India Startup Ecosystem & SAIF Partners with Deepak Gaur

India Startup Ecosystem & SAIF Partners with Deepak Gaur
Deepak Gaur, managing director of SAIF Partners discuss the startup ecosystem of India & the interesting companies in their portfolio e.g. PayTM, FirstCry.

Deepak Gaur, managing director of SAIF Partners joined us for a conversation in Delhi, India. Beginning from the early days of venture capital till the recent surge in funding, Deepak shared his reflections on how far the startup ecosystem of India has come. He also discussed his work with SAIF Partners and the interesting companies under their portfolio e.g. PayTM, FirstCry and UrbanLadder. Last but not least, Deepak offered his perspectives to how the ecosystem will evolve for the next 5 years.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Deepak Gaur (LinkedIn, @gaurdeepak123), Managing Director, SAIF Partners
  • Career of Deepak Gaur
    • How did you get started in your career as a software engineer? [0:55] 
    • From IBM to McKinsey and subsequently to SAIF Partners, what are the interesting career lessons you can share? [1:41]
    • What brought you to work in venture capital and investing in startups? [2:55]
    • What are the major differences between consulting for big corporations and investing in startups? [3:46]
  • SAIF Partners
    • What is the mission of SAIF Partners? [4:33]
    • Do the fund have an investment thesis? Which stage of the startup does the fund invest in? 
    • Is the fund geography specific, for example, there is also SAIF Partners for China as well? [5:42]
    • What are the categories of companies does the fund invest in? [6:27]
      • UrbanLadder [7:48]
      • Treebo [7:53]
    • Culture of Indian students changing from going to big corporations now going to startups and follow up discussion on first and second generation entrepreneurs. [8:50]
    • Where in the startup activity strongest in different Indian cities? [10:49]
    • What are the few interesting companies from SAIF portfolio? [11:46]
  • India Startup Ecosystem
    • Given that the volume & valuation of deals surging in India, do you foresee an overheating of the market? [17:56]
    • Are there any interesting new categories that venture funds will look at? [19:40]
    • What kind of founders do you invest in? [21:30]
    • What do you hope to see in the next 5 years for the ecosystem? [22:42]
    • Do you foresee the traditional corporations such as the Tata Group & Infosys to enter and exert its influence on the startup ecosystem? [23:16]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Aspirus Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.