Mandar has 14 years of rich and diverse experience in venture capital, private equity and technology consulting.
At Kalaari, Mandar spends time analyzing new technologies, emerging trends and business models, and changes in user adoption and behaviour. He then tries to connect the dots to unearth the next big investible sector or company. Mandar likes to work with exceptional founders who are building India specific solutions which address the pain points in a large market. Mandar works closely with portfolio companies to help them achieve their growth potential. He focuses on building a strong network which will aid the portfolio companies in business development initiatives, hiring the right talent and fundraising. During his 5+ years at Kalaari, Mandar has been involved in several high impact companies such as Myntra, Flipkart, Dream11, Urban Ladder, VRCM, Elasticrun and Vyome.
Prior to Kalaari, Mandar was part of a $60M early growth fund (Tata Capital Innovations Fund) managed by Tata Capital Limited, the finance arm of the Tata Group. At Tata Capital, Mandar was a key member of the team responsible for conceptualizing and raising the fund. He was part of the team which made multiple investments globally across different sectors.
Mandar has also worked in technology consulting in USA and India with Cognizant Technology Solutions where he led numerous projects which received accolades from the clients and Cognizant management. He began his career with Tata Power Company Limited (Strategic Electronics Division) where he built complex software applications for the Indian defense.
In his free time, Mandar enjoys backpacking, sports and catching up on the latest good movie.
Portfolio: Dream11, Jumbotail, ElasticRun, Vyome, Truweight, TripHobo, OvenFresh, Healthplix.
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.
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.
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’.
Thoughts on startup success
For me, the key ingredients for success are the following. 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.
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.
Great initiative from the startup ecosystem! https://t.co/lq9ieu5kQP@MandarDandekar @MandarDandekar