Gaurav Asthana

Gaurav Asthana

Managing Partner
Transjovan Capital Advisors, Delhi

About Me

We are an Investment Banking firm with offices in Mumbai and New Delhi that provides advisory services to corporates & entrepreneurs pertaining to Capital-raising(Equity and Debt), Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Joint Ventures (JV), Structured Financing and Corporate Strategy. We advise across sectors, different stages of company's lifecycle and varied deal sizes. I have been associated with the Corporate Finance and Strategic advisory space for about a decade now. Have advised on transactions worth over USD 300 Mn. We have been actively assisting entrepreneurs in raising capital - by preparing and fine-tuning their business plans, strategizing their business models, arriving at the company valuation, short-listing the relevant investors and conducting negotiations with the investors, eventually leading to the enterprises getting funded on optimal terms. We have advised and are advising companies across varied sectors to raise early-stage capital (i.e., seed/angel/venture capital funding). Select engagements include: a) advising an upcoming Retail venture looking to tap the growing Fruit & Grocery etailing space to raise angel capital; (b) advising a fast-growing Human Resource solutions group looking to expand aggressively pan-India (by re-aligning their business model to cater to niche volumedriven segment) to raise angel/venture capital; (c) advising an upcoming Healthcare group to raise growth/venture capital; and, (d) advising an entrant in the Real Estate development sector looking to tap niche segments to raise angel/venture capital.

3 Piece Advice

1) Take professional advice in strategizing and validating your business plan before
taking it potential investors.
2) Connect with the 'right' set of investors - that is, who not merely contribute capital
and await returns, but are also willing to ride-the-tide with the entrepreneur to realize a
common vision post-investment.
3) Getting funded is an absolute necessity, but 'on-what-terms' is equally important. The deal terms should be a win-win proposition for the entrepreneur, the investor and for the
long-term growth of the venture.

Common Challenges Startups Face
Key challenges faced by startups in accessing capital are mostly related to
(a) market
adoption risk (of their product/services)
b) implementation risk (ability to execute as
per the business plan)
(c) scalability (is there enough room for growth?)
(d) sustainability (how differentiated and competitive can the venture be on a long-term
(e) ability-to-generate-superior-returns
(f) exit risk (will monetizing the investment by the VC in a defined timeframe be an issue?).

I've observed one of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs to get access to capital has been
(a) limited access to relevant set of potential investors
(b) inadequate strategizing and validation of the business plan before it reaches the VC's desk.
Entrepreneurs have a deep understanding of their proposed venture, but their business idea/proposition needs to be positioned appropriately to the right audience. That is
precisely where an Investment Banking firm like ours fills the gap.
My Advice If You are Starting Out
When it comes to a business plan, many a times, what entrepreneurs submit to VCs runs the risk of getting construed as 'a mere sales pitch' for a particular product/service being
offered, for getting funded. A robust business plan needs to be incisive, should address the key investment risk mitigants and also highlight the return-generating potential for investors. It should not only mention the strengths and positives but also be transparent about the weaknesses and potential threats.
Much time is spent by us alongwith the promoters in pre-empting the tough questions and what-if scenarios for the business, thereby helping entrepreneurs to fine-tune and
validate their business plans. The end-result is a well-thought out and robust business plan that aids the investors in their evaluation and shortens the decison-making process.
My advice to an entrepreneur thinking about writing their first business plan is: aim to write the business plan in as realistic and implementable manner as possible. Getting
funded is not the end-of-mission; rather it is the start of an exciting and challenging journey. One should commit in the business plan only what can be realistically implemented post-investment.