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Indian Angel sees growth in retail ventures

Entreprenuerial spirit in India is on the rise and it's no longer confined only to information technology.

While IT still remains hot, retail, hospitality, healthcare and clean technology are seeing a rush of activity with young professionals with innovative ideas setting up ventures in these areas.

Indian Angel Network (IAN) — earlier called the Band of Angels — said that it had lined up 60 members who had done well with the ventures they had set up to not just offer funds but also do some hand-holding. While IAN is in talks with start-ups, its members are looking at retail and early stage companies from IT, high-end BPO, telecom, education and media for investment.

IAN, which is itself a start-up, having been set up 15 months ago, has seen the number of people coming with plans rise from just around half-a-dozen a month last year to nearly 40 a month now.

And, so has the number of IAN members which has jumped from 6 to 60 in 15 months, said founder member Saurabh Srivastava. The profile too has changed from merely individuals to institutional members too in the fold which includes the likes of Google, IBM, Greylock Partners and SIDBI. The group which includes the likes of Genpact's Pramod Bhasin and Wipro Spectramind's former CEO Raman Roy is not just interested in early stage investment but has also been performing an advisory function.

“There are many who do not need capital but yet we offer advise,” says axis-IT&T chairman Rohit Chand. Srivastava adds that the group plays a crucial role in providing funds to companies which need Rs 1-2 crore capital. “There is lot of money chasing the big players but that's not so true for start-ups,” says PSi's Rajit Shastri.

“We are also eyeing the big industrial firms, besides the small entrepreneurs, to chip in money through the private equity investment. Rules for investment will remain the same for either of small or blue chip investment seekers,” Srivastava said.

Source: Times of India

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