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FLO organized a session with two of the top VCs in India on "The Journey of an Idea"

Vyavahar pahle, vyapar baad me (behaviour first, business later) is what most VCs (Venture Capitalists) look for in founders and startups, opined Shanti Mohan, Founder & CEO of LetsVenture & Trica.  Replying to a question on how company culture is very important, Shanti said one of her colleagues in the industry once told her " Vyavahar pahle and vyapar baad mein.

Shanti Mohan along with another top Indian VC-Subrata Mitra, Partner, Accel was in the city at the invitation of FLO. They interacted with Priya Gazdar, Chairperson of FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) Hyderabad Chairperson at a session ‘The Journey of an Idea’, organised by FLO Hyderabad in the city at the Park, Somajiguda.

Giving her welcome remarks Priya Gazdar gave a little-known history of how Finance titan J.P. Morgan backed Edison to become the first true technology Venture Capitalist. And J.P. Morgan, whose company had backed Edison, became what we know today as General Electric.In today’s conversation with two illustrious guests, we will learn how brave and discerning Venture Capitalists have laid the foundation for a smarter, more efficient world...and how Venture Capital is a key driver of innovation, Priya said. 


The founding team, culture, capability, and commitment make or break a startup: Subrata Mitra, VC who cracked the world’s most valuable e-commerce deal .the first and the most important thing, Shanti Mohan explained.   

The startup culture that we look for in a company is a set of shared values, goals, attitudes and norms that characterize a particular founder and his or her organization. This culture provides guidelines and expectations for their employees and customers. This is the most powerful resource to attract, recruit, hire and retain talent in the startup. Subrata got involved with Flipkart right from the early stage, nurtured it, worked for its success and completed $16 billion, the biggest-ever e-commerce deal in the world and exited.   

He was the first investor in CasaOne, Curefit, Flipkart, Myntra (acquired by Flipkart), Scripbox, Virident (acquired by Western Digital), WIBMO (acquired by PayU), and several other category leaders spoke at length about how Flipkart which from a humble beginning of selling books rose to be the biggest online store for Mobiles, Fashion (Clothes/Shoes), Electronics, Home Appliances, Books, Home, Furniture, Grocery, Jewelry, Sporting goods and subsequently acquired by Walmart.

He lauded the humility of Sachin Bansal, one of the founders of Flipkart, who once openly admitted mistakes on Twitter about some problems customers faced during the Big Billion Day, an annual shopping extravaganza.

Shanti shared her journey of LetsVenture, India's largest early-stage platform for private market investing & fundraising for investors & founders. The investment platform set up in Bengaluru became an important part of the Indian startup ecosystem. Over the years, the platform has raised more than $250 million in funding. LetsVenture connects founders with investors. We enable founders to meet the right investors and vice-versa, she said.  We are living in a low-trust society. 

We are a trust-deficient society.  Especially when we manage investors' money in such a society, we have to be doubly sure about the good quality of founders.  Finding a good founder who is passionate about his venture and committed to the same is always challenging, she said.  A good chunk of our investors are international investors.  A lot of international investors are constantly tracking the Indian growth story and they want to be a part of it. 

No global investor wants to miss a growth story of India as they lost an investing opportunity in China in the year 2001, Shanti Mohan said. 40% of our investors are International and another 40% investors are with a technology background, she added.I cant say which is easy, Raising or deploying capital.  Replying to a question she said both have a unique set of challenges. I can't say which is easier, Shanti Mohan said.  There is no easy side. The Venture Capital business is complex and it needs constant involvement. When asked whether gender matters for investment? Subrata Mitra said it doesn't matter as long as we can see a good matrix, he added.  Don't make gender an excuse, Shanti told the audience.  

In reply to another question on the top three things investors look at in startups before investors both the VCs said, the problem, the founder's passion, how committed he or she is in solving the problem, the market, the space and the great team.  These matter the most, they said.  Flipkart hired people better than their founders, Subrata Mitra said. 

100 FLO members attended the session.  Students from Anurag University and Symbiosis were invited to participate. 


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