Note: This is an auto-transcribed version of the interview. You can watch all the protalks series here
Gaurav Tripathi 0:05
Okay we are live. Wonderful. Good evening everybody. I welcome to pro talks by Super pro.ai I’m your host, co founder and CEO of fuzzy probe, and as you know by now, in pro docs we are bringing our amazing super pros, amazing professionals from different fields. So every time we see that we are brought in. After we have brought in entrepreneurs we are brought in investors. And our intent has been that we bring diversity to the pool, so that when you listen to their journey. You get to learn something so that’s our intent. With that, let me, let me welcome you all this evening and this today’s session. And of course if you have any questions you can put them in the chat box, you can put in the comments, and this session, the recording will be available on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook everywhere. So, in case you are watching the recorded version of it, you can still put in your questions in the comment, we will route the questions to our guests and we’ll get back to you with answers. So, please, please read. With that, I’ll present to you our today’s guest is John schrager, please. You’ve got a brief introduction.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 1:10
So much to do. Thank you super protein for having me here. A very, very warm welcome to each one, okay today, join the session. So my name is Tanisha pupating. In short, I’m cold shaker, and I started my career with ExxonMobil, a finance guy, a chartered accountant with multiple other finance qualifications, and also in management areas, so I wasn’t the oil and gas ExxonMobil business with almost four years from then I moved on to KPMG, and I lost it as an employee, once with a UK based multinational, which want brands like the idea of London fitness, which makes me popular in certain geographies and yachting was popular all over the world. So this was the business 40 brands, and my role essentially there was m&a, which is mergers and acquisitions, so I was doing transactions. I stayed with them for a longer time, 10 years, and we did like a surprising amount but that’s what I did in my 20s I did almost 11 acquisitions and for divestments, the last thing I did was selling the nucleon form, which is a billion dollar company basically all happened in December 2012 And, as you know, as early as 2011 I felt I should be on my own sometimes up until about Britney, so the timing was perfect for me, when this deal happened, there was a six month transition and effectively in June 2013 I became an entrepreneur. So I have a business which is called ANOVA, which is an advisory business focused on articles, one is mandated by society and the second is fundraise, we are sector agnostic, and they’ve done transactions across consumer across health across technology across hospitality luxury and various segments, and I’ve been in this business for more than seven years now. So that’s been my journey so far.
Gaurav Tripathi 2:25
Well good, thanks, thanks a lot for the introduction. Okay, I will start at the very start. So I think the time when you did see it as ICs, it was very, very early. I just out of curiosity. At that time, you know, in the 90s at that period. How was it like to become a CNA how many years were there in general.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 2:46
So during my days though you know clearly apart from engineering, medicine, you know child accountancy was considered as you know, top notch sort of a profession to be in. And, you know, in those days, you will find a lot of people who used to get employed and rather than you know being in practice, and I was sort of fascinated by the fact that some of the C’s but also able to climb up the ladder and become you know the CEOs, so it’s not just the CFO because that’s something that you would innovate yes you know that just the opposition, they would be, but when I saw them in some of the other CXO positions and actually got excited and in my personal case, I’m fascinated with mathematics. So I used to love numbers and the CIA gave me the option to do slicing and dicing the numerical ability, and, you know whenever I see data I used to write over what are the insights, I can go to the data so that can present that as a meaningful information. So that was my personal fascination, why don’t you think Obama’s job and then you’re doing the CIA and then don’t ask me but
Gaurav Tripathi 3:30
I was the, the early experience so ExxonMobil as you will use it for future reports so again it’s much relevant at that time, working in such and then moving to KPMG, what was your early learnings working those faces, but
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 3:45
honestly I was very lucky, you know, to join ExxonMobil, because when I joined them it was mobile, and this is you know 1997 In the 1998, Exxon Mobil, they announced a merger, and it took almost one year for the merger to happen so effectively 99 sort of merger happened with ExxonMobil. So I have both the sort of you know, enterprises because both are right now between the top 10 In terms of Fortune five companies and mobile was a little more flamboyant compared to Exxon. So mobile gave me the opportunity to be much more innovative and creative in terms of understanding certain areas within the broader finance and accounting function, and it also gave me an insight into how to be more strategic. In fact, my first acquisition I did when I was. So we bought a bottling facility. So that was my first experience, probably that’s what led me, you know, to get into the image area validities, and then now it’s not given much, it’s almost much more raw, you know into ensuring that you know there were certain ways by which the business was gone I still remember they used to have a control document called Red Book. So as you can imagine if the word regular means question. So I think that was a very interesting experience for me, I stayed with them for four years. But normally, learning, and grew with them. You know people from other Ivy League institutions like it and I am so the experience was much more to understand how people think and I think one bigger lesson you can learn there is you know the magic of thinking, you know, towards the right direction of getting things accomplished in the right manner, that’s something I wish I learned in a much more effective way, you know, as I was growing with the business. So in the first year now I’m slowly trying to figure out what’s happening, but as the journey progressed, and it was it was very very enjoyable because I was learning a lot, and I was also sort of climbing up the rungs of the ladder in the position up. And let me do next question why would give you me I was fascinated with and Exxon Mobil management company in the US got fascinated me, and moved to KPMG, did you know about it. And then I realized now that the industry is very new, I can now become a better person in terms of the experience that I can share. And I can also learn. And this again goes back to industry.
