Product Lead, Stripe
After having gone through some early stage experiences (both as founder and investor), I am trying to learn the growth playbook now
Stanford GSB, MBA
By sheer stroke of luck, I was handed this privilege. I learnt how much I dont know and how I need to become 'learn it all' from 'know it all'.
Investor, SoftBank Vision Fund
I learnt some key lessons on
1. How to & how not to invest in growth companies within Tech.
2. Power of capital as a differentiator/competitive edge
3. Bold visions will always attract criticism but you need to stay focused
VP & Head Fintech, OYO Rooms
I setup the fintech vertical from scratch in the hey days of the firm (which am sure will be back).
My first operating experience at scale. Saw hyper growth times of the startup from 100 to 1000, 5 country to 50 countries in a short span.
Acumen Fund (6 month project)
I joined the 'Agriculture' team to scout for investing opportunities. Why Agriculture?
My grandparents lived in a small village and I was brought up visiting farming fields often. I wanted to explore opportunities in the sector that employs 70% Indians and still rules in poverty.
I visited hinterlands and met dozens of inspiring entrepreneurs. I sourced, led and closed a deal in the dairy space. My biggest learning was seeing 'India' and 'Bharat'. Going to some villages was like time-travel to see villagers using bullock-carts while 'Bombay' circles were talking about Uber/Ola disruption.
2015 - 2017
Founder, Finomena (Consumer fintech startup)
My first startup. Trusted with $1.5M seed check. Went from 0 to 100 employees, 10,000 customers in 18 months. And then back to 0 as we were unable to raise next round due to multitude of reasons. I consider it as a personal failure. (Forbes30U30 was too generous, not well deserved)
Left me with a lot of lessons and memories. Importance of hiring right, building a team, setting the right culture, helping people grow, planning for black swan events and eventually - cash is the king.
Associate, BCG (The Boston Consulting Group)
First job is like first love after-all. Jumping straight out of college to management presentations was a steep learning curve - not easy. Fell a lot to learn a lot. Worked with banks, financial services and industrial goods clients.
Relationships are key. Strategy holds a lot of value. Mere 5' change in the direction of a line can lead to a very different end point after 5 years.
2012 - 2014
Associate, Bain Capital
Everything I know about investing (if at all) - I owe it to Bain. Meaning of rigor in analysis, IRR bridges, financial models, investment thesis and sharpness in thinking. Learning from the smartest of the colleagues, I was on my toes 24x7.
I also got to see aspects of portfolio management and how some skillfully executed strategic decisions can move the needle on returns in an investment. And how shareholder authority doesn't lead to change execution but relationships and trust building does.
BTech Electrical Engineering, IIT Delhi
I am where I am today because of this place. The lottery of sheer luck from examination on that single day that gave me this unfair advantage and opportunity.
Undergrad had many firsts - 1st flight, 1st abroad trip, 1st line of code written by me, 1st set of deep friendships, 1st crush and many more...
I am still on Abhi v 3.0 and constantly upgrading. So these values are very much dynamic while I strive to follow them (but keep falling).
1. Priorities in life - Family > Peace of Mind > Work
2. Never blame the person, but blame the situation. Acceptance is the key. You don't know their full context.
3. "Comparison is the thief of joy" - Roosevelt
4. Peace > Joy > Happiness > Pleasure
5. 'Work hard, but don't do it in expectation of fruits' (Holy text from Gita). Journey > Destination etc etc.
PS: Publicly writing them so whenever I sway, anybody can point it and help me correct.