“I need more business plans on my desk” – A tête-à-tête with Ritesh Banglani, IDG Ventures

When ordinary people look at PE or VC fund managers they often forget that these guys could be normal folk too. Take Ritesh Banglani, Vice President of IDG Ventures India, if he is not dreaming of traveling to forests and valleys he is actually out there in the wild.  In his interview with Viedea, Banglani travels in to the world of entrepreneurs and candidly discusses why he expects many more business ideas and plans on his table by the end of this financial year. He admits that there is room for many more entrepreneurs in the technology space, especially those supporting sectors such as telecommunications and consumer services. Here are excerpts from the interview:

1. What sectors do you see money flowing in to for the next 6 years?

A. I see venture capital flowing in to the technology space. 70 percent of the $ 10 billion VC money will go in to the technology space in India over the next 6 years,. Then if you look at the private equity space where $ 70-75 billion is expected to be invested during this period, sectors like manufacturing, telecom and BFSI will be the space to watch out for. Education is another sector where we see larger investments during this period.

2. Why is your India fund smaller than the $2.5 billion invested for China?

A. There are 400 million internet users in China compared to 40 million in India. This is reflected in the large exits Venture Capital funds have had in the Chinese consumer internet space – companies like Baidu, Tencent, CTrip etc. We expect Indian venture-backed companies to provide similarly large exits over the next 10 years, maybe led by the mobile space, where we have 600 million mobile users. With 3G becoming a reality soon there will be more need for data services and mobile based applications in India.

3. What companies in the technology space do you like?

A. We like companies in software products, niche services like analytics and game development, scalable internet and mobile consumer plays, and core engineering products like medical devices. In general, we look for capital efficient companies which have the ability to grow non-linearly and can generate a high revenue per employee.

4. What is your wish list as a VC when you go scouting for entrepreneurs?

A. Firstly I would like to see many more business plans from entrepreneurs, especially serial entrepreneurs and senior corporate executives. Also, I would like to see more companies that already have revenues and profits. We see about 1000 business plans per year; I would like to see that number double soon because the country has tremendous potential for entrepreneurship.

5. You have been a VC for three years and are on the board of two companies, do entrepreneurs inspire you?

A. Yes, absolutely. It is the entrepreneur who creates all the value in a company and takes most of the risk.  As a VC I can spread my risks across multiple opportunities, but an entrepreneur cannot. The energy and enthusiasm of the entrepneur community is infectious, and I have tremendously enjoyed their company over the last three years

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About Deepak
Venture Capital and M&A advisor, Entrepreneur, Startup enthusiast..

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