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Nov 29, 2022
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By supporting early-stage companies, we can help create jobs, drive economic growth, and make a positive impact on society.

-Dravya Dholakia, Founder & Partner, Dholakia Ventures

 

Team 100X interviewed some of the top investors across the globe about their venture investing journeys, startups, and India. Here, Dravya Dholakia, Managing Partner at Dholakia Ventures shares his responses.

 

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

We want to be a part of and at the forefront of the disruptive innovations happening in different industries. Working with the right set of founders and co-investors gives up a different perspective on how industries are shaping the future. Additionally, we want to support the founders who are trying to do something innovative and impactful. We believe that venture investing can be a force for good in the world. By supporting early-stage companies, we can help create jobs, drive economic growth, and make a positive impact on society.

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

There’s no demarcation as such between my working day and a leisure day. I get to learn every single day whether on or off the job. Usually on calls with entrepreneurs, attending events, and investors.

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

There are a few key factors that will shape the future of India as a market. Firstly, India has a young and rapidly growing population, which is increasingly becoming urbanized and affluent. This provides a large and growing consumer base for businesses to target. Secondly, the Indian economy is forecast to continue to grow at a healthy rate in the coming years, meaning that there will be more money circulating and more people with disposable incomes. Finally, our Honorable Prime Minister of India Shree Narendrabhai Modiji is making strides in improving the business environment, such as by simplifying the tax system and introducing initiatives to attract foreign investment. All of these factors suggest that India will be an increasingly attractive and bullish market for businesses in the future.

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

We are very sector agnostic as long as the team is strong and the technology/product is disruptive and the timing is right. We believe that this balance will lead to validation of the market potential and opportunities available.

Q5. What are your 5 key learnings from your experience as a venture investor?

  1. Invest in People
    2. Be a careful listener
    3. Try to overcome your investment biases
    4. Make out time for yourself to learn
    5. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions
    6. Patience is the key

Q6.Mention the top 5 consumer/industry/technology trends in India and globally.

  1. The increasing importance of India as a market for global businesses.
    2. Growing interest in sustainability and ethical consumption. 
    3. The rise of digital and mobile technologies. 
    4. The rise of the sharing economy. 
    5. Advancement in artificial intelligence & robotics and increase in data privacy and security concerns.

Q7. Top 5 pieces of advice you would give to a startup founder.

  1. Define your business model and value proposition. 
    2. Build a strong team of co-founders and employees who share your vision. 
    3. Focus on acquiring and retaining customers from Day 1. 
    4. Constantly track your progress and adjust your plans accordingly. 
    5. Constantly strive to innovate and find new ways to improve your business.

Q8. How do you support your portfolio companies?

1) Providing funding support - this can be in the form of seed funding, Series -A, or follow-on rounds of financing.

2) Connecting companies with key individuals and resources - this could be customers, suppliers, or industry experts in the Eco-system.

3) Helping companies navigate difficult situations - for example, providing advice on how to restructure a business or assisting with management changes.

4) Advantage of free credits, service offerings, and other shared programs from our partner enterprises.

Q9. Which of your portfolio company you are very excited about and why?

We are excited about all of our portfolio companies but naming a few would be Dhiwise, Zypp Electric, StockGro, White inc., etc.

Q10. When you started your career what were your ambitions?

I started my career with the ambition of becoming a successful investor and for the same, I’ve researched this business space from scratch level and in a very deep manner. I wanted to be able to generate enough return through investing to take care of this business arm on behalf of my family. Over the years, my goals aligned with my passion.

Q11. What inspires you in life and what keeps you awake at night.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, from a book, a song, a person, or an event. It can be any of these things. But for me, I’ve closely seen my family growing the business from the scratch for last more than 30 years, and the dedication and determination to carry on the tradition and heritage keeps me motivated and inspired all the time.

Q12. Books or Blogs you would recommend for entrepreneurs.

There are many great books and blogs out there for entrepreneurs, but here are a few that I would personally recommend :

  1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
    2. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco.
    3. The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.
    4. The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Zander and Benjamin 
    Zander. 
    5. The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Q13. If you have interacted with 100X.VC, please share a few good words about us.

100X.VC has been an amazing partner in helping entrepreneurs grow their startups, providing resources and advice, and have been instrumental in helping startups secure funding. The team is very supportive. They guys have a great online presence and are always available to communicate. We've always felt like our interactions with them have been positive and productive.

 

 

About Dravya

Dravya Dholakia is the Founder and Partner at Dholakia Ventures, a sector agnostic Venture Capital arm of the Dholakia family office investing in early-stage startups. In his present capacity, Dravya spearheads alternate investments on behalf of the family. He is also a part of the Investment Committee. Having pursued his undergraduate degree in BBA from Pace University, New York, Dravya went on to complete a Post graduate-level Venture Capital course from the acclaimed Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Boston, in 2016. Before commencing Dholakia Ventures, the passionate entrepreneur was trained in his family business, Hari Krishna Exports, a diamond manufacturing company, for 1.5 years.

He started his career with the ambition of becoming a successful investor and for the same has researched this business space from scratch level and in a very deep manner. Over the years, his goals aligned with his passion. A forward-thinking business professional, Dravya envisions Dholakia Ventures as a reputed VC firm powering the entire startup ecosystem in the country through several ways, including incubation, accelerator programs, etc. In a nutshell, he aims to make Dholakia Ventures an incredible value addition to the startup ecosystem investor community. Dravya is a travel enthusiast and enjoys traveling to and exploring new places in his downtime. He is also a pilot who holds a private pilot’s license from the USA.

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