundation for businesses. Every startup should utilize and take advantage of the knowledge shared by investors.