Gaurav Tripathi 5:28
So this one question I have seen a lot of cleanser was yeah and I always had this question with them as well that okay guys you study, it’s like with the Indian Institute you study more about the Indian economy, and so on so oh is it when you start to work with US GAAP standards coming across how much, how much of learning further learning does it require, how do you how do you deal with it.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 5:49
The best thing about the Indian education system is, you know, you basically foundation, you know, become so strong. In fact, if you ask me, you don’t see is, is considered one of, you know, I wouldn’t use the word tough, you know, but of course you know which is not that easy to clean up, you know, I’m sure. No, I think he would have said it okay you can never take you know cleaning, you know, attempts you know how many items you know, you’re clearing so the foundation and and and you know the sort of days that ca gives you the Indian education system, oh that’s unbelievable. And in my case I was fortunate to do my cost accounting as well as my computer courses so that sort of gave me a much more wider and broader understanding of the finance world the compliance world the accounting world, and how can you be more strategic, because each course has got its own nuances in terms of how we can specialize. So when it comes to us the US that is more of disclosures, it actually tells you how you come up and, you know, be much more transparent in terms of having, you know the sheduled you know which are laid down because in India is laid down as per the ICF, which essentially is determined, but it is also done by the company that the US government impose more on the SEC sort of loot and therefore the disclosures ratios are much more, and it makes you understand the financial statements in a much more better way easier way better way because you still need an understanding of how to review a financial statement but that’s the benefit I saw the Indian education, give me a great platform, and then in all the discussions, the way it’s been presented that gave me know the next level of understanding you know how we can even review financial papers.
Gaurav Tripathi 7:02
Okay. And your first m&a experience and then I used that, that’s where you decided or you felt that, yes, you should go ahead with that but what was, what made you go for it really that you also you are your product leaders but then what made you think that this is something which you are going to really build your career is
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 7:21
what I truly loved and embrace the process. It also there is, you know, elements and then sub elements to break into to ensure that no you’re able to make the progress, and then as you’re progressing has a lot of ifs and buts. So it just spices up the whole, you know, way by visually you can go about doing a transaction, and that was experience which I had right from the first transaction, I was able to appreciate the process, I was able to understand that you know like, it’s like they’re not setting precedents, you know, which are important to be completed before you can move to the next step, and that was so enjoyable, even understand. The best thing that happens is when you start dealing with law firms, you start dealing with other advisors like tax advisers and they’ve built that ecosystem for you in a much more better way. Because when you come from an accounting finance background, I mean there are certain limitation in terms of how you understand how a legal agreement is to be drafted and what are the commercial considerations of there, even in terms of you know taxes, again, this actually comes into play. So when we, when we have a basic understanding of direct and indirect administration is different. So what could he have made this processor enjoyable for me I want to get into m&a is one mechanical approach. Second isn’t oh you’re able to network with other ecosystem. And third, you know, keeps it but, you know, those those challenges that you’re thrown upon, you know the the uncertainty which is there in terms of you know, will it happen, will it not happen
Gaurav Tripathi 8:24
in this journey, any, any specific transaction. Where were you, where you really were on the edge and was was really a challenge for you. And
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 8:37
I’ll give you a couple of examples one from my corporate what experience and second reporting on 2007, the global financial crisis. It was kind of a challenging time in terms of looking at opportunities, and therefore not having a view in terms of variation, go for it or not, because we’re uncertain about what’s gonna happen globally, and the business I was in our main markets were North America, Europe, and then you know the GCC, India and Africa. So we is unclear in terms of what decisions you know would actually help us, and later on so you know that we did it right, I mean we have a lot of question marks, but again I think the process helped. So when I say process when it comes to corporate m&a You deal with, you know your business heads. So, there are you know the sales and marketing guys and then there are technical guys and then there are production guys that then you know you have your brand guys so you deal with all of that and then take a very informed view in terms of integration, go for it or not. And despite all those challenging times, you know, we were able to, you know, ensure that whatever transition we had committed to in terms of we will go ahead, we were able to see through it, you know, in the coming years. And that is something that I’ll never forget because, again, and the method that is there in m&a, second is how we work with with ecosystem in general. And the third is how to come up with the so called plan B, plan C. So that was not easy because it was you know a global automatic point of time but you know you have to go back and re hindsight I think, you know, the decision to write, and you’re happy about the fact that no, left to right decisions in terms of growth experience, and when we did our second transmission, clearly your buyer was not looking to buy, they were more looking at other venues. But then we had to sort of convince them to be bought with almost six to seven months. You know how well you know those know that proper acquisition could benefit them, improving the bottom line, and also to get known to them an entry into a new segment, which is much more profitable much more lucrative and therefore it was also helped them acquire other businesses. So, again you know going back to the process of technology, helping them understand how their business plan would work in their favor, explaining to them and from a slicing and dicing of numbers and then ensuring you know that up with the lawyers you’re dealing with you know other people’s ecosystem, before the profession, actually. So, there are areas where one needs to be very very strategic, as one goes through the m&a process, that’s the bigger learning, industry,
