Rahul is a Principal at Kalaari and brings over 13 years of global experience as an investment banker (Lehman, HSBC), an entrepreneur (Artisangilt.com) & a business leader (IGP.com, Wadi.com). As an entrepreneur for 5 years, he has run two e-commerce companies in India. In his last role, as CEO of IGP.com, he managed a team of over 150 people and was directly responsible for Product, Marketing & Strategy.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Rahul was a sell side Research Analyst for 8 years, during which he worked in both European Capital Markets & Indian Capital Markets, advising large institutional investors across the globe.
Rahul has a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology from IIT Bombay and is a CFA charter holder.
At Kalaari, Rahul is involved in the entire lifecycle of the investment process, including both sourcing & evaluation of investment opportunities, as well as working closely with portfolio companies.
To be able to help in creating a new world & watch the evolution from close quarters is what makes this job really exciting
What makes the job exciting
Change is the only constant in this world. As a VC, you not only get to observe this change closely but also be a part of it, often acting as a catalyst in the process. In addition, you get the opportunity to know & work with some of the greatest entrepreneurs in this country. To watch them grow, learn from them & to be part of their journey is a rare privilege. To be able to help in creating a new world & watch the evolution from close quarters is what makes this job really exciting.
Thoughts on startup success
India is a large country with significant gaps in growth & multiple white spaces. We really need to solve for the next 300m, so think big, think inclusive, think Indian. Focus on execution. Ideas can change, companies can pivot, but execution is the only constant that separates winners from losers. Build a great team. Unless you are the weakest link in the chain, it’ll be difficult to tame the market. Grow exponentially but progress linearly. It’s far better to be great at one thing than be mediocre at ten. The battles we choose often decide the fate of the war. Above everything else, be happy in what you do. Be positive. Invest in people. At the end of the day, what you reap is what you sow.
Views on Entrepreneurship?
I think as an entrepreneur, it is really important to know why you are doing this? It’s not just hard work, it’s a way of life. Even if you are lucky, it takes at least 10 years to become an overnight success, and while you are at it, those 10 years usually weigh far more than normal life. So, do it for the right reasons, and don’t take shortcuts. As entrepreneurs, some of you will go down in history books as role models for the next generations. Be ethical, be innovative, be inclusive. Set the right examples for the generations to come. At the end of the day, all you are trying to do is to leave a legacy, so leave a good one.
What I like about Kalaari?
What I really like about Kalaari is that it cares about Entrepreneurs. The team genuinely puts a lot of effort to help entrepreneurs in general & create a thriving ecosystem. The other thing that I like about Kalaari is that we value innovation, we invest in the future and we are not scared of taking transformational bets today when the use-case may not be imminent or obvious.