Interview of Pramendra Tomar-Group General Counsel at Ampersand Group

Pramendra Tomar

He has more than 18 years of experience as a Corporate Lawyer and a Company Secretarial Professional. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) and a Law degree from Delhi University. He also holds fellow membership of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He has exposure to diverse areas of Company Law matters, Corporate Commercial Laws, Private Equity, International Corporate Transactions, Joint Ventures, Mergers & Acquisitions, Litigation, and Arbitration.

He believes in nurturing and mentoring talent, building strong teams and equipping them with tools and processes to augment efficiency and effectiveness.

What is your investing philosophy?

I have a very simple philosophy: Invest in an Idea that is scalable and the right Team.

What has been the most important investing lesson you have learned so far?

Learning is an ongoing process and I believe the investment is not always about quick and high returns. An investor should understand that investment comes with its own set of risks. The lesson is to evaluate the risk curve; this is what makes a successful investor.

Which has been your best investment to date?

I have done several investments and it has not been all wonderful. But the most fascinating has been my involvement with a startup working for the emerging Legal-Tech market. As a Lawyer myself I feel legal professionals have so many restrictions due to ethical responsibilities. Hence, Lawyered, a Legal Tech discovery platform, also part of India Accelerators Cohort program has been so far one of my successful investments to date.

Can you share any investing mistakes that you made and the lessons we can learn from it?

The investments I have made have been well-calculated and hence can’t be tagged as mistakes as they provided a great deal of learning. Certain risks had to be taken by any investor.

Is there any particular investor or author who has had a significant influence on your investment thinking?

I have read about some but at the end of the day, I follow my instincts.

What would be your advice to Entrepreneurs seeking funds?

Always have clarity about your idea and long term plan for your startup. If an entrepreneur is dedicated and consistent they will surely do good. Never forget that an investor understands the passion of an entrepreneur but is also looking for your grip on practicality.

Do you invest in specific sectors? If yes, then which are the sectors?

When it comes to investments, there is no hardcore strategy towards choosing, for me I have invested in Legal and Fintech due to my associations and network. My work with India Accelerator enabled a huge Legal Tech network and hence my understanding of the sector makes me a more appropriate investor in the said industry.

What is your outlook for the present startup ecosystem in India?

The ecosystem is at a boom, and I am optimistic that it will only mature with time.

According to you what is more important (Team, Idea, Traction, etc.)?

The idea is inevitable to business but the second most important aspect is team, without a good team the possibility of going wrong is huge.

According to you what is the perfect time for a startup to raise funds?

Every startup needs its own unique strategy to raise funds. There is no perfect time, a lot of factors matter. Raising funds is a serious topic and hence a whole lot of research must be put through when it comes to raising funds.

What is the value add that a founder gets, along with your investment?

My role as an investor could be utilized in many ways, but in my experience, the startup must know what are they looking for when they bring on board an investor. It could be just investment, or network, or experience, etc. I feel that the term investor itself is sometimes misunderstood. An investor can enable a startup in many ways depending on what the team is looking for.

Would you like to share any of your recent investments and why did you select them?

Under negotiations and due diligence.

Answer in one line:

Share your original quote: Every problem has a solution, we only need to be patient and focused.

First 3 slides that you look in a Pitch Deck (in serial order): Idea, Team, Scalability.

How would you define Startup: A startup is the one that is actually solving a problem in an efficient way with innovation.

What are the attributes of an Entrepreneur: Never stop, never say die. Let failures teach you and make you grow.

What are your views about StartupLanes?

An amazing platform, to grow and network.