We should focus on ‘Atmanirbharta’ in private equity and venture funding for inclusive growth: SK Narvar, Chairman, Capital India Corp
“We should focus on Atmanirbharta in private equity and venture funding for the sustained all-round development of our economy,” says Shri SK Narvar, Chairman, Capital India Finance Corp.
“As an angel investor, I echo Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that the community of entrepreneurs should be nurtured with the power of three Cs – capital, courage, and connection with mentors. We should focus on Atmanirbharta in private equity and venture funding for the sustained all-round development of our economy.” – Shri SK Narvar, Chairman, Capital India Finance Corp.
We spoke to Shri SK Narvar, Chairman, Capital India Corp., to understand the role of successful Indian entrepreneurs in investing in domestic start-ups. We also dwelt on the potential benefit of a local Indian private equity ecosystem in the context of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Below are the excerpts from conversation:
Ques: As the end of the pandemic becomes a reality, the entrepreneurs are in the spotlight again. Your comments?
SK Narvar: India’s community of entrepreneurs has piloted its rise from a third-world country into a global leader. We are creating world-class Indian startups that are poised for success on a global scale. The country is a hotbed of technological innovation – trailing only behind the U.S. and China. I firmly believe that Indian entrepreneurs will catapult the country’s status as a global superpower.
Ques: What is your view of new-age entrepreneur support in progress?
SK Narvar: I believe that young and new-age Indian entrepreneurs will play a key role in India’s progressive march in the 21st century. World Bank data shows that the number of new firms in the formal sector has grown by a significant 12.2% between 2014 and 2018. The country’s GDP registered an impressive growth of USD 3 trillion during this period. We should not overlook the correlation between the two factors. In the future also, I firmly believe that the ecosystem of startups will be vital to our country’s innovation potential and progress.
Ques: What do you think are the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs in India?
SK Narvar: In my experience, one of the main challenges that Indian entrepreneurs face is funding. This is unfortunate, and we need to create an eco-system of private capital. We need to channelize private wealth created by local business-leaders into nurturing the ecosystem of entrepreneurs. Currently, I see that domestic businesses are disproportionately dependent on foreign PE. The private equity ecosystem has been vital to the growth of advanced economies such as the USA and China.
As Uday Kotak, President CII recently remarked, “Global capital is welcome, but we cannot be dependent on it for our destiny.” We should focus on Atmanirbharta in private equity and venture funding for the sustained all-round development of our economy.
Ques: You recently invested in Fuel Buddy, an app-based IoT and cloud-enabled fuel-delivery service. Can you tell us about the investment?
SK Narvar: Fuel Buddy is a Delhi-based on-demand fuel-delivery startup that commenced operations in May 2018. It’s a personal investment of INR 17 crore (US$ 2.3 million) in the Company, with a further capital commitment of an equal amount on a need basis. With the new investment, FuelBuddy aims to spend more on marketing, grow its fleet size and working capital. It will also strengthen its technical capabilities and hire more people in sales and marketing as it looks to enter new cities – Lucknow, Kanpur, and Ludhiana – in the coming months.
Ques: What is your investment philosophy?
SK Narvar: As an angel investor, I echo Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that the community of Indian entrepreneurs should be nurtured with the power of three Cs – capital, courage, and connection with mentors. I consider it a duty to mentor young entrepreneurs and support them in their journey in every way I can. I’m always on the lookout for young startup founders & business leaders whose mission resonates with my philosophy in pursuit of this vision.
FuelBuddy an excellent example of this belief. The Company is an innovative and disruptive platform for providing solutions for a new economy. Another example is that of Rapipay (part of Capital India Finance), one of India’s fastest-growing fintech start-up. The Company also ventured into cross border remittance space through its other brand REMITX.
These investments blend perfectly with my vision and ideals of bringing transformative solutions to the market. I’m confident that they will grow to become market leaders with the highest customer service standards and a relentless focus on profitability.