This Angel Turned Mentor to Help Entrepreneurs Create Scalable Businesses
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From the perspective of being change-drivers in the society as well as fostering entrepreneurship, it becomes vital to analyse the driving factor behind today’s leaders that got them to take the initiative. In conjunction with this, Entrepreneur India interacted with Revathy Ashok who is Co-Founder at Strategy Garage, which aims at fostering entrepreneurship in India, along with being an active mentor at the Indian Angel Network (IAN).
The Driving factor behind turning to mentorship
Was it to break gender stereotypes that got Revathy to turn an active investor?
“I have never looked at investing activity through a gender lens, but I do hope I bring some diversity of perspective which is very much necessary for any business,” Ashok states confidently.
Ashok also adds that the driving factor, for her to engage with startups, is the learning which comes along with the investment in the form of new technology and new disruptive business models. She adds that it is the whole processes of helping entrepreneurs create a viable and scalable business that excites her the most.
At this juncture, it is worth noting that Ashok has had a hugely successful corporate career prior to her turning an angel investor and mentor to new ventures.
“The experiences in my corporate career were like an entrepreneurial journey,” reminisces Ashok.
She adds that throughout her career, there was always a degree of familiarity with respect to dealing with strategic investments and growth of new businesses; these were stepping stones to turn an active angel investor and mentor.
“Meanwhile the start up ecosystem in Bengaluru was just beginning to develop and I found this fascinating. My prior operating and investing experience coupled with my interest in startups got me started with mentoring many entrepreneurs and over a period of time I started investing in some of them,” adds Ashok.
Specifically, Ashok states that it was not a defined moment that got her to turn investor, rather it was her increasing engagement with the startup ecosystem coupled with her understanding of the ecosystem that got her to turn investor.
Breaking gender stereotypes
Ashok has interesting insights to offer as far as working towards breaking the gender barrier in angel and venture capital (VC) investments is concerned. She believes that in angel, VC, and private equity (PE) domains; the number of women investors is still significantly less.
“I believe this is so because the VC/PE led entrepreneurship model itself is just 10 to 15 years old in the country,” reasons Ashok.
“Once the ecosystem matures further, I am sure we will see more women in the investing space.”
Favorable Indian geographies for women investors and mentors
With the city of Bengaluru known as a startup hub, it is only natural to try and find out if the city’s ecosystem is favorable for women investors (and mentors).
“I am not sure there is a difference in North versus South investment climate attributable to gender differences. I think the startup ecosystems in both Bangalore and Delhi/NCR region are very vibrant,” states Ashok candidly.
She states that the investment climate of Mumbai has resulted in the generation of women banking leaders.
Therefore, it is only natural for entrepreneurs to witness women investing in large numbers in these regions due to the increased seeding of talent.