Startups that create innovations for Bharat, or for the âbottom of the pyramid problemsâ that remain unsolved, as well as those that create tech solutions and products in India for the world are two themes that will continue to play out and to provide opportunities for startups to scale, said Mittal, who is the founder of People Group and a prominent judge for Shark Tank India.
Watch the ET Soonicorns Summit LIVE on September 8-9 Admittedly, the founder of matchmaking service Shaadi.com has been at the forefront of the evolution of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem over the past two decades, during which he has invested in more than 200 startups, including around 30 investments through Shark Tank India.
Mittal, who continues to be excited about the growth prospects of Indian startups, making around 25 investments a year outside of Shark Tank, also spoke about his mission to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs through his funding platform. social media, the DreamDeal initiative.
On September 8 and 9, some 50 leading entrepreneurs, including Mittal, as well as players from the startup ecosystem gathered at the virtual ET Soonicorns Summit, an initiative by EconomicTimes.com to celebrate the league of India’s future unicorns and unleash their full potential. .
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During Mittal’s opening interview with EconomicTimes.com Digital Broadcast Editor Miloni Bhatt at the ET Soonicorns Summit, powered by AWS and Intel, the seasoned entrepreneur and angel investor shared valuable lessons from his own journey of entrepreneurship, branding and investing in startups.
Among them were lessons in keeping customers at the heart of everything, building businesses with strong fundamentals, and constantly reinventing themselves to stay relevant in a rapidly changing market. Top of the list, however, was the message for startups to ensure value creation and build profitable institutions that last.
“I think the era (of playing the valuation game) is behind us – at least for a while until the next bubble. And I think people are going to be forced to really become hardcore business people. , to be extremely commercially savvy and look for pools of profit, not pools of capital,â Mittal said.
In addition to his startup investment portfolio, which includes companies like ridesharing giant Ola, Mittal has also invested in more than 20 startups as a judge of Shark Tank India and recently launched the DreamDeal initiative, which is a unique social media funding platform dedicated to empowering budding young entrepreneurs with grants, funding, and mentorship.
“A few decades ago, no one climbed Mount Everest, but now one in two people will climb it. Why? What has changed? Everyone started to believe they could do it. because someone else had. So if we can change that, I think we’ll change the nation. And that’s what we’re trying to do with DreamDeal,â Mittal said.
The idea to launch DreamDeal, Mittal added, was born out of a need to ensure that access to the right entrepreneurial support was not limited to a select few.
âWhat surprises me is that very few privileged people manage to access financing. Disproportionately, you will find that it is the people in IITs and IIMs who are being funded as well as those who know how to work with the crowd and access VCs and the VC network. But it’s a small clubâ¦ I believe everyone deserves a chance,â Mittal said.
To be sure, Mittal remains optimistic about the next generation of entrepreneurs and their ability to build long-term businesses that continue to scale in more sustainable ways, especially as investor expectations for startup growth rates become more reasonable in a difficult macroeconomic environment and an ongoing tech funding winter.
“The good news is that there are plenty of great, solid founders out there who aren’t drunk on easy capital and want to build solid, long-term businesses. The conversations I have with founders these days- this, what we’re talking about, what your business will look like in 20 years. And they have a point of view, they have a vision and they talk about building institutions,â Mittal added.