Investing in outliers with Madhukar Sinha, Founder, India Quotient


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“We don’t think of ourselves as fund managers. The fund manager is someone managing 100s of millions of dollars, your job is largely doing money management.

Our job is not to do money management, our job is to look at the new trends, try to meet the smartest of the smartest guys, and somehow try to convince them to take out money, and be a good part of the ecosystem and make other good people within the ecosystem come and talk to us.”

Can you ever imagine someone who has been an NGO worker for a long time, suddenly switch careers and;
# Setting up a VC firm
# Raising $120.9M+
# Investing in 102+ companies
# Getting 11 exits

Well, that's the story of Madhukar Sinha, Co-founder, India Quotient, and the guest of this week’s episode.

Most of us get comfortable in our jobs post the age of 30, let alone the thought of setting up a VC firm. But that’s exactly what Madhukar, along with his Co-founder Anand Lunia did, back in 2012.

During the podcast, Madhukar talks about his first experience with 3G, how he didn’t let his NGO background limit his career choices, and much more.

Notes -

01:12 - Early life: Growing up in Jamshedpur to working in NGO

06:14 - Understanding what India really is, not only in metros, but in terms of Tier-II & Tier-III cities

06:47 - NGO background stereotyping & limiting his career choices

07:12 - Completing his MBA and joining Aavishkaar

10:55 - Experiencing the potential of smartphones after getting his first 3G phone in 2011

12:32 - Co-founding India Quotient in 2012; at the age of 35

15:51 - Being more of Entrepreneur, less of Fund manager

26:18 - Not continuing what you aren’t comfortable with

32:35 - Making investment decision for early stage companies

43:05 - Talking about portfolio companies - Sharechat, Lokal & BharatAgri

50:28 - Fund return expectation in 5+ year period

57:54 - First Cheque: Investing in unique ideas that don’t directly match India Quotient’s thesis

1:02:34 - Getting personalised deal flow via founders of portfolio companies

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