Vinod Kalkotwar

Vinod Kalkotwar

Kalozal Consultants, Bangalore

About Me

Kalozal Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore (www.kalozal.com) is a boutique investment bank. Kalozal started in July 2001 and specializes in following activities Raise equity from Angels/VCs/PEs : Business plan preparation, Financial model, valuation, negotiations of terms of investment, assistance during detailed due diligence, documentation, assistance for fund release Raise working capital/term loans from Banks/NBFCs : Business plan preparation, Financial model, negotiations of terms of loan, assistance during detailed due diligence, documentation, assistance for fund release Advise on strategic investment/joint ventures : Find suitable target companies for strategic investment/JV, valuation, negotiation of value add (who get what to table), documentation Advise on M&A (buy/sale) : Identify target companies, valuation, swap ratio Management consulting : Growth strategy, business development, performance management, capital structuring, negotiations, valuation of companies. We have helped 35 clients raise capital (mostly equity) of Rs. 450 crores. Our clients are across sectors like Manufacturing, Education, Retail, Healthcare, Technology, Telecom, Media, and Infrastructure etc. Prior to founding Kalozal in 2001, Vinod had 15 years of corporate experience in Banking, Credit, Project finance, Project appraisal, Merchant Banking, Loan/equity syndication, Stock Broking, Credit card operations, R&D in Cement /Essential oils/Perfumery industry. He earned M. Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT, Madras (1984) and completed MBA in Finance & International Marketing (1994).

Raising Capital For Young Startups

Over last 12 I have worked with Kalozal Consultants and also closely with 10+ young startups in Telecom, Media, IT, Healthcare and Technology. We have worked closely with founders refine their business plan, product/service offerings, revenue/business models, link them to established companies through our network of contacts for business development & validation of their business models/technology etc. Proactively work with VCs/Angel investors in refining/validating the business plan.

Some of the Startups I Worked With
Some of the startups we have helped raise angel/venture capital are –
• Surewaves Mediatech, Bangalore
• Sloka Telecom, Bangalore
• Jeeves Consumer Services, Bangalore
• Healthsprint Networks, Bangalore
• enStage Inc., CA, USA
• Mindlogicx Technologies, Bangalore
• Plus At Home Healthcare, Bangalore
• Poseidon Systems, Bangalore
• ECAD Technologies, Bangalore (acquired by AT&S in 2005)
• Comcreation Technologies, Bangalore (M&A with Cambridge Technology Enterprises, 2005
• Deccanet Designs, Bangalore (acquired by Flextronics in 2004)

My experience with the above start ups has been exhilarating and most satisfying.
Common Challenges Startups Face
Challenges are many, to name a few
• Lack of focus on revenue generation and customer acquisition
• Incoherent vision of the company
• Madly in love with own IP/Technology with complete disregard to competitors’ IP/Technology
• No knowledge of customer needs/wants
• Absence of clear sales / Go-To-Market plan
• Lack of basic financial knowledge e.g. cashflow planning/management
• Absence/lack of corporate governance
• No unanimity for achieving performance in team (No unity of command in team)
• No clear role plays for team members – post investment
• One up-manship – I know all attitude
How I help positing a story
Work closely with founder(s) and refine their ideas/business model/positioning. Get the startup idea validated with potential investors – An iterative process.

3 Piece Advice
• Do not be desperate while raising capital
• Do not sign a deal @very high valuation, stringent performance criteria/milestones and with investors who have questionable track record
• Prepare a comprehensive business plan covering all aspects of your business. If required – get professional help including accounts, finance, legal & secretarial