Like many others, Sandeep Dama also feels startups in India have to go through a more tedious process as compared to startups in many countries. According to him, every founder is successful, if they have gone through the process of starting up and learned through mistakes and difficulties they encountered along the way. Unfortunately, success in this day and age, for a startup is only measured by the funds they collect. However, as an investor, Sandeep only looks at profitability when investing in a startup.
Sandeep is currently working on two ventures, both of which provide solutions to the energy storage industry. He foresees an energy revolution in the country and is targeting different sectors related to electric vehicles, utilities and solar power storage.
By virtue of his educational qualifications, Sandeep is a Mechanical Engineer from PESIT, Bangalore with a Masters in Finance from Cass Business School, London. He generally works with large corporates and SME clients for their corporate finance needs.
He began working with NM Rothschild & Sons, a London based investment back and moved to their subsidiary in Mumbai. He covered clients in Pharma & Healthcare, Media and Utility sectors. Finally leaving Rothschild, he moved to Bangalore in search of his own path.
Sandeep moved to co-founding two ventures with a couple of friends in 2008. He started a hospitality venture and an e vehicle venture. He further moved on to co-found another three ventures in FMCG Distribution and Industrials. Looking back Sandeep can say that he had some amazing success with his ventures and some even better failures that taught him a lot.
It has been his experience that Startups need support and how-to knowledge, more than just receiving funds and investment. Most startups might have sector expertise, but quite often need someone to fill them in on business expertise as well. Ideally, someone who has gone through the same process before. This forces Sandeep to spend a significant portion of his time mentoring startups more than just providing them with the investment that they are looking for. This also provides a new outsiders perspective to what they are doing and sometimes allows them to see things through a different point of view. Currently, Sandeep spends his time focusing on energy, renewables, electric vehicles.
When it comes to investing in the right company, there are a bunch of checkboxes that have to be ticked out. The process that Sandeep goes through is mentioned below.
- Addressable Market for the Product
- Funds use
- Founders conviction or skin in the game
Sandeep feels that there is definitely a slow down for companies valued a lot higher than their profitability. However, there are certain sectors where “money is still chasing the entrepreneur”. It looks like investment will only pick up in sectors where there is a lot of demand.
He believes that young entrepreneurs should read books like Intelligent Investor, The Tipping Point etc. to get a better understanding of investment and the Startup world in general.
If you are a startup and you fill you have the above mentioned criteria, you are officially eligible for investment through Sandeep Dama.