A financial advisor, venture capitalist and a second generation entrepreneur with vast experience in IT services/ infrastructure, business development, etc, 40-year-old Arihant Patni began his career at a very young age. He initially worked at his father’s company, Patni Computers Venture for four years, which was later sold to iGATE at a reasonable amount but at the right time. Post that, Patni was left with two gateways, either he could have setup another entrepreneurial venture, or else he could have opted to become an investor in entrepreneurial firms and become a part of their venture.
Patni chose the latter. In 2011, things had already started changing, new business innovation models had started coming up and Internet started having a very strong presence. “We sat down thinking how could we back these businesses. And decided to look for smart companies whom we could fund and be a part of,” claims Patni. At present, Patni is the Managing Director of Patni Financial Advisors and Hive Technologies. He is also Co-Founder and on the Board of Directors of Nirvana Venture Advisors, a venture capital fund with focus on the Internet. Their first fund venture, Nirvana, which is into consumer space, was partnered with Rajan Mehra, who was earlier running eBay’s business in India.
Later they started a big data fund for which they tied up with The Hive in 2013, leading to the establishment of Ideaspring Capital, an enterprise fund company, having partnered with Mohandas Pai, who anchored it. Saluting the spirit of budding entrepreneurs who have the courage to think out of the box, Patni claims that he can invest up to Rs 2 million into an idea if it carries that spirit and zeal to break through the market. There are few filters he looks for while choosing to invest into an idea; firstly, the venture should have some kind of an enterprise innovation element, along with having a global applicability. Secondly, it’s really important to have a good team.
Patni is of the view that there is some great stuff going on in the artificial intelligence and robotics sector these days. In the health tech sector, creating liver tissue from scratch which will be used and helpful in clinical research is an exciting innovation. “It’s a really cool thing in the health sector. Such innovations are flooding the market place and I am really excited to be a part of many such ventures in near future,” he adds.
(This article was first published in the May issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)