Rahul focuses on Consumer (Tech & Brands), Digital Content, Education & Blockchain opportunities at Kalaari.
He led investments in Vogo (Bike Rental), Shop101 (Social Commerce), and WinZO (Gaming & Entertainment). He is on the board of 8 companies and is a secondary support on 3 companies.
Rahul has led Kalaari’s thought leadership report on India Opportunity. He has also played an instrumental role in building Kalaari’s knowledge & understanding of two new sectors which include Blockchain and Consumer Brands. Here are his recent thoughts on Consumer Brand Opportunity in India.
Rahul enjoys working with entrepreneurs on strategy, product pipeline & org building. He wants to be involved with disruptive companies targeting large markets. He believes that India is witnessing a rare confluence of consumption growth, digital penetration & millennial dominance, all of which will create India 3.0 over the next decade & will produce many large companies.
Rahul 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 ran two e-commerce companies in India, targeting large sectors like Fashion Jewelry, Ethnic Wear & Gifting. Before that, he was a sell side Research Analyst for 8 years, during which he covered European & Indian Capital Markets.
Rahul has a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology from IIT Bombay and is a CFA charter holder. At IIT, Rahul was deeply involved in working with the underprivileged and was awarded two consecutive honors for his contribution towards social service in years 2004/05.
Portfolio: Shop101, Vogo, Crowdfire, Cashkaro, PopXo, Rubique, Airpay, Truebil.
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.
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.
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.
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.