I have had a career that has spanned 2 decades now. During this time I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on several ventures, and also along with some amazing founders.
I started my career in Retail Consulting which was coming up in a big way in India back in the early 2000s. A lot of my work was on the shop floor trying to learn more about user behaviour in the retail environment and optimising it. I undertook a lot of primary research watching shoppers and interviewing them.
I moved on to working with what we would define as a startup today but we used to call small businesses back in 2008.
I used to help entrepreneurs get started with their ventures. Figuring their business plan, incorporating, putting their processes in place and even recruiting their first few employees. I worked across several industries including manufacturing, hospitality, education, healthcare, etc. It helped me learn a great deal about setting up a venture.
Towards 2012, we started coming across entrepreneurs who were seeking to start new ventures but did not have a lot of capital. It was not possible to sell them consulting projects but we thought it might be feasible to to just answer their questions. To do this, we got started with a small meetup which we hosted once a month to answer questions and discuss things that one must keep in mind when starting a venture.
That meetup developed into a venture called Startups Club. We raised capital and expanded the venture to 30 cities across India. In the process, we lost our consulting DNA and started focusing on reaching out to more entrepreneurs.
As the community grew past 10,000 it was no longer possible to keep track of the members or help them connect with one another. I led the development of an in-house product to enable this at scale.
Startups Club not only gave me the opportunity to travel to over 30 cities in India to meet with entrepreneurs and help develop the startup eco-systems but also to work with a large number of incubators and accelerators. In particular, we did a lot of work with the VIT-TBI to help develop an eco-system for startup startups in the University.
We also got involved with many international initiatives including Hello Tomorrow and also had the opportunity to work directly with the Government of Estonia to bring their e-Residency program to India.
During this time we also developed a small investment vehicle through which we invested private capital into a handful of startups. I was involved in the entire venture from the beginning. As a member of the Investment Committee, I was involved in deal sourcing, vetting, due diligence and closure of funding.
Startups Club was always event-driven and 2020 brought those activities to a grinding halt.
Since 2020, I have been working with individual founders consulting them on Go-To-Market, Product Development and Growth.
My latest engagement has been in the area of intrapreneurship. A lot of organisations including growth-stage startups stop focusing on development and pursuit of new opportunities within their organisations and their customers. We want to help such organisations unlock value within their organisations.