Make maximum use of digital technology says Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures

“India is already at number three in the world from a startup perspective,” says Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures.

While entrepreneurship refers to all new businesses, including self-employment and businesses that never intend to become registered, startups refer to new businesses that intend to grow large beyond the solo founder. A startup or start-up is a company or project undertaken by an entrepreneur to seek, develop, and validate a scalable economic model.


Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures, is one of the old handy in early-stage investment space and is a regular speaker at both domestic and International circuits on startups and early-stage investment. His passion is to mentor startups and he also advises Governmental and industrial bodies on the same.


Unicorn India Ventures is an early-stage technology-focused Indian registered venture Capital fund that is eager to invest in and partner with dedicated entrepreneurs that are looking to build world-class market-leading companies by disrupting traditional sectors or solving real-life problems for end-users or enterprises using innovative technology-led products or services.


A lot of evolution in the industry

Anil sheds light on how the scenario has changed for early-stage startups over the past 2 decades, “There has been a lot of evolution in the industry since it was not so prominent, and today when we have full-page coverage in leading newspapers. So we have come a long way. I still remember when I got into this space, there was a lot of resistance not only from friends but even family because at that time nobody understood about the startups, it was a challenge to make people understand what I was doing and what’s going to happen in the future. But those days, in a sense of awareness, it was pretty difficult and I had my own challenges. So, I've seen the industry evolving from a handful of angel investors and few VCs, to now, we have thousands of angel investors and several startups across India. And we have quite a few homegrown VCs along with people from overseas, so, a fairly decent ecosystem has evolved in the last 10 years specifically,” he says.


India at number 3 in the world from a startup perspective

Anil presents his thoughts on whether India can be put on the world map in terms of innovative ideas, standard and reliable products, “Yes, if you look at our ranking, we are already at number three in the world from a startup perspective. Coming to innovation, of course, it always goes to the USA or Israel. Look at the kind of solutions we have in FinTech. India is probably one of the few countries where the internet is only on mobile so many things have evolved around mobile. And that actually has helped us to come up with a much better solution, which is being adopted by many other evolving countries and also developed countries. What's happening on hardcore innovation? So, I think it's too early for us to comment, but while the USA, Russia, and other countries are working on the COVID vaccine, I think India is also equally close. I have seen several startups now, which have come out with innovative solutions whether it is around computer vision, robotics - one is Genrobotic, which has developed robots to automate manual scavenging, which is one of its kind product in India from India, probably, one of its kind in Asia. So, I think India is evolving, it will not be fair, to put us straightaway on the world map, but I think we have a lot of potential and we are seeing innovative solutions from India, I think we will have one of best next half or full decade, India will come out with several solutions which will be adopted by the world,” he says.


Some of the interesting investments

Anil talks about his most successful investments, “Oh, it's too early. So, there are two parts, my personal investment during Mumbai Angel time, which I still hold and haven't exited most of them. So, you know, it will be tough for me to give any number. But, some of the interesting investments, what we have made is an OpenBank which is a leading neo-bank company in India, I think they are already touching around 600,000 SMEs in India, best in its category, then we have another company, which is Pharmarack, they today process around hundred thousand plus orders on a daily basis. And these orders are between distributors and pharma retailers. Then we have smart coin, which is in microlending. Of course, we all have seen that it has been quite a tough period for banking and lending companies during the pandemic. But incidentally, the way smart coins have been developed, they had less impact because they're using technology heavily, they were well placed to manage the situation and they were able to take care of consumer interest. And then we have one in cybersecurity, they are not only in India, but also present in the US and the list is long, but I will also add Genrobotics to it. And this company, to my surprise, has grown six times in the last six months and I'm talking real numbers and we still have almost five months left,” he says.


The delivery process has changed with the help of technology

Anil explains the fund thesis of Unicorn India Ventures, “We have now three funds. The first fund is 100 crore where we invested in 17 companies and we are tech-focused. We also have a small fund based out of the UK where we have seven companies in our portfolio that are also tech-focused, but then their angle is to look at investment where there is the possibility of doing business in India for those companies. So, we do cross border opportunities there. And the new fund which is 400 crore, which we launched in March 2020, we have made six investments, so, the philosophy or thesis of this fund is to invest in tech-focused, but we try to look at businesses, which, are developed or backed of technology,  technology is either enabler or technology forms a way to disrupt the existing practices. So, to give an example, earlier if you look at cinema halls, the reels were moved from one theatre to second theater and it always took time say half an hour to reach from station to station. And today, you could see the first-day first show at your home and on a choice of your device. So, the entire delivery process has changed with the help of technology. So, our fund is very, very tech-focused, we are sector agnostic, but we don’t look at E-commerce, consumer internet, but we are very focused on businesses which are leveraging digitalization,” he says.