Gaurav Tripathi 10:37
and you’re in your corporate journey. So if you have to pick up, gentlemen, if you have to give an advice to your younger self back then, you’re getting the corporate journey. What if we,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 10:49
I think God you know patience is something that is a virtue, because I see, you know, in the younger generation now. There is an instant gratification expectation. And I guess that’s something I know that needs to be disciplined, and I’ll use a phrase saying that the only way you know we move away from instant gratification to delayed gratification, literally, I think that’s very important quality you know that’s something I learned the hard way, because all of us are young, so here we are as good as anybody is at that age but then I think our time taught me. Experience has taught me that one should be patient and one should ensure that not the perseverance is never lost because the business I can. There are only 10 bucks, so things will change quickly reasons whether or not you have control so it could be external, sometimes it can be internal. But how do you ensure that you have the opposite and that’s very important. The second limit you have to tell you know, the young generation is happy, and happy to your own ourselves because sometimes what happens is the ability you know to have confidence is something that I see happens much more quickly, but guess what I train on the faith and minister consultations. Last week, you know, which is an unbeatable combination, and then you know you’re able to persevere. I think that would be a great source of support in the corporate world. Because if somebody were to find faith that you might appreciate reasonable faith is the ability to see things that don’t yet exist, but you want to have, you know, the sort of confidence and the belief that things will happen your way, and that’s the journey you know they need to cherish that there’ll be no sort of suggestion to them, that have patience, love, faith.
Gaurav Tripathi 12:00
Wow, this is a really, really good message. I think makes sense it makes a lot of sense. Well, that is what again, I cannot compare my experience and you really, but then yes, even if I look back I think, yes, being patient. Something is definitely helped me later on in my little journey actually, I also realized that in the earlier journey that I would have been patient would have been better outcomes, great
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 12:23
outcomes to us, based on what we go through. It’s not as if you know like when we are learning enough, we have to discriminate, as we start, so I will go through it, but one is to learn my own self. The other is, you know, read books, listen to wisdom. So I have an application of knowledge and allows you to grow much more faster.
Gaurav Tripathi 12:41
And then from the corporate journey to becoming an entrepreneur. So yes, you mentioned earlier that you always had that in mind, but what was the trigger. What was that moment that you said okay now, now I’m ready to start or now. It’s time that I should start what was the trigger.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 12:54
So, there’s only one aspect you know which was always in my mind to become an entrepreneur, and that aspect is, you know, I think there is freedom. As an entrepreneur, there is a lot of freedom, and let me explain what I mean by freedom. I think the freedom to realize you know that there are limitless opportunities that you have around you that it’s like no should be a single, you know, motivator, or no, the single most motivated to get into automation. And the second thing I should tell myself though is that if you’re an entrepreneur, like b2b levels, which means you know as you go to the video game you’re playing the game, you sort of you know master one level. So you master one level, you know, you think you know wow you know you’ve done better. But then, once you go to the level, you unlock your once you unlock a luxury level between the new challenge that you have to become a new you only become a new you know you can actually move to the next level, the next level. So that’s the beauty about automation because in a corporate world, there are certain structures, there are certain boundaries within which you work. But then as an entrepreneur, the freedom, the limitless opportunities that makes your work much more a little deeper. When you work deeper, that’s where your learning is much more phenomenal, and because your learning is phenomenal, you’re able to apply that in the right way the right method the right approach, that’s when you start seeing success coming to you. So success is nothing but a formula, you know, the more you’re able to do better, and who you are, you’re able to exert yourself, and what’s your goal. I think that just comes down to labor under correct knowledge. So that’s what if you get lucky. You’re gonna go to labor you know with the right knowledge the correct knowledge. So that, I think, you know, the single most motivated to become an entrepreneur. And I think the second thing I realized was time. Because if I had not jumped at that time. I don’t think I’ve ever become happier because I got used to the corner office, foot, and that is something which, you know, I got to go back, you know, I feel blessed that I took the right decision. Yes, it’s not easy. It gives you sleepless night sometimes, you know, but then the freedom is something that motivates you. So with my team I keep telling them not to join intrapreneurs, which means you know your absolute freedom, you know, to choose to decide where you want to go the way you wanna come and discuss with you the way you want to help you also get the biggest benefit you have is you start realizing, you have so much potential, and you start realizing now that you know that petition has been unleashed, and slowly you know when you unleash that potential. Oh wow, you know, that experience can ever be executed once
