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At GetVantage we're excited to back early and growth stage founders that are spearheading the growth of revenue-generating businesses.

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

The startup space is one that has always been exciting to me. Having been a founder/ operator for over a decade, an angel investor, and part of the leadership teams at some of the most exciting global companies and sectors that have reshaped consumer habits, enterprise value, and government policies from Uber to Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), and crypto/web3 to SME finance - founders need help in growth and fair, transparent access to capital. That's our singular focus at GetVantage to help founders access the capital they need to grow on their terms, and win! 

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

My weekdays are pretty structured and routine which is by design to maximise my ability to focus on certain tasks and ensure I am able to cover a lot of bases through the week. 

  • Even though I'm not a morning person, I've learned the importance of getting started early. So I would typically wake up by 7am, 
  • Get to the gym for a quick 45-60 min workout between 730-830am. 
  • Then it's catching up on emails and news before I get into the office between 930-10am. 
  • My day is then divided into blocks to focus on internal meetings (by function), emails, editorial activity, and external meetings/calls. 
  • I do intermittent fasting so my first meal (lunch) is usually between 1-3pm
  • Then continue with my block calendar activity. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a few hrs blocked out where no calls/ meetings are to be scheduled as an example. So that  helps free up valuable hours to focus on ideation/ innovation/ strategy development, etc
  • The workday will end between 7-830pm unless we have external events/ meetings.
  • Then it is home and dinner with the family before I get to bed by 11pm.

Leisure days for me are each weekend which are more relaxed and dedicated to my family, friends, and myself. Typically filled with a lot of golf, long lunches with family, and late nights with friends whenever we can. 

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

India is a market of small businesses. As a founder’s first-funding platform for small business owners, we are very bullish on the India growth and consumption story that is projected to transition India from a $3 to $5 trillion economy over the next decade. We’re in it for the long game and aren’t distracted by short-term turbulence. In fact, Bob Sternfels, CEO, McKinsey & Co. recently said: "It's not India's decade, it's India's century." 

We're seeing incredible innovation out of India across sectors from consumer goods, and Cleantech to B2B SaaS, to both consumer and SME-focused financial services (payments, lending, etc). 

India's always been a nation of small businesses. The millions of SME and MSMEs are the growth engine of India and will continue to drive the growth and consumption story of our country. But, the vast majority of what we see today is only from tier 1 cities. As more people go online, more businesses are founded from tier 2 and 3 cities, the real growth story of Bharat will emerge into the spotlight. 

Today, most businesses, even the ones that claim to cater to a billion Indians are only really catering to approximately 100 million. As the other 90%+ starts to evolve from being on the radar, to being reachable, to becoming a relevant customer, to a paying customer, etc we'll continue to see unprecedented growth and new opportunities. 

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

At GetVantage we're excited to back early and growth stage founders that are spearheading the growth of revenue-generating businesses. We have a simple investment thesis, if your business is fundamentally good, the numbers make sense, and you're in an exciting category regardless of sector, we want to help you get funded, without diluting equity. 

In the long-term, we hope to become a cornerstone funding partner for entrepreneurs and small business owners across India. GetVantage is sector and size agnostic and deeply committed to empowering companies at all stages in their growth journey. The team at GetVantage is simply executing further on our singular vision of Bharat Capital

While we started with our first innovation to market which was Revenue-Based Financing (RBF) catering to eCommerce businesses. Over the last few quarters, with the continued uncertainty around global markets, we’ve moved swiftly to diversify our offering and introduce new non-dilutive capital solutions to meet the evolving needs of businesses across 18+ sectors including Cleantech, Cloud-kitchens, Edtech, eCommerce, D2C, EV & infrastructure, SaaS and subscription-based companies, and QSR to name a few. 

We have expanded our offering to include working capital demand loans, marketing capital, fixed term loans, and revolving credit lines. These products have been introduced to meet the rapidly evolving needs of thousands of emerging small businesses across India, many of which are originating from outside the metros. For example, we’ve backedShri Chyawan Ayurveda, a one-stop ayurveda company founded by young entrepreneur from Raipur, Devkar Saheb. 

Recently we have also helped a business likeNutrizoe, a new-age women's focused nutrition brand  founded by inspiring entrepreneur Richa Pendake with marketing capital of INR 25 lakhs, and we’ve helped an upstart equity-funded business like BluSmart which is an EV company changing the way India moves with expansion capital of INR 25 crores. 

Unlike other global markets, India is uniquely poised for continued growth. While there will always be cycles of growth and slowdowns, the need for working capital is only increasing in markets like India. Our own proprietary research indicates there is a current working capital requirement of over $200 bn for emerging businesses and this is expected to double to over $500bn in the next 5 years. 

Unlike venture capital, GetVantage gives founders the opportunity to raise vital working capital without giving up ownership or control of their business. 

Equity can often be one of the most expensive ways of raising working capital, but many founders are also wary of the interest rates of traditional debt. In markets like India, many traditional lenders even demand personal guarantees or warrants. GetVantage offers a fair, flexible, and founder-friendly alternative that technology entrepreneurs can use to fund a growing business without having to give up ownership or take on the burden of traditional debt.

For many businesses Venture Capital is simply not the best way to raise funding. GetVatange works both complementary to and supplementary to venture capital depending on what size and stage of growth a business is in. 

The old world of fundraising was based on who you know. The new world of fundraising is based on data and business fundamentals.

