Rajesh Jain, in the same interview, makes a most profound statement about Venture Capital in India. The second paragraph is true of “New Tech” around the world, especially the United States.
I believe we need a new approach to venture capital in India. There is a very limited legacy, so it’s not going to evolve the way the U.S. did or even perhaps the way China did. In India there are lots of gaps across multiple value chains. Sometimes a service fails to take off because some parts along the value chain are not appropriately digitized. What ought to happen is a large amount of investment across building out an ecosystem of companies. Instead of waiting for an entrepreneur to come up with a business plan, venture capitalists need to be much more proactive. They should say, “The capital is available, now let’s find a CEO for this business and back that person with funding. Let’s start multiple companies based on what we have seen in other countries, and what we think the opportunities are in India.”
This is a very different, inside-out approach, where you end up flipping the model around. That requires much more work. It will not work if the core venture capital team lives abroad and just comes to India once in a while. We need people on the ground who understand the realities of India today, who understand how the technology is evolving, and who can make bets on what the future is going to be.