Anil Joshi

Anil Joshi

President, Mumbai Angels

About Me

I head the operations at Mumbai Angels and Bangalore Angels, leading Angel Investment forums in India. I have been involved with Mumbai Angels since early days however came full time in mid of 2010. My professional experience includes involvement in corporate management functions in medium and large organizations, Investment in start-ups, Project management, Joint Ventures and business development.

Investment Strategy

The position I hold allows me to evaluate several investment opportunities. I follow very simple strategy to identify rock star team which has passion and hunger to do something great in life.

Portfolio Companies

While Mumbai Angels has invested in 50 companies till date, I also had opportunities to invest in a few. Till date I have invested in over 15 companies. Few of them are: - Mobstac, Hotelogix, United Mobile App, Serial Innovation (now Tonbo), Karmic, Traffio, Wild East, Level 10, Exotel, Carve Niche etc.

My Criteria for Investing in Startups

During my early days I looked at ideas for investment. However with couple of investments I realized that it is not great idea but a great team which can make it happen. Hence for me team is more important and rest are secondary.

Attributes I Look for in an Entrepreneur

Apart from being on board of 5 companies I am also involved with several incubators in India and abroad and had opportunity to mentor several entrepreneurs. Following are the attributes of good entrepreneur: - Flexibility, ability to learn, unlearn and learn, frugal, willing to change when situation demands, great motivator and leadership quality.
I look for flexibility and desire to learn in founders. Of course nothing beats passion and hunger to do something great.

Common Mistakes Startups Make
Most of the start-ups fail not because they are not able to get traction but because they run out of money. Some of the mistakes start-ups can avoid are by building products which customers want and not what founders think of, change quickly and not keep spending resources on something which is not working, building good team in time, getting early traction, being frugal, managing cash flow well and planning and raising fund well in time and not when they have exhausted all resources.
How to Avoid Making Such Mistakes
Entrepreneurs should look for good mentors and advisors especially during early days. Mistakes could be very costly and if they have good mentors then they can benefit from wisdom and great experience of mentors and advisors. Also one should manage their cash flow well as money is the biggest factor for any business. More if it is being generated through business.
Most Popular Types of Businesses in India at the Moment
Current trend is more on social network and how to leverage the same for business; the most ever green sectors are IT, Telecom, VAS, education and healthcare. However one shouldn't start something based upon what is the trend but what they like with proper research as there is no point starting something which is not required or is ahead of time. Entrepreneur will be more successful if he follows his passion with customers in mind and not passion alone.
Thoughts on First Angel, Follow-on Investments and Offerings to an Angel Investor
Very tough one especially when I am heading 2 prominent angel groups in country. It doesn’t matter at what stage of business one has invested but it is important that good team is backed at right time and at right numbers. Have following suggestions for entrepreneurs on investment front:-
  • Choose right angel investors, please do ref check on investors
  • Yes, investors will have right to invest in future to maintain their holding in co
  • Don’t be bothered about dilution; raise right amount at right number, which will define the percentage stake co.
  • Angels are normally very successful individual in their respective fields, hence lot to learn from their experience, one should offer board seat to angels.