Interview of Mahavir Sharma – Chairman of TiE Global Board of Trustees
You did not get a choice to choose your parents, but as an idea/early-stage investor you have a choice to choose the right parents.
Mahavir is Vice Chairman of TIE Global Board of Trustees, Chairman of a pan India Angel Group, TiE India Angel’s (TIA) and he is also Founder and Chairman of Rajasthan Angels (RAIN). He is also a great prolific mentor and a great investor to the idea and early-stage startups across India. He is also, in the Business of Carpets, Jewellery, Marketing, and Branding. And now leading the TiE global initiative of the launch of TiE India Angel Network for all TiE CM’s pan India.”
What is your investing philosophy?
Investing philosophy is to invest in ideas and early-stage startups that I can contribute with my experience and knowledge, and be actively involved in.
What has been the most important investing lesson you have learned so far?
It is never too late to learn and don’t regret the decisions that you take as all the investment decisions that one takes will not be right.
Which has been your best investment to date?
In terms of ROI, it is yet to come, but investment in Speedz, a tech start-up and helping him scale-up is most exciting, challenging and enjoyable.
Can you share any investing mistakes that you made and the lessons we can learn from it?
The initial investments that I made were more emotional and did not give it full thought. Further not investing in Razorpay and Lucideus are other two investments that I regret.
Is there any particular investor or author who has had a significant influence on your investment thinking?
Not really, don’t read much about others, just go with my own instincts.
What would be your advice to Entrepreneurs seeking funds?
Be careful in how much you need, when you need and at what cost you are getting the funds. Sometimes it is just not the amount or when you need or what valuation but who you are getting the funds from.
Do you invest in specific sectors? If yes, then which are the sectors?
I am sector agnostic and just look for innovative early and idea-stage startups with a team that is strong and passionate to succeed with the right mindset.
What is your outlook for the present startup ecosystem in India?
The current outlook is very optimistic, I think that we are at the right stage of growth, investment and traction and will soon get a high return on investment. Tech is the future for mankind and investments.
According to you what is more important (Team, Idea, Traction, etc.)?
Team and idea, traction can follow.
According to you what is the perfect time for a startup to raise funds?
No clear answer and depends on the product or service that is there, if it is patentable or has deep tech solution that doesn’t already exist then it can be at the idea stage or prototype stage and before POC or traction. If it already exists in some shape or form then POC, MoM growth, Capex, Opex, burn or no burn, etc. all play a role and the stage would be post whatever is needed for that start-up.
What is the value add that a founder gets, along with your investment?
My experience, knowledge, and network for reaching out to the market and future fundraising.
Would you like to share any of your recent investments and why did you select them?
Under negotiations and due diligence, will be announced soon.
Answer in one line:
Share your original quote: You did not get a choice to choose your parents, but as an idea/early-stage investor you have a choice to choose the right parents.
First 3 slides that you look in a Pitch Deck (in serial order): Idea, team, and competition.
How would you define Startup?
A true Startup is someone that has solved a problem and the solution of which would not need much marketing and effort to scale up.
What are the attributes of an Entrepreneur?
Always find opportunities in difficulties and continue to find ways to succeed despite all odds.
What are your views about StartupLanes?
A great platform and network where startups can learn and grow.