Matrix Partners India has about ₹3,000 crore under management and invests in companies primarily targeting the Indian market. Vikram, 34, heads Matrix’s recently opened Bengaluru office.
Having been a member of the founding team of a start-up, says Vikram, has definitely helped him appreciate two things. One, how hard it is for an entrepreneur to go from zero to one.
To create something out of thin air is something that is hard to appreciate. And, that is what entrepreneurship is about.
Two, just the thrill when something happens – whether it is your first customer you won or the first employee you hired. It is important to celebrate those small successes. It helps him be a better partner to entrepreneurs today.
He is able to understand what they are going through as well as why it is important that each of the small successes is celebrated.
It is usually a string of small successes that come together.
Education: A degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Rashtriya Vidyalaya College of Engineering, Bengaluru, and an MBA from IIM-Bangalore.
Prior experience: About three-and-a-half years at McKinsey as a strategy consultant working across sectors; short stints at Samsung, IBM, worked in Jerusalem for a couple of years with a company called NDS; was an engineer as part of the founding team of a start-up called Sensact Applications, which was in the wireless sensor space. With Matrix for five years now.
Sectors interested in: Mobile internet, education technology, local services, SaaS, SMB Tech and video
Investments: Biscoot, Five Star Business Credits, LimeTray, Mswipe, Newshunt, Red Monster Games, Traffline, Twist Mobile and Woo.
Typical working day: About 30 per cent of the day each will go into chatting with portfolio companies, meeting new ventures and in meeting people who want to work in start-ups. The rest of the time is taken up by internal administrative work.
Hobbies: More than three-fourths of home life is spent with wife and two-and-a-half-year-old son. Otherwise, either reading, playing a sport (basketball), swimming or doing meditation.
Gadgets: Pretty much everything, so I am not a good proxy. I usually carry two mobile phones. I have an iPod Touch. I have a shuffle. I have a MacBook on me all the time. I have a Kindle. I am now getting converted to Android. I use an iPhone and an Android phone, a MotoX, but will soon switch to a Samsung S6 Edge.
Advice to entrepreneurs: Clearly articulate what the problem you are solving is and why that is such an important problem to solve.
Second, why are you passionate about solving and why are you uniquely suited to solve that problem. Third, how are you solving the problem in a differentiated way.