The financial stress that comes with fundraising can be a significant distraction for first-time founders and young entrepreneurs. GetVantage eliminates a lot of the stress and friction from the traditional fundraising process, giving founders the unfair advantage so they can focus on growth and let platforms like GetVantage provide the capital. 

The non-dilutive financing model is a more balanced, structured and step-wise approach. In the future, I believe more entrepreneurs will embrace this approach rather than raising tons of expensive capital and trying to burn their way to scale.

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

  • An idea is only as good as a team's ability to execute.

  • FOMO-driven investing (like we've seen in Edtech/ Fintech/ Web3) the last 3-5 years is a terrible idea. 

  • Having competitors to benchmark and reference is important even when a venture may be creating a new category.

  • Being data-driven and true to fundamentals is critical. It's important to proactively eradicate bias in venture investing. For example giving women-founders and founders from marginalised communities more opportunities. 

  • Manage expectations with founders and other stakeholders. 

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

So I have a couple to mention in fintech/ marketing/ tech in general:

  • Non-dilutive venture finance (cash flow-based funding like RBF) will continue to build strong momentum and go mainstream as more business-owners understand the importance of debt as being complementary not supplementary to equity in the moden capital stack of any new-age business. At GetVantage, we're building the first Capital Gateway for businesses in India to access the capital they need at every stage in their journey. 

  • Earned Wage Access (EWA) has exploded in the US and Europe and will continue to take off in an important way across emerging economies like Africa, India, Southeast Asia. Companies like Refyne in India and GajiGesa in Southeast Asia are spearheading the effort to bring financial security into every workplace by breaking the traditional concept of payroll. 

  • Artificial Intelligence-based solutions will continue to evolve, become more embedded and generally important. Businesses will need to figure out how different solutions can streamline efficiencies and people will need to understand and integrate AI to drive more productivity. 

  • Community Focus-

new-economy brands need to quickly understand that it's no longer just about having a go-to-market (GTM) strategy but, the need to have a go-to-community (GTC) strategy. Community has to be at the core of everything you do and should guide teams instead of being a small part of the marketing mix. This is about going beyond the sales function to being at the core of decision-making and one that impacts every part of the organization. 

  • Content remains king -

for emerging businesses, understanding the importance of developing, managing, and distributing content in a world where social media and AI means constant evolution of creation and consumption habits will be incredibly important to engage your core communities. Having a handle on your content engine is incredibly important so you reduce the reliance on traditional information sources to drive more direct engagement. 

  1. Top 5 advice you would give to startup founder

A few simple tips for founders:

  • Think long and hard about diluting equity; know and understand all the funding options you have available and how to optimize external funding for your unique business needs at every step in your journey. 
  • The right investor can add far more value that just capital. They bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, contacts, and more. Choose wisely so you can use them as high-value resources regularly. 
  • Have a north-star and remain laser-focused to achieve it. There will be numerous distractions from competitors creating noise, to regulatory challenges, and people issues. Don’t let things distract you from the goal at hand. 
  • Resilience is critical. Being a founder means you will have more bad days than good ones but it’s par for the course. 
  • Be decisive. It’s very easy to fall into a trap where you’re constantly over-analysing situations or decisions. Make thoughtful decisions quickly and move forward. There’s always another problem to solve. 

  1. How do you support your portfolio companies

At GetVantage, we have a simple 4C approach to helping our portfolio companies - Capital, Community, Content, Collaboration. 

  • Capital - We provide access to various forms of non-dilutive capital (inventory financing, marketing capital, cash flow-based financing, fixed term loans, etc) 
  • Community - We’ve built an incredible entrepreneur’s community over 1,000 people strong. Founders can tap into this community with numerous offshoots for advice, marketing, hiring, fundraising, etc 

  • Content - We focus on creating high-impact content to drive engagement, growth, and interest for our portfolio companies and their audiences. 
  • Collaboration - We’ve built an incredible portfolio of companies and proactively design and encourage brand-collaborations and more. 

Lastly, our Partners network. We have an amazing network of ecosystem partners (payments, marketing, logistics, branding, etc) that are on-hand to support our portfolio companies with their growth strategies. 

  1. Which of your portfolio companies are you very excited about and why?

Super excited by various companies across sectors in our portfolio including:

  • BluSmart
  • Emotoroad
  • Greenhonchos
  • The Health Factory
  • Rage Coffee

These are just a few examples. But each of these companies are solving a real problem. We’re incredibly bullish on sectors like Cleantech, EV & infrastructure, B2B SaaS, QSR, Nutrition, and eCommerce enablement to name a few. 

We’ve been working with some of these companies for longer than others, but it’s incredible to watch their unique journey, challenges, and actively partner with them to harness new opportunities.

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

My ambition was to be able to do work where I also have fun. When you’re having fun, work isn’t really work. So I’m lucky to say that I’m having a ton of fun helping other founders build their businesses. 

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

I’m inspired by nature and enjoy spending time outdoors doing sports or other outdoor activities. Operational and people issues keep me awake at night.  

  1. Books or Blogs you would like to recommend entrepreneurs.

I’m going to stay away from your typical responses and actually say, take the time to read and listen to people that are experts in something you’re passionate about apart from work. It helps break the monotony of constantly thinking about work but spending a bit of time learning about an area you're passionate about will foster creativity or at the very least help you destress. 

Andrew Huberman, Joe Rogam, Lex Friedman are some examples for me that are exploring a variety of really interesting topics and speaking with really interesting guests. 

Depending on what sector you’re in there may be more specific blogs and or newsletters. I tend to subscribe to select fintech, SaaS, marketing and web3/crypto related newsletters. 

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