No Better Time than Now to Be an Entrepreneur

Date:   Wednesday , July 02, 2014

Indian Angel Network (IAN) is India\'s only national and Asia\'s largest business angel investors network of over 225 business angels investing in start-ups, early stage ventures. Headquartered in New Delhi, IAN has funded over 50 start-ups across multiple sectors like IT, Mobile, Healthcare and Education, across India and overseas.

The future of entrepreneurship seems bright. Startups are growing increasingly fast and there is a huge interest for many people to take up entrepreneurship as a career. Whether they get out of college or after gaining number of years of experience in the industry, there is no better time than now for them to get into entrepreneurship. From an investor\'s perspective, there is clearly a lot of interest. When we started Indian Angel Network (IAN), the concept of angel investment was not known. But in the past few years, there are many number of angel investors who have come up. All this contributes well into building an eco-system in general. Although, the key thing which is impeding this growth in terms of angel investment is Section 56 Startup Tax that needs to get sorted to make situations even better.

What is not trending?

When it comes to the areas of our investment, we feel that there is nothing that is not trending. We are sector agnostic and have made investments in education, healthcare, medical devices, IT and mobiles, semi-conductor, agriculture, manufacturing, media amongst many others. Mobile apps, environment or clean tech, analytics, big data, tourism, quick service restaurants and many other innovative businesses interest us.

Before investing into a startup, we see if the idea is innovative and unique enough. It must have the ability to enable something different or do things differently. It need not be so new an idea that it takes a lot of time educating the customers, but it should be innovative enough that it has a new market and customer taste.

Secondly, we see if it\'s a high growth large market. This means whether the proposition is \'nice to have\' or \'need to have\'. If it\'s nice to have, than it would be a small market or a niche market with its own growth cycles. But if it is \'need to have\' then the customer base becomes very large.

The entrepreneurial team adds to this as one of the most important element we look for which further includes their domain expertise, experience and how focused they are in execution. In India, many of the startups or entrepreneurs lack the ability to communicate the power of the technology or the proposition. Just getting that technology or proposition in place is not enough. It is imperative that there is a customer base for it and the business side of it is well thought through. It is also thinking through how large an entrepreneur wants the company to be. I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs or startups not get off the ground just trying to over optimize the investment structure or the funding deal that they get. And sometimes when they over optimize, they miss the boat.

Well to summarize, this is an excellent time to go entrepreneurial. There is a market out there, there are investors, there is money and all I would say is go for it, Rock it!!(As told to Pankaj Kundwani)