Vani is an idea lover and a trend spotter. After being a successful serial entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley, she moved back to India to get involved in the start-up ecosystem, when the entrepreneurial landscape was still in its infancy.
Vani is also on the board of several companies, and has nurtured successful startups like Myntra, Snapdeal and Urban Ladder, which are redefining the landscape of Indian business. Vani received the 2015 Economic Times Midas Touch award for her record in spotting entrepreneurs and disruptive ideas that scale to become large and successful businesses.
What makes the job exciting
I love engaging with entrepreneurs who are rethinking the future. In this job, there is a lot of creative ideating and I like that I get to work and engage with really smart people. Creating something that makes a difference is energizing and seeing Indian growth up close is a privilege. Above all, being a part of people’s dreams and aspirations and sharing their success and frustrations keeps me passionately engaged. Knowing that I can never know what I might have to deal with tomorrow keeps me on my toes.
Thoughts on startup success
A team of co-founders who can work collaboratively and scale with the business is key, and 2-3 co-founders are optimal. Having sharp positioning or understanding of the opportunity to differentiate is important. It is essential to focus on unit economics and how the business works. Brand and customer connect are also key aspects that matter. Finally, a strong leadership team to make good decisions is essential.
Views on entrepreneurship
My advice to an aspiring entrepreneur is simple. Ask yourself a set of questions for which you must have clear answers. What is your purpose for this business?
Do you want to build a cool product? What hassle of a customer do you want to ease? Do you want to create wealth?
Have you cleared the deck? This is a long haul, and a heavy-lifting, mind-bending journey. I liken it to hiking up Mt. Everest and how you would go about it. You will think of your financial resources, you will plan your time, and you will discuss it with your family. Essentially, you will create the necessary support to ensure that you maximize the chance of succeeding in your goal. Wouldn’t you need to ensure the same when you start a company?
Is this the most important thing for you right now? You might as well know, this is a tightrope walk. It requires all of your concentration, energy and focus. And it can take the next 3-10 years of your life.
But most importantly, are you ready to listen?
What I like about Kalaari
I like everything about being a part of Kalaari. But what excites me the most is the values and trust that Kalaari stands for, its commitment to entrepreneurs, our collective passion to rethink the future, and the opportunity it affords to make great investments.