Karthik is an accomplished finance professional with over 25-years of experience across multiple industries. One of the earliest members at Kalaari, Karthik over the last 12 years has handled a wide range of activities for the firm including fund-management, fund-governance, investor reporting, fund auditing, investor relations, portfolio-management and exit-management. Prior to joining Kalaari, he was the finance controller at Flextronics, one of the largest EMS companies and has worked in various facets of finance including Investment Banking, Audit & Finance control.

As part of his role, Karthik works closely with the portfolio in helping set-up financial processes and governance, assists them with finance and audit needs and guides them in senior finance executive hiring. In addition, he works with the partners to review annual operating plans of portfolio companies, structure their follow-on funding rounds and ensure smooth exit management. As a key member of the organisational think-tank, Karthik spends time managing different needs of the firm, driving routine reviews, aligning partnership to the vision of the fund and apprising them of the portfolio level opportunities and risks.

Karthik is driven by growth of the ecosystem, which requires him to be very innovative and find newer ways to expand engagement with portfolio. He constantly develops processes that can help the partnership be more objective in their decision making through extensive analysis with core focus on balancing risk and reward.

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It’s challenging and exciting to think and to provide help on what your portfolio companies need amid all the intense competition. Being part of a successful team feels great.

What makes the job exciting

It’s always exciting to look at new businesses and new ideas, especially those that aren’t always easily understood, so you have to dig deeper. That’s intellectually very stimulating. Then of course, there’s the pleasure of seeing the companies succeed and knowing you were part of that.

Thoughts on startup success

Make sure you have a high quality team with the right instincts and entrepreneurial zeal. Build relationships — you should be able to hire and work with senior professionals when your company grows because your business needs them. Maintain your culture. It’s easy to lose sight of this in all the noise happening in the market. Softer areas of your business need an equal amount of attention. Build the right culture and retain your key personnel.

Views on entrepreneurship

Always focus on what’s important. Don’t try to do too many things, because you have limited money and resources. Once you focus, other things fall in place. Keep your ears to the ground and be nimble. There are so many companies out there fighting for a share of a limited pie. At the end of the day it’s about the consumer, service and quality of delivery. So make sure you pivot when you need to.

What I like about Kalaari

I’ve been here since 2006, so it’s been a pleasure to mentor the younger members of our team and watch them grow. It’s also challenging and exciting because you’re always thinking of what your portfolio companies need amid all the intense competition. Being a part of a successful team feels great.