IDGVI News: Media Coverage 2011

Think big, think new, say venture capitalists

The Hindu Business Line, Friday, September 10 | 2010

By Bijoy Ghosh


Support for entrepreneurs:(From left) Mr T.C. Meenakshi Sundaram, MD, IDG Ventures India Advisors P Ltd; Mr Neeraj Bharadwaj, Managing Director, Accel India Growth; Mr Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman and MD, TVS Capital Funds Ltd; Dr Mohanjit Jolly, Partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; and Mr Leo Puri, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus, at a session at Connect 2010, in Chennai on Thursday.

Venture capital representatives regretted that while India produces thousands of engineers not many ideas are generated to create Rs 1,000-crore technology companies.

“We have engineers but not scientists. Fundamentally scientific thinking leads to disruptive ideas but I do not see many of that,” according to Mr T.C. Meenakshi Sundaram, Managing Director, IDG Ventures India Advisors Pvt Ltd. “We need to ask are we creating disruptive technologies or following one of those existing technologies and replicating it here,” he said at a keynote panel discussion-Entrepreneurship at Connect2010, the two-day ICT event of Tamil Nadu organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry along with the Tamil Nadu Government and the Union Ministry of Information Technology.

Technology should not become an end in itself but solve a real life problem, he said urging entrepreneurs to look at technologies that can make a difference to the common man. Dr Mohanjit Jolly, Partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said despite thousands of engineers, good educational institutions, availability of funds and Government support, there are not many companies that can become a Rs 1,000 crore company.

On what venture capital companies look for in entrepreneurs, Mr Leo Puri, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus, “we are in the business of backing individuals not the business. We will back individuals who think big in terms of vision and execution. Quality of individual is very import not the business. In India, every sector is an opportunity but what is lacking are entrepreneurs with vision and integrity, he said. Mr Neeraj Bharadwaj, Managing Director, Accel India Growth, said his company too will back people but not business.

“We want great managers than great business without managers,” he said.

Mr Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds Ltd, summing up the discussion said entrepreneurs need to be bold; should think big and celebrate role models.

“Do not fear failures but take that to build great company,” he said.