we were struggling to set up our first website with no money in our kitty, we
were constantly advised by friends that we ought to pursue investors. We were
not interested. My primary thought process has always been that an investor is
a source of subsidy.
always thought and still think if my business plan is correct then I ought to
make it on my own without any subsidy or funding.
I never looked at that option. However, some close friends who had received at
least Rs 10 crore funding back in 2005-2007, convinced me to at least give it a
|Pic courtesy: bbc.co.in|
do not want to name anybody but what I found with the venture capitalist
community was quite depressing.
gentleman asked me during the beginning of a conversation, “convince me how
your idea is unique.”
told him as much.
a few sentences, he asked, “now explain to me where your idea has been used by
other teams before and has made money.”
was dumbfounded. I asked him whether his two questions do not contradict
themselves. He became very angry and rebuked me for questioning his
frankly thought he had none.
are dreamers. Some without any business experience and some with limited years
in business. A good part of this tribe has no idea what they are doing.
However, some of them have a clear vision which may seem outlandish to the
outsider but coherent to the entrepreneur.
one thing all entrepreneurs have in common; i.e. they have money to spend.
scamsters who nestle around Indian entrepreneurs know this and there lies the
origin of hundreds of scams that function around entrepreneurs.
used to consult for a small media company run by one entrepreneur. The man
thought of himself to be a highly successful media magnate and used to maintain
a mistress who was a princess from a Madhya Pradesh royal family. The old man’s
son ran a digital form of the business and resented his father’s proclivity to
throw around his sperm..
gentleman had enjoyed a highly successful track record in the FMCG industry. He
had finally retired and set up a company to serve MSMEs. This modus operandi
was to sell low cost software and services to startups, which they really did
not need. Today, I hear he has folded up.
other example is worth mentioning. A lady used to work for a business chamber
in India. She was not too straight laced. A highly placed director of a
globally renowned agri business offered her a position in exchange for some
investment in her dream of setting up a home decor business and some slap and
tickle whenever he felt like it. Last heard, she had no business to speak of.
soon I heard the son was paying Rs 1 lakh a month to an agency which promised
leads to investors by pushing his business plan to various investor networks.
the end of three years and a payment of Rs 45 lakh (Rs 36 lakh + expenses) not
one investor had turned up. This is a nice source of income if you are in the
you have various websites where you can list your business idea and seek
sole result of this endeavour is to sell your contact details where nigerian
and local scamsters contact you promising you crores of rupees of investment
against a payment of a few lakhs of rupees.
was promised money from a gentleman if I paid his company Rs 50,000 per month
to start with. He said his team would present my case to investors. One alarm:
all his employees had gmail addresses to operate with.
the company is unable to even invest in a mail server then I have no idea what
they are about.
truth is India does not have any investors. Not one. (Barring Mr Rata Tata)
They have lalas and their accountants who invest money in organisations which
are already making money and really do not need the investment.
moral of this write up: If you are an entrepreneur in India, please plan to
register your company and your resident status in either Singapore or Israel,
where you will get a much better deal.
Debasish Roy, CEO, Magic of Football