Gaurav Tripathi 15:01
when you made that jump, you took the plunge to become an entrepreneur, what were, what were the early days, days like like you had everything sorted out already that is the plan and you just went ahead, or you faced challenges that you had not foreseen earlier,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 15:13
because I had the corporate experience, you know, I had the basic understanding that this journey is not going to be easy. So don’t have no process, so that wasn’t something that was very clear. Unfortunately, at the time you know I used to remind myself of a very boring definition of a startup or entrepreneurship and definitions, very simple. It says you know startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. So, which means if you’re not able to stay the business, I mean there’s nobody gonna go find your single your startup, because one of the biggest disappointment I see into the startup world, especially in India, we are the third largest auto, but then you know, after finishing college or, you know, having the experience, people would venture into something that’s bad, but my bigger concern is is that becoming a fashion. You say that I’m also an entrepreneur. This is gonna look right now, technology or the sort of jargons that people use is unbelievable. So thanks for watching, but the next, the next thing. So I think if you’re not designed to grow quickly, you’re a startup, you’re an entrepreneur, so that’s something that you know I was always conscious of the only thing I told myself, there’s no, don’t beat yourself down, you have to grow quickly because it has never happen to anybody. You have history behind you look at Microsoft look at Apple, look at other companies and you look at data, Look at the last but nobody has done it. And as an entrepreneur I always knew, because I had the corner office situation, but it very lonely. It’s never easy. So the one you know phrase I used to tell myself is I know that you’re in jeopardy by jumping radio. There’s a very famous phrase that will keep you happy, you know, I do a lot of self love, you have to realize, you know, it’s very very lonely at the top. So how do you ensure that you don’t feel lonely so I used to tell myself, the only way to not feel lonely, is to like the person you’re only you know, you can start enjoying the journey so I keep repeating this message to myself because sometimes when you go to the extreme situation, feeling absolutely you’re disappointed you know, things are not happening your way but then, resilience, the ability to jump quickly back to say that that’s where patience and fee, weapons, become truly handy, of course, persevere because without effort, nothing happens. So, when it comes to the internal world, I think, you know, the discipline is a very, very important, you know work to be cherished to be invited to be internalized, because if you’re not disciplined, I think we still have dreams, but we will not be able to convert those dreams into reality. Controlled reality. We definitely call entrepreneurs, but nothing beyond that because when it comes to fashion,
Gaurav Tripathi 17:19
makes a lot of sense unless without a discipline, it could be a really start running an odd like more like a headless chicken, running around and yes of course there is so much of work being done, but notice that
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 17:33
I think because you said this, you know, I’m reminded of another statement, you know, which, again, you know, I keep telling myself, the motivation, there’ll be only motivation because without that you can’t be an entrepreneur, you can’t do it. So moderation gets you going with discipline which keeps you going. So unless you have any other discipline or the growth factor doesn’t cover thank you thanks so what is a startup, a startup is an entity that if it doesn’t grow faster. I don’t know. Now we don’t think about artistic, you know, thinking about your geometric progression you can even get permission, but sometimes you also you should see that there is growth, not just in terms of you know, money. Okay, I think it must be growth in terms of how you’re evolving, what is the rate of your self evolution, okay to ensure that your team is evolving, how you’re able to even look at a particular transaction or opportunity, and come up with a structure or a strategy to see to it. I mean those, you know, to me is evolution. Those to me is growth, you know that just because money is a byproduct, it has come later. But you cannot solve, you know, improving yourself in these areas, but I think the whole idea of becoming an expert on money. I don’t think that’ll lead to a larger sort of enterprise, but you won’t be
Gaurav Tripathi 18:25
in the early years to do burpees when you’re building the business, how the journey has been for you at an hour. So, again, didn’t really turn out like where did it go according to the plan, or yes, you realize okay no plans, planning is likelier planning is good but all plans.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 18:45
