As an entrepreneur, I have earned lot of recognition and support from the industry. Investing in interesting startups and handholding entrepreneurs are my ways of giving it back to the industry. Having tested the waters myself, I must say that becoming an entrepreneur and having a successful career thereafter is not that easy. However, if an entrepreneur keeps few things in mind there will not be any looking back for him/her. The focus must be on consumers, concept and building a dependable team.

Have an idea? Attract customers first!

You have an idea which you think is the best that an entrepreneur can come up with. Great, but your job is not done till the time you figure out who will be the target audience. So, go out in the field and take their feedback. Meet at least 100 potential customers before you set out on your journey.

Have a stellar team

A good team is the strength of the startup. Investors are attracted to young teams that have the energy, enthusiasm and zeal to solve consumer problems. The team must have a vision beyond the obvious and focus on doing things in a different and fresh manner.

Target large markets and strategise to become the market leader

An entrepreneur must look at building a service/ product that consumers use every day so that it has the potential of becoming a big brand. As founder, you play a completely different role. You are envisioning the company. You are saying that you will disrupt the market you are focusing on. The investor’s role is to help the entrepreneur in achieving this