Advice to the early-stage startups

Anil shares his advice that he would like to give the early-stage startups who are looking to open their wings to fly right now, “I would say stay focused, it's a tough time considering current situation which is still very uncertain, and we actually don't know whether this will be there for another 12 - 24 months as it's a guesstimate that in 3 – 4 months we will have the vaccine and even if we have the vaccine, it will take approximately 24 months to roll out across the world as the logistics would be still a big challenge. So all the aspiring entrepreneurs or early-stage companies stay focused, build your business revolving around solving consumer problems, people are willing to pay and experiment, and actually have appreciated the importance of digitization. I will strongly encourage them to make maximum use of digital technology, reaching out to customers and also delivering. So stay focused, be careful, stay safe and stay healthy,” he says.

(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)


Contributed By: Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures
Tags : #medicircle #smitakumar #aniljoshi #unicornstartup #startups #entrepreneur #covid #earlystage #rendezvous

About the Author

Rabia Mistry Mulla

'For vessels to change their course, they have to be hit by a strong wind first!'
So here I am penning down my thoughts on health and research after 6 years of planning Diets.
Being a Clinical Dietitian & a Diabetes Educator I always had a thing for writing, alas, been hit by the winds towards a new course!
You can write to me at [email protected]

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...

Trending Now

PM addresses the Nation today, announces free vaccinesJune 07, 2021
Why inhalers are best for treating asthma, well illustrated by Dr. Anil SingalMay 12, 2021
Dr. Rohan Palshetkar shares his invaluable insights about the Maternal Mortality Rate causes and improvements in India April 29, 2021
It is important to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards any teenage girl seeking contraceptive advise suggests Dr. Teena Trivedi, Obstetrician and GynecologistApril 16, 2021
80% of the diseases are psychosomatic which means they have roots in the mind and this is where homeopathy steps in - It resolves physical ailments by finding the cause in the mind – Dr. Sanket Dhuri, Consultant Homeopath April 14, 2021
A futuristic Vision of a Healthcare Entrepreneur: Shyatto Raha, CEO, and Founder of MyHealthcareApril 12, 2021
Saher Mehdi, Founder and Chief Scientist at wellOwise talks about aspects making healthcare more equitable and reachableApril 10, 2021
Wide variety of therapies to address autism in children explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 09, 2021
Allopathic and Homeopathic medicines should not be taken together says Dr. Sunil Mehra, Homeopath ConsultantApril 08, 2021
The charm of homeopathic medicine is that it can be taken with conventional medicines – Dr. Shruthi Shridhar, Consulting Homeopath April 08, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder and associated concepts explained by Dr. Vinod Kumar, Psychiatrist and Head of Mpower - The Centre (Bangalore) April 07, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 05, 2021
Sehat Ki Baat, Karishma Ke Saath- Episode 6 Healthy Diet For Boosting Metabolism Which Can Help Thyroid Patients April 03, 2021
Significant Pointers on Kidney Health by Dr. Santosh Waigankar, Consultant Urooncologist and Robotic Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani HospitalApril 01, 2021
Dr. Vaishal Kenia, Ophthalmologist Talks About the Different Possibilities Available for the Treatment of Glaucoma Depending Upon Their Type and SeverityMarch 30, 2021
No Definitive Role of Diet in Treatment of Lymphedema but Intake of Calories, Salt and Long Chain Fatty Acids should be controlled says Dr. Ramani CVMarch 30, 2021
Dr. Kiran Chandra Patro, Senior Nephrologist Talks About Dialysis as the Temporary Process and Not a Permanent Cure for the Patients of Renal DysfunctionMarch 30, 2021
Two out of three new chronic kidney disease patients are found to have diabetes or hypertension informs Dr. Sreeharsha HarinathaMarch 30, 2021
Glaucoma Treatment: Medications or Surgery? A valuable piece of advice from Dr. Pranay Kapdia, Chairman and Medical Director of Kapadia Eye CareMarch 25, 2021
Dr. Shraddha Satav, Consultant Ophthalmologist Recommends that Everybody After 40, Should Go for the Complete Eye Checkup at Regular IntervalMarch 25, 2021