Hyderabad | 17th November 2020: India has emerged as the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world backed by the government’s support and a large young digital savvy population. However, the need for strategic early stage investors remains the biggest need despite the fact that start-ups have proven their capabilities and disproportionate opportunity that they can offer to businesses and strategics.
Lately, several successful second generation industrialists, entrepreneurs are looking to be a part of a growing start-up environment by supporting idea-staged start-ups embarking on new age path breaking solutions and products.
In the last few years, several such entrepreneurs have either started their own family offices, funds or partnered with venture capital (VC) firms in their endeavour to be actively engaged with successful start-ups in the country that still can gain greatly from strategics and domain experience. Besides backing these young start-ups with their expertise, these new age investor/ entrepreneur and businessmen are also looking at these start-up investments as an alternate asset class to create value and develop new products that could compliment and increase offerings to end customers.
One such industrialist is Hyderabad-based second generation industrialist Abhijeet Pai, who feels that the start-up ecosystem is very attractive and the timing is opportune for strategic capital and funds to be allocated to startup’s and entrepreneurs with a zeal to develop and reimagine products and services.
Pai believes India with its entrepreneurial spirit engraved is uniquely positioned to solve global needs thanks to its young tech savvy population and now its upon industry and government that they support these upcoming ventures with a conducive atmosphere to build businesses and raise capital.
Pai, a young entrepreneur belonging to the Hyderabad-based 50-year-old business house Puzzolana Group, has joined India’s leading accelerator 9Unicorns, as a Partner. Puzzolana Group has interests in Engineering, FMCG, Dairy Industry and special grade metals.
On Pai’s association with 9Unicorns, Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Founder and Managing Partner at the year-old-accelerator, said, “We are proud to have Abhijeet Pai as our esteemed partner. His over one and half decade of experience in managing large businesses, will help us in better sourcing of startups and develop them into leaders in their respective ventures. This also marks Abhijeet’s transformation from being an industrialist to a strategic partner with a keen focus on early stage as an asset class.”
Pai, in his 15 years of experience has handled a diversified conglomerate, backed over 25 start-ups and three funds since 2014. He joins 9Unicorns with an aim to make it India’s answer to the world stage of accelerators backing early-stage ideas. He believes in the phrase “catch them young”, which also means a lot of focused engagement with entrepreneurs for investors like him, who have allocated certain capital to venture stage companies knowing the risk and rewards associated with the same. He says embarking on new innovative journeys with entrepreneurs has meant he better understands new age trends which tend be a source of rejuvenation and out of box thinking that is often useful with other businesses too.
“I am a firm believer in India’s robust start-up ecosystem. I entered into the start-up world in 2014 with a start-up called WedMeGood. Ever since, I have invested in multiple other startups as an investor, be it Logicmatter which is disrupting the data analytics space or VanLavino setting benchmarks in patisseries domain the journey has been one filled with hard work, joy and growing returns.”
He further added that it is also time to consolidate from being a limited partner and angel to a fund partner with more focused stakes in a segment, class or theme which is targeted for for early stage success.
“I admire the aggressiveness, variety, brand, approach of sourcing and funding philosophy of 9Unicorns that has become a preferred choice for many many seed stage startups. As a Partner at 9Unicorns, I bring experience of growing, managing large businesses and turn arounds of businesses in stress at the most crucial times. To me Indian startup’s have a mammoth opportunity to service the 1.3 billion strong market and hope to back more market and product leaders with the 9Unicorns,” Pai said.
Besides, Pai is also of the opinion that more and more family offices should join hands to further boost and make India the world’s largest start-up ecosystem.
Pai, with his vast operational knowledge in managing businesses and operations using varied tools can help 9Unicorns’ portfolio companies in their growth plans and help them become product or market leaders based on their core competency.