Sanjay Mehta is creating a proper understanding among founders who are in search of investment when working on their product. He is trying to explain to them that throwing money on an issue they might be facing is not going to solve it, but if anything ends up being counter productive. It would make more sense to focus on the product market fit and the rate at which the business is growing. At the end of the day, it is important to respect the money that investors have invested, instead of looking at it as something earned.
Sanjay Mehta is a full time startup investor and first generation technology entrepreneur. He comes from a Gujarati family and was born and raised in Bombay. He worked hard on cultivating patience, letting go, listening to others and nurturing relationships. Although he never really had a job where he was working for someone, he had dreams of staying back in India while all his friends wanted to leave for the United States. He wanted to start his own venture as soon as he finished engineering, and thought that the software business would be the right fit. Since he was starting out, banks would not provide loans or capitals to get started and this was rather demoralizing. He finally managed to get this done through his grandfather who connected him to the right people in the bank. After this he understood the importance of family connections, the economics of business and the importance of money.
Initially Sanjay started with ‘Bespoke Software Company’. In the year 2000, he moved on to building an accounting software but the idea was too far ahead for the turn of the decade and the venture had to be shut down. This taught Sanjay about the speed of delivery and the right time for launching as well. Sanjay’s new found joy was in assisting founders with their acquiring investment.
He assisted entrepreneurs by arriving at the right financial projections, to better help align and estimate their investment goals. Other aspects he has expertise in are startup pricing models and creating an unfair business advantage which definitely helps in the long run.
Most investors work with finances but Sanjay works with technology and product engineering, along with basic finances which makes a big difference. He also goes a step further and assists some of his clients with blockchain opportunity and technical insights.
Although Sanjay works with different startups, he is biased toward blockchain technology and driverless cars stories at the moment. 2016 saw a giant slowdown in investments since many of the foreign investors in India didn’t stick around that long.
Other than assisting others with their startups, and providing feedback whenever needed, he also worked on a few startups of his own. Some well known names he has worked on are, Oyo Rooms, Box8, Block.One, MechMocha, Zippr, RepUp, LogiNext, AdStringO, PrettySecrets and Unbxd.
A lot of the knowledge he amassed over the years has come through experience. Some of the tricks though he acquired through reading interesting works on the same topics. His reading list includes The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, Zero to One Book by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel, Horse Sense: The Key to Success is Finding a Horse to Ride Book by Al Ries and Jack Trout, Jack: Straight From the Gut Book by Jack Welch, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?: and Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround Book by Louis V.
Gerstner Jr. Getting a chance, he would advise anyone to read as many of these books as possible.
Sanjay has a list of ten rules for aspiring entrepreneurs to assist them come up with an amazing startup
- Be curious, ask lot of questions
- No text book rules to do business and do not clone other business.
- Get the customer pitching right is more important than investors pitching.
- Funding is not equal to success
- Do not innovate in finance and legal
- So called expert consultants are clueless, figure out yourself.
- Do not short your vision or ideas early.
- Do not hire management team till series A funding.
- Be tolerant of ambiguity
- Ideas are fragile, nurture it.
He always advises people starting up that they should have a clear idea on their pricing. If they do not, Sanjay works with companies and provides them with this information to assist them. He also helps companies receive facetime. He also works on their network and finally helps them raise the right amount of capital.