Whatever you do, be different! That was the advice my mother gave me and I can’t think of a better advice for an entrepreneur. “If you are different, you’ll standout” -Anita Roddick
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India has seen its share of women entrepreneurs and powerful executives. However, what we haven’t seen is a lot of fund managers. Rema Subramanian and Ritu Verma gate-crashed the territory, which was predominately dominated by the big, industry boys.
Both Rema and Ritu come with decades of experience in the consumer, IT/ITES and education domains. Today they run Ankur Capital and are looking for innovative business models that can address core challenges in agriculture, healthcare, skill development and education. The fund deploys between INR 50 lakhs and 4 crores.
While addressing the concern about less number of women being in this field, Reema said that there is an inherent bias continues to thrive in this space and it’s not easy to that segment which usually belongs to the big boys.
Gender was never our concern
Ritu and I never considered the fact that there weren’t many women in the VC domain while starting out with Ankur, she said. Our gender never crossed our minds. The only question that bothered us was the fact that we were first time fund managers, which makes fund raising a tad bit difficult, she adds. Rema said that from the fund raising aspect, especially in the case of individual LPs, they are far more conservative when it comes to women VCs. But the same thing does not imply for institutional funding.
Speaking about investing in a sector like agritech Ritu said that agriculture has the traditional risks of having issues of government intervention, weather and other things. “Of course there are risks; we don’t look at farmers as something to invest in. We are looking at things in either pre-harvest or post-harvest and technology led which is working there,” she adds.
The fund’s portfolio includes companies such as Karma Healthcare, Cropin, BigHaat and Suma Agro.
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