Mandar is an investment advisor, sports fanatic and a movie buff. Before joining Kalaari, he was a founding member of a $60 million early stage fund managed by Tata Capital Ltd.
At Kalaari, Mandar is involved in the entire lifecycle of the investment process. He actively sources new investment opportunities and evaluates them through a variety of lenses. After an investment is made, he works closely with portfolio companies. Mandar has an MBA (Finance & Strategy) from Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from University of Mumbai.
What makes the job exciting
Analyzing trends, patterns, technology changes, user adoption and connecting the dots to unearth the next big investible sector or the next potential billion-dollar opportunity is exciting.
I get to meet talented entrepreneurs, hear about new business ideas and understand and evaluate emerging sectors, business models and technologies.
Thoughts on startup success
For me the key ingredients for success are:
- A large market — it should either be a disruptive idea in a large incumbent market or a new idea with the potential to create a large new market.
- The friction points for consumer adoption should be minimal, which will help achieve scale.
- A great team that can ensure strong execution and growth.
- The company’s vision or roadmap must include maintaining a competitive advantage through continuous innovation.
Views on entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is not easy, so be very sure while getting into it. Also be clear about the pain point that the company is trying to solve. Think big; your solutions should be local and the size of the opportunity should be large.
Building and retaining a great team is critical. Build a strong senior management and middle management team that complement each other with different skill sets and personalities. One could think of having one or two co-founders.
Being open-minded and willing to raise capital at the opportune time is key. Also, don’t forget ‘Cash is king’.
What I like about Kalaari
I get to interact with brilliant entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas, some of whom can build billion-dollar companies. I learn from colleagues who bring rich and diverse experience. And of course, the fact that everyone at Kalaari works towards the common goal of adding tangible value to the Indian early stage ecosystem.