So, when we would achieve something. I think that’s a common phenomenon that many of us have. And I think if you’re going to do what you want because we’re going to go through that again, because I come from the corporate background, and I was telling myself that in the journey, you know I have undertaken, can I ensure that I’m able to build a team, ensure that I’m able to provide employment opportunities in the areas that I am in. So I have one question on investment banking, and the question I run is called m&a and fundraising, can I ensure it’ll be prequalify in finance, even if they’re not from an Ivy League, let’s say no, they’re not from our best of the colleges, you know protocol was one of the arts world, but if they’re not enough qualified people, but can I train them correctly to ensure that they are able to truly understand what this portion of ibanking does, and therefore they’re able to see an incredible experience for themselves. That was my biggest motivation, as I started. And we did have a roadmap in terms of being able to grow year after year, as we went through the journey. There are rough patches, but you have to actually look back through the patches and look up and say that okay, those are the moments that you want us to realize, remember, because unfortunately, you know, 90% of our life is going right, it goes to 10% of it doesn’t go right and somebody might get away with it. I keep telling myself that a large portion of your life is going great, you don’t really know what you’re doing. And therefore, can you whenever there is this negative sort of thing that pulls you somehow you can have the resilience, you know, push the negative out, and then ensure that no you’re able to sort of count your blessings. Be grateful for, you know what you have in your life and how you’re able to grow, because sometimes the mind is fake, you know, it tries to replicate the negative side. So, the joy that I had, I was very clear. I need to ensure that I’m able to provide a vulnerability, but that was my nuclear sort of direction reset for myself, and I told myself that, in my case the growth is going to be very simple. I have to look to seven years have you been able to get the product, you came up with that gave them a lot of coconut oil so for example we did the, Euros. And it was the first acquisition, so that that’s how we got to total return, you know, the way it came out, you know, as, as, as you know, an article in the newspaper so that gave a lot of articles on him was a period a session with an Italian multinational the auto company segment you know again, it was a phenomenal session with us, a UK company, we were able to sign MS Dhoni. And that was incredible experience for us. We’ve been doing research in the tech whether it’s a fin tech or an agri tech or consumer tech innovator doing it those segments. Now we’re gonna be sort of moving on to higher level, or whatever the case is. And I think that is what I want to cherish and not you know look back and go back and say what was my target and when I started, because as I said, all of us who have targets are probably bullish targets as this looks like an IPM action when it comes to the kind of the way you look like right, it runs pretty think, the journey is every one step, and I keep telling myself the secret of getting ahead is getting started, if you’re getting started, if you’re able to make that one, you know, step, one step, I think that is the name of the game, at the very focus, and that’s what has been quite helpful to me, whenever there are times which have not been in my favor. I personally have a great deal of support at the time, and, you know, they often don’t get my support, and therefore, that’s how you know, they’ve been following
Gaurav Tripathi 21:28
since you mentioned the theme park. So I have a question on that as well so in the journey. Of course as working in the corporate office you hypermobility is but while in your own venture as an entrepreneur, what have been your learnings, while building a team.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 21:43
I think there are three watchwords, which is very important for an entrepreneur. One is you know can you provide your team a sense of belonging, you know, rather than them feeling you know that they are working for an organization can they feel they’re working with you to build organization. And I think their sense of belonging is you know, sort of, you know, important, you know, and the feeling of that you know it is truly meant. It can’t be just the the color, it has to be you know, in its absolute true sense, then I think you know, it’s very important facet of that an entrepreneur needs to ensure that is there. The second is energy. You know what I call an enthusiasm, because that’s totally expected that there are no for, you know startup to show to the world, you know that they are in the right direction, to show that you’re able to create the energy you know within the organization, it’s not easy because entrepreneurs startup, you know, difficult but I guess that’s where you want to lean on the sense of the team members, let’s say somebody is very good with slicing and dicing of numbers probably somebody is very good with secondary research. Probably somebody who is very good in terms of understanding, you know, the US character, you know, the Indian devil whatever it is sometimes very early on in terms of strategic you know way to think. So I think when we lean on the strengths of each other to ensure that the energy level is, you know, meeting, and I think I know the important, I could have mentioned this, I think there has to be a lot of, you know, resilience within the team, because the nature of business you know that Iran, there are going to be similar. So how does the team do it, is it do they call them, or do they call them as a feedback because they realize that. Now that we know this the next time we approach it, we should. So that is the sort of thing that I’m doing within the organization as a culture, one is a sense of knowing that we are one. They’re all working with each other, second important aspect is something that is very personal for me is to have an extractable energy and enthusiasm is contagious right we’re not smiling and laughing. The grim face of the earth. So I think our enthusiasm is contagious and that needs to be there. And that confidence and resilience, because it’s never been done before, it’s always going to be nice, so does the team you know have that ability, and that is cohesiveness for me. If you’re a bunch of guys with that cohesiveness, I think, you know, whatever we dream it will be a goal. I don’t know if the next goal
Gaurav Tripathi 23:37
is. I think a lot of a lot of startups will be able to relate with it. Think especially, especially the first two points, very much because unless, unless as a team, you feel that you’re, you’re, you’re not just working for something you’re working with, working towards a larger, larger vision and secondly about energy, yes it’s true I think energy and resilience is also it’s it’s very well, linked together if you are low on energy if you lack of enthusiasm for it, then you will, you cannot really be resilient because to bounce back you you need energy.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 24:06
