Context of title: Song from my latest favorite Hindi movie “3 Idiots”
It’s been two months since I started work here in Bangalore and things are going great. I joined Accel Partners as a Principal and will focus on seed/early stage investments and so if you are working on a startup at an early stage, you know where to find me.
Thanks to one of my colleagues I was able to go and see an India Premier League cricket game last night and we were sitting right next to the players. Being a huge cricket fan all my life, it was a treat being there live and not having to watch over the web at odd times (as I used to while in the US).
In this blog, I want to share some observations from the past two months here.
Environment: “Encouraging” is the one word to summarize the environment here in India. The whole country is on the move forward. Many MNCs are hiring actively in India. Last week the IIMs (top Indian B-schools) reported healthy placement of their graduates. IT sector is projecting 10% salary hikes (not that great for employers but birthing pains of a growing economy). The release of a well planned budget by the Indian Finance Minister has propelled the stock market higher. GDP growth rate of 7.2%. All these are really promising signs for a high growth economy. Inflation is a big concern (at >9%) but the central bank is expected to hike interest rates to counter this.
Events & Entrepreneurs: Over the past couple of months I have been to two pitch sessions and a couple of conferences. Through the pitch sessions (thanks to TiE), I listened to more than 50 companies present. One of the events focused on the Clean Tech sector while the other event was industry agnostic. One thing that struck me immediately is that most of the entrepreneurs I met were quite young (probably in twenties or early thirties). For a country that has >50% of people below 25 years (and a median age of 24) it is very encouraging as a VC to see young aspiring entrepreneurs who want to change the world. I was at the EmTech event last week and they announced their TR35 award winners for the first time in India. It was an impressive group of twenty innovators under 35. All this bodes well for the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and I am quite excited to be a part of it. ???