Skip to main content

New wave of CEO-turned-Entrepreneurs

Business Today has an article profiling top corporate executives who have turned entrepreneur in recent months. The list include former iflex Solutions CEO Deepak Ghaisas, who is now a biotech entrepreneur. Another venture profiled is a consulting firm founded by three former telecom CEOs which plans to handhold MNCs "through the Byzantine maze of regulation and intrigue".
Enter Ravi Sharma and his two partners. “Our proposition is not capital, but management services that will not only help in reducing promoters’ capital but will also trim down the time to market,” says Sharma, 47, who has named his venture Phi. “Phi is a wonderful name, easy to pronounce and has two very powerful meanings: Wisdom of God and the Golden Ratio,” he adds.

Sharma and Pramod Saxena, former Head of Motorola India, first discussed the idea of floating such a venture. Later, they roped in B.D. Khurana, former CEO, Reliance Communications. “Our new association is more like a meeting of minds at the professional level,” says Saxena. In fact, both Sharma and Saxena, who are the majority (and equal) partners in Phi, have studied engineering from IIT Roorkee in Uttarakhand. The business model is such that Phi can earn minority equity in return for strategic, regulatory and management support in the initial phase of a new MNC venture.

“That’s why we call ourselves Angel Partners,” says Sharma. Phi will nurture the new venture for 2-4 years. Since the promoters have experience in telecom, projects in this sector will be a focus area. But Phi is also in discussions with MNCs in renewable energy and green energy solutions. Phi is ready with three engagement models: One, a joint venture with an MNC; two, incubate a business with venture capital support and then bring in an MNC as a majority partner; the third is the option of finding suitable MNC partners for Indian companies. In all three models, Phi would earn a minority stake in the business.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at

Popular posts from this blog

VC Interview: Shailendra Singh of Sequoia Capital India

In a recent interview to Venture Intelligence, Shailendra Singh discussed some of the firm’s newer investments in the early stage segment including in the online payments space, the progress at a few existing portfolio companies and the active role the firm is playing in helping its portfolio companies scale and succeed in India and globally. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Singh was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York and before that, an entrepreneur in the digital media industry.

Venture Intelligence: How does Sequoia go about identifying potential early stage investments in India? Is there anything different you are doing today than, say, a couple of years back?

Shailendra Singh: There is a lot more focus on technology investing and early stage investing. In general, as you might remember a few years ago, we were doing primarily growth investing but in the past 18-odd months, we have had a very strong focus on early stage and that’s continuing. In terms of how…

PE investments in 2018 crosses $33-B to set new all-time high

Big Ticket investments in consumer apps Swiggy & Byju’s dominates year-end activity, even as investments in Core Sectors slow down
Private Equity (PE) investments in India rose to their highest ever figure of $33.1 billion in 2018 (across 720 transactions), according to data from Venture Intelligence (, a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and their valuations. While PE investments have already surpassed the previous high - $24.3 Billion across 734 deals in 2017 - in the first nine months of 2018, the mega investments in Consumer Internet & Mobile startups such as Swiggy and Byjus towards the year-end, helped the 2018 total vault by 36% year-on-year. (Note: These figures include Venture Capital investments, but exclude PE investments in Real Estate.) The year witnessed 81 PE investments worth $100 million or more (accounting for 77% of the total investment value during the period), compared to 47 such transac…

ChrysCapital and Sequoia Capital India grab two awards at APEX’19 PE-VC Awards

Mumbai, India, Feb 27, 2019: ChrysCapital and Sequoia Capital bagged two awards each as part of the “Awards for Private Equity Excellence” (APEX)event organized by Venture Intelligence. 

ChrysCapital bagged the Private Equity Fund Raise of 2018 Award (Closed $850 M Fund VIII within 4 months of launch) and the Private Equity Investor of 2018 Award (for its Exits from LiquidHub with 4x in dollar terms (within 4 years of its $53-M investment), AU Small Finance Bank with 11.5x return,  Torrent Pharma with 2.95x, City Union Bank with 2.83x, L&T Infotech with 2.56x)

Sequoia Capital India won the Early Stage VCInvestor(the firm registered 10x+ exits in Byjus Classes and SCIOInspire) and VC Fund Raise of 2018 (the firm closed an almost $700-M Fund VI).

Award Winners at APEX'19 PE-VC Awards

The event opened with a Fireside Chat with Kiran Reddy, CEO of SPI Group interviewed by his long time friend and colleague Vineeth Vijayraghavan.

Snapshots of the Awards Ceremony: (L-R) Gopal Srinivasan, …