Exactly. Just a beautiful sense of belonging, as you know, all of us can look at this, the easiest to say the easiest. I think when you build a sense of belonging, you start seeing looking at it, and it will happen to me also, because you know when I am in the thick of it you know that my colleague, you know, looks at it from a very different perspective. And, you know, the reward that he shows to me, is something that I’ve never you know look from that perspective, and that is something like we cherish we have a sense of belonging and we have been like a bunch, you know where we challenge, but the same time, no we truly understand what we are agreeing to disagree if you need to disagree, but otherwise you know that if you’re absolutely United extender. In fact I know I got my email. Together Everyone Achieves more, and I say Together Everyone Achieves maximum you can achieve the maximum and if you’d like to get it together and that’s something
Gaurav Tripathi 24:53
in between. I think that’s what all men are just the opposite. Now you started to I read about. Avoid but you had got lost your job. So, what was, what was that about exactly.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 25:04
So that’s the core of what I always not only create employment. And you know, so that was an objective that I’ve always had for myself, and I’ve been critical employment cannot you know speaking about, you know, giving employment and dozens and dozens, and I’ll be speaking about employment in the sort of chosen field that I’m into it unnecessarily one of the bigger dream which I continue to cherish, is how to ensure that people are fascinated by investment banking, who want to go to m&a want to fundraise, they want to get into financial modeling, want to do business valuation, how they can get into there, not only from an Ivy League college you know from a video. So, I thought myself that if I can train them and ensure they’re not they become as capable as anybody else’s two things can happen. One is you know they will actually know they go to business, or they will move on to become much more valuable, because one of the things that are which is difficult for us to digest, you know in this country is, there are not many education institutions. But yeah, so, you know, we don’t take that sort of object for political purposes, having seen at all. I think they’re not we’re not doing justice. And we’re sort of businesses that are running, and I’m pretty sure of any startup should be doing that, you know when they take in terms of entities, you know, the sort of people in whom they are taking this training I’m pretty sure they’re given the right knowledge the right this to ensure that they become much more capable as a keepsake no one is gonna stick with you or they become much more better known for Windows if they join your organization I think that’s No, that’s not happiness, can’t be your measure you cannot express it cannot be measured, it’s very, very good.
Gaurav Tripathi 26:21
Oh, Andy from the entrepreneurial journey 90 that you started becoming active as an angel investor as well. Again, when did that happen, was it just, again, just a trigger that you decided okay yes there’s something that I should be doing, or was it didn’t evolve over a period of time.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 26:37
It’s like there’s only when you take the medicine or the doctor you will know whether the medicine works or not. Okay, so that was my sort of thinking at the time because when I started on work which was around June 2013 i The the word angel, you know, investment was never in my mind. But as I was, you know, doing transactions, I started realizing that if I can get the confidence, you know, saying that I’m also investing in businesses. These are the learnings and that I go through. And when we noticed that and how we ensure that you don’t, don’t get on, you know, such situations. Next time, or if it is good, how you replicate or you’re not sure that you know the code is repeated many times, so that becomes better and better, it becomes best probably, you’re the right sort of system. So, 2018 is when I actually became an investor and started a couple of investments in that year, and as of now, I have almost 16 investments and be surprised to know the situation I’ve done for me so far hasn’t deterred us, not from investing. So I’m changing the you know the angel investment journey because three things again. One is you’re able to appreciate what’s happening in the ecosystem, because if you come from a finance background and probably know you’re more into the consumer side, I think some of the tech initiatives, some of the other non tech initiatives but none of the consumer segment could be the healthcare, how people are able to come up with solutions, what problem you know the addressing and unique solution they’re coming up with, and that’s a phenomenal learning, certainly they truly believe in that, why don’t you want to supplement. So that was the kind of a sort of a feeler, and if you’re not a charity but let’s support them that guide them and know your friends you know but you can also join you to make an investment, why not your close friends actually know that know that seed investment, what are the insurance what happens, so that the startup, you know, it starts and does better and because you’re entering a fundraise business, why not later on, are going to get appointed early stage venture capital or angel investors. So I think that was the motivation in the third is not critical, I think we have to look at the various investments that we make in our market a finance guy, an investment in gold in real estate mutual funds in stock market. I think the returns you know that an angel husband can give, you know, can be quite phenomenal but there’s a huge risk we’re gonna get there, there is a risk. So if you don’t take the risk. That’s not what so I think what happens is our engineers but also sometimes, you know, it makes it, you know, quite lucrative and that is you know being the third.
