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Quality, clarity and track record of an entrepreneur are important: Shamik Moitra

Shamik Moitra is the Trustee and Chairman at iFarm. With a career spanning three decades, Shamik is a veteran private equity and venture capital principal partner, with extensive prior experience as a management consultant with Accenture, an Investment Banker with DLJ (now Credit Suisse), and Bank of America. In conversation with INCUBEES

INCUBEES: What is the nature of your fund?

Shamik: Our Fund is designed as a SEBI registered Category II Alternative Investment Fund with a specific focus on Defence, Aerospace, and Technology start-ups and ventures

INCUBEES: Which sectors will you look at to invest in?

Shamik: We specifically focus on Defence, Aerospace, and Technology start-ups and ventures

INCUBEES: How do you assess which start-up to invest in?

Shamik: Our assessment is based on two primary factors:

  1. Quality, clarity, and track record of the entrepreneur/ team of entrepreneurs
  2. Quality and scalability of the business proposition relative to the Addressable market size.

This is combined with a careful assessment of operational and market risks to arrive at an investment decision and valuation

INCUBEES: What pointers according to you should the start-ups keep in mind before looking for a fund?

Shamik: I would suggest the following:

  • Specialism and experience of the investment team in the domain the start-up wishes to build an enterprise in
  • A careful assessment of what the funds raised should be spent on and how much would be needed to reach sustainable operations
  • A thoroughly researched business plan on top of a product or services idea based on unfulfilled demand, that has been vetted by peers in that industry or professional advisors/ seasoned angel investors. Such a plan should also have fall back options for revenue generation from the same or allied areas built-in. The latter should not however involve the distraction of management bandwidth away from the original purpose of the start-up.
  • The entrepreneur’s/ entrepreneur team’s ability to sustain operations with intensity during the phase they have not yet obtained venture or angel capital. Money where your mouth is the root of the entrepreneur’s conviction and this is ALWAYS tested by the investor.

 

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