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November 22, 2012

What does India's first Super Angel Rajan Anandan look for?

YourStory has an interesting interview with him on the sidelines of ISB Digital Summit where he keynoted.

Extracts (emphasis mine)
First, I look for interesting ideas in technology that can create an impact.

The second most important thing is the team; except for two companies, all my founders have a technology background. I almost never back a non-tech founder in technology business, because in technology startups you have to iterate really really fast and for that you need a strong understanding of technology. Outsourcing is always a bad idea.

Number 3 is engineering + product expertise.

The Number 4 criterion is I look for commitment to the idea in founders. They must have left their secure jobs, must have faced several setbacks but should have never given up.
Ability to attract top talent is very important. For example, Druva is a perfect example of sales + product + engineering. Right founding team is very important. Look at Capillary; they seem to be having an amazing ability to attract the top talent. The best of people are wanting to work for these founders.
Also, as a founder, you need to know that different skill sets are needed at different stages of the company. And, knowing when to bring in what kind of talent is important. What is the right time to bring in your first sales guy, and first marketing guy, is important.

Finally, persistence matters. It takes 10 years to build companies. It took 13 years to build JustDial, 12 years to build MakeMyTrip and 14 years to build Info Edge. Many people don’t have that kind of stamina, and they get exhausted too soon. I like to back founders who are willing to be at it for years.
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