Gaurav Tripathi 28:25
And you see any, any value like you started angel investing Do you see that your background or the work that you had done in m&a and or did it help you and help you prepare for being an angel investor, all you have to unlearn some of the stuff from that.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 28:42
So, you know, the experience that I carry, if I’m not able to share that regret to the startups, or the I’m hoping justice to the startups, because if it only money. I think money can be still raised you know, friends or families, you know, you’ll still find somebody who they want to bet on you. So I think I do have a conscious choice, that if I’m going to be involved. The first question I would ask myself is, what is it that you can give them, and you’re giving me the money. But what is it that you can give to them. I think that again is something that I’ve always looked into whenever I make an investment, and clearly the InterAmerican contributors actually know that there is discipline, there is governance, ensuring that the structuring happens the right way, there is a clear documentation in order to ensure that we are strategic so some of the go to market strategies that we can think of, probably helping them to come up with a business plan which is much more meaningful. It’s not just an Excel meaningful somebody who can explain to the other investors are much more better way how you also find you know the picture that they have for themselves, and when they want to the next time, and if you have a network, a network effect of having, you know VCs and other investors, why don’t even connect them. So, now, looking at the profile right, you know there are a startup you know who to, you know, believe in that, here’s the guy who can support them, tell them, I think that is the way I always wanted to be my case, I don’t want people to just come to me No, that’s one of the things that that I want to get into more able to impart, you know the learnings that I have, you know, the so called knowledge in which people apply. I think that is not you know the right way to invest because you need to enter that the startup process using the definition of startups, a startup is basically an entity that grows faster. If it doesn’t grow faster know what is even fun in investing in startups. It’s a very conscious decision of picking out that people will look at my profile and think that there is some expertise here, and then reach out to me, and then often questions about what sort of any specific sectors that you are looking at in terms of investments in pretty much a sector agnostic. I’m not particular about any segment, and no I said no I don’t know No 16 investments my investments are completely diversified. I don’t even have a media business so I said something completely unrelated to me but then that’s something I didn’t want you to do so. Sector agnostic, looking at investing opportunities, and also looking to connect them to the right sort of people know if they want to come ecosystem that’s an objective of becoming an engineer.
Gaurav Tripathi 30:45
And, of course, when you’re looking at startups again is that, is that as a certain stage like idea stage concept stage pre seed, seed early stage, what do you look at,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 30:54
usually I prefer a startup, which has a revenue of at least you know, five months or nine to 12 months is ideal for me to look at most startups. And the reason why, you know, I want that as a condition for myself is, if I can get the confidence that there is attraction and attraction will be repeatable. I think the business Canvas killer. Because I keep saying one of the bigger concern I have got it with me this is becoming a question. So we’re not I mean I’ve been very vocal about it, I’m sure, like, it may not be like viral or some of the starters when I say this, but I think I think very pragmatic and when I made the statement, because the growth is not happening. But it’s starting to crumble to the next level. Now the group know when you have a customer base, you know, which is increasing your revenues and actually starting up, and when you’re able to get to know more people who are downloading your app and then using the app, which is our conversions, there are paid users, or let’s say there aren’t paid users, you know, you see that you know the sort of retention or the sort of you know time that they spend on your app or website is significant. So if there’s an action, you know, how do you measure that I keep telling myself, it cannot measure you cannot manage what are you what are your managers, what are your delicate number because for me, growth, progress is very very important I think progress is always made when there is a precise persistent push from the business side, and the personal push essentially know that there is revenue which keeps coming keeps coming in. So that’s when I say that I’m not, I’m not looking at geometric progression, But I want to see that. A few months which the business may not have the same level of revenues, but an initial justification, could be seasonal could be a COVID attrition, could be somebody in a situation, but then no reason, no. The answer is no usually invest in a business which has no minimum numbers, my department of revenue is much more attractive. And that’s why my investment managers FMCG consumer debt.
Gaurav Tripathi 32:30
And is there any, any synergy that you think you’re being an angel investor and you running ANOVA, is there any synergy between the two,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 32:36
with a lot of synergies, because of the cross loadings, or as you’re looking at different businesses, different sizes, I think you know the cross learnings are phenomenal, but you’re able to impart, you know, even to the startups, or even to the client with whom you’re working. I think sometimes it’s a nice way to, you know exemplifies. I think they’re able to show someone or something and then they go huh. It’s alright. It’s easier for somebody to truly believe it, otherwise you know people, no advisor, you know, and also you want to think of somebody who is only giving you a gun, but not a reality. But I think I have indirect loss learnings, now you can easily show what’s happening, because you’re able to show and explain to them.
Gaurav Tripathi 33:16
You already pointed out, the one challenge and conduction of equity highlighted, but this journey Anwar, again, any moments where you had this in mind, okay Why did I even start this thing. Did you have such a moment where you were really hard pressed and you were you were, you didn’t know really what to do.
