For Deepak Shahdadpuri the move from tech to non-tech has been more out of chance rather than by choice. Shahdadpuri used to work for a hardcore tech fund in London when he came to India to look for some tech deals. He found the space to be very competitive with too many funds focused on one sector. However, he was amazed to see the huge opportunity India offered. He looked at Sula Wines. The second deal he did was Cleartrip, which is a tech company. “For some businesses technology is relevant for some it is totally irrelevant. I looked at business models,” shares Shahdadpuri . Today, he invests in categories that are commonplace in developed markets. Speaking further on this, he says, “My thinking sort of moved very significantly when I moved to India in 2006 and lived here for the next six years.” Incidentally while he was in India, Shahdadpuri had his second child and he struggled to find basic child care products which are easily available in London or Singapore. He says, “The excuse that India doesn’t have the technology or the raw material doesn’t exist. They had the best raw materials but not the products. Over the years, things have changed. Modern retail is finally happening at a pace I would like and Indians now have the opportunity to browse.” Secondly, consumption habits of the younger generation have changed massively. Anyone who is 25 or under and living in a tier 1 city is well aware of the global trends and averse to buying big brands. This is a trend both in the US and the UK. “They want to push away big brands as they see them as lazy, un-innovative and in India, there is a huge opportunity in such categories where there was no incumbent,” he adds. He realized this in 2004 when he did Sula. In 2012, people thought it was crazy to start a consumer focused fund. But for Shahdadpuri, it’s very important to specialize. He invests in companies at a very early stage, sometimes even before they have a product. He says, “Anuj of Raw (Pressery) already had a brand and a product. He was selling a fantastic product with two-day shelf life. It was more about what technology do we use to grow it, etc. On the other side, there is Veeba where we agreed to invest in Viraj before the company was incorporated.” As per Shahdadpuri in 1999, he realised India was changing as the Manmohan Singh government helped the markets to open up. He was fortunate to get to know many young entrepreneurs. On his second day he met Rajeev Samant, who had quit his job to come back to India. Sula was not even ready. They became friends immediately and said let’s set up a world class factory. Shahdadpuri asked how much money you need. That’s’ how he started his first fund on his own. He had a small exit from Veeba and from mswipe. Over the last few years, he invested in seven to eight companies a year. This year looks like it is going to be eight. After investing in early stage, Deepak sells it to another fund or a strategic partner. Post that, he will go and find the next brand to build.