He wanted to be an entrepreneur initially.. He was so serious about starting his own venture that he even applied for a plot of land in Kanpur...When he sought the help of UPSIDC (Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation) for land, he got a job offer from Jagdish Khattar (the present Maruti CMD) who was heading the organisation. He joined UPSIDC and then went to Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation (GIIC) after a brief stint in L&T.
An opportunity to add meaning to his career arose in the form of GVFL which was being formed with World Bank assistance in 1990. Mr Varshney’s name was recommended by GIIC for the chief executive post. “That was the turning point,” says Mr Varshney. “I underwent a 18-week training with Hambro International Equity Partners, USA in venture capital after which I set up GVFL, a venture capitalist firm.”
In the past 15 years, Mr Varshney has provided managerial and financial support to 56 companies. The highest success stories are in IT ventures: einfochips, Parsec Technologies, Radiant Technologies, Neilsoft, and Icenet. “We’ve raised four funds worth Rs 120 crore and are in the process of raising a fifth fund worth Rs 50 crore for biotechnology,” he says. After which, he proposes to raise funds for tourism and cottage industry worth Rs 100 crore.
Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.