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Written by various collaborators within Team 100X.VC
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Oct 17, 2022
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Being a part of the founders journey as they problem solve and evolve is extremely gratifying.

-Dr Aarti Gupta, Chief Investment Officer, DBR Ventures

Team 100X interviewed some of the top investors across the globe about their venture investing journeys, startups, and India. Here, Dr Aarti Gupta, CIO at DBR Ventures  and belongs to promoter family of Jagran Group shares her responses.

Q1. What is your motivation to be in the venture investing business

For me Venture investing started as an asset class diversification. As the CIO for our family office, as the returns in equity and fixed income over time have been squeezed we wanted to explore venture investing.

However over the years this has really caught my interest. The ability to be part of an entrepreneurs journey as they problem solve and disrupt sectors is extremely gratifying. Early stage investing offers a chance to mentor and channelize once personal experience and network to help another budding entrepreneur. In addition to the returns, this has been my motivation

Q2. Describe your workday and leisure day, how does it look like

For me workdays and leisure days involve spending time with people, travel, reading and exercise. Its just that on workdays I am spending time with the team, analysts, fund managers and work colleagues…I travel to different places either for meetings, events or workshops, read reports and updates on the market and Exercise.

On a leisure day I spending time with friends and family, travel on holidays and explore new destinations, read biographies (they are my fav genre) and exercise!

Q3. What is your view on the future of India as market

I have been an investor in the Indian markets for more than a decade now and I strongly believe in the Indian growth story. The Indian consumer, entrepreneur and government are unique in themselves and that is why we see a comparatively lesser effect on us of the world wide recession. I am extremely positive and optimistic about the next decade being very good for the overall growth of the country.

Q4. Help describe your investment thesis and ideas you would like to back

I like to invest in early stage startups that are solving an existing problem with a large enough market size having a USP strong enough to become market leaders. I am sector agnostic, however I do have an inclination currently towards consumer tech, ecommerce enablers, space tech, and femtech.

Q5. Top 5 advice you would give to startup founder

  1. Know your numbers inside out
  2. Know your competition
  3. Integrity beats everything else
  4. It is a rollercoaster ride, remember this you will fall down from your highs and you will rise up from your lows.
  5. Always remember the passion and the reason why you started

Q6. How do you support your portfolio companies

Mentorship, funding, network

Q7.Which of your portfolio company you are very excited about and why

Actually, we can say "It's difficult to name just one name from our large portfolio but we surely are very bullish on three sectors; the Ecom enablers, the healthy living niche and Big business disruptors. We like 6deg, wicked and Agnikul respectively.  All three can go global as well."

Q8. What inspires you in life and what keeps you awake at night

What keeps me up at night is my journey of finding my own power, dealing with my own hardships and coming out stronger. I have this deep rooted need to be able to use the power and knowledge I have to help others discover and reach their potential

Q9.Books or Blogs you would recommend entrepreneurs

About Aarti:

Dr Aarti Gupta

belongs to the promoter family of the Jagran group, a business house with interests spanning across media & communications, education, real estate and hosiery exports. Dr Gupta heads the investment strategy for the family office and is the Chief Investment Officer at DBR Ventures, an angel investing entity that invests in smart and transformative early-stage start-ups. She is an investor on India’s first reality start-up funding TV Show, Horses Stable. Named amongst the 22 Top Women Investors in the country by Inc42, she looks for companies with innovative and transformative solutions to problems that exist on a larger scale. 

She is the past Chairperson for FICCI FLO Kanpur and is currently serving as the National Head for FICCI FLO Start-ups, an ecosystem for women founders and funders, where she has been instrumental in bringing forward pertinent issues related to the growth of women entrepreneurs both at the state and national levels. She is also the Chairperson of the Startup Committee of Merchant Chamber of UP.

Dr Gupta holds a PhD in Economics from IIT, Kanpur, a post-graduate diploma in business studies from Harvard University, and a Master’s degree in Economics from Northeastern University. Further, she is on the board of Harvard Alumni for Global Women’s Empowerment.

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