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 33:37
I don’t know because you know sometimes what happens is that despite experience, you know, despite the sort of communication that you have, you know, internally, sometimes we all get carried away because you never judge the book by the cover, but sometimes you know we end up doing that. So, it’s happened. But I think you know, and I’m not ashamed to say that no does he does, you know, you know, it doesn’t just happen and they don’t want to be patient, but I have to say that, but I think the beauty about you know me and the team is not to get fast learners, and we know we quickly understood that next time, we’ll improve our process to have this this this as a few more years or conditionalities, so that we are able to see to it in a much more better way. We just it’s happened, but you learn from it, and, you know, we’ve also improved our process. I think that’s helping us now we know to choose better tickets is a better set of entrepreneurs, a better set of business, a better sort of you know scalable business that we can bring in does you know,
Gaurav Tripathi 34:23
any, any learnings from the investments that you’ve made as an angel from that
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 34:29
learnings are absolutely no very very enriching, because when you have to understand you know the market. I think all of us, you know generally use a very common terminology called Target addressable market Tam, but I think the journey of a gentleman has told me how that can be focused more from time, it is something called scope, explain quickly what it is. So you have a target to the market, but after you understand what is your service, relative to the market within the addressable market, what are the can you service. But then the next thing comes to call your song which is the obtainable. So within that service relative to market, what is the market which will actually okay. Because if one doesn’t have an understanding of that, you know, then it just becomes you know, synthetic now billions. On the other point 5% to 1%, so that the game is something that doesn’t work. So that’s one thing. The second is, people, because that’s me right people, are they truly no defined business, and how do you know get the right people, or get experience. So you need a lot of conversations, you know, I know the entrepreneur the team, you know the other co founders, and see how well cohesive they are, because if there is no sickness, there is no mutual respect, then I can you know you’re not talking about it, but it was very, very important, no lesson, you know, I had this angel investment journey. And the third is, you know, even trying to understand some of the opportunities I lost. So as an angel investor is always is what got FOMO, fear of missing out. So, yes, they don’t appreciate your mistake. So I think it also happened in a better way on how to actually also look it up, which is very robust, because not gonna be associated with it yet but I will tell them that John Doe becomes a negative. So more than the current understanding of what’s the reality, can you hear more of a lending year 2010 What’s happening so that you become much more better and they will be applied or whatever according to, you know, real practical experience.
Gaurav Tripathi 36:04
Well, okay, oh yes we were not any concluding remarks for for for startups,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 36:12
for startups, no I think I just want to add this, again, something I learned from my business, not as a corporate guy, but as running through something which even my team appreciates you know fundraising is extreme. So, I don’t want to, don’t take it easy guys, you know it’s a high speed high risk sort of journey that you’re in to think you’re learning to embrace and phase which is something you know that explore. Again the traditions on your feedback, get bogged down, you know, because you know there is a rejection. They want to say something in a much more empathetic manner, fundraising has got two eyes if you don’t have to write the spelling of fundraising, and I keep saying, those two I should actually represent, innovation, and inspiration. They can’t be no imitation. Imitation
you’re limited in your me to repeat business, not the other way to the future. So I think to me you know if you’re inspired with that I, if you’re innovative whether it cost me, raising money will be a joyful process because to me, raising money is not what you become. is the key, because you know your pride your pride in your brain, okay, believe it or not, but I think what you become is the key because the greatest value in life is not what we get. The greatest value in life is what we become, what do you become, I think that is something that I said when I started writing I’m very clear I was you know, what am I becoming in this process. If only I had money as a motor in my mind, I don’t think I’ll ever be in the running. I think one has to realize that we are all becoming into something as we are into this journey, and that’s fascinating.
Gaurav Tripathi 37:38
Well, I can easily say this has been one of the best conversations that I’ve had on proton, media, I’ve learned a lot of learning, I’m sure. This edition Special Edition special going to generate a lot of a lot of buzz. Later on, when people like you gotta get over a period of time, there’s really gems that have come out I’ve made my notes as I’ve kept it here but of course we’ll translate the entire session and we’ll put it up as a blog as well. But yes,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 38:33
this is this is amazing. I was so grateful for the opportunity to because nobody I think even getting this opportunity is a blessing to be able to be part of an ecosystem that you know that somebody would have told me is fascinating to me so many of you
Gaurav Tripathi 38:44
know it’s there at all with all humility, I will accept, but then yes I honestly it’s an opportunity for me and it’s completely my pleasure to host you when he was only amazing professionals that we have been getting on the platform, I’ve been saying that is that is the best part of doing this, I get to talk to people and I get to learn myself. So yes,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 39:04
a super initiator is a super pro because we’re trying to bring you know certain people, you know, and experiences. Otherwise, I don’t think there will be many platforms for everyone to share. I think that’s where we all help each other, you know to lean on you know Austin’s, I think, you know, that’s what the ability.
Gaurav Tripathi 39:16
Thank you. Thank you. So one last thing. So now that you are available on tomorrow, what is it that people can reach out to you for on your support page,
Chandrashekhar Kupperi 39:23
but they can reach out to me for any sort of you know suggestion they need any sort of help they need. I’m more than open to to support them, so feel free to reach out to him to perform. And, you know, whatever the question happy to address that if I do No, trust me, I’ll go back and do my homework and then come back and address it, but that’s that’s what I want to do, I want to make it more a continuity sort of situation for myself, and I know that was a main motivation joining us.
Gaurav Tripathi 39:42
Right, okay. So with that I’ll close the session. Thanks out all of you, those who are watching it live and thanks to those as well who will be watching the recorded versions later on whenever. Yeah, it’s been it’s been great, I’m sure you, You’ve enjoyed the conversation, and have taken down your own learnings and thanks a lot for for joining us. And with that, yes, we will be back with the next amazing super pro tomorrow itself. And in our next product. Thanks a lot. Good night everybody. Have a great rest of the week, I’ll see you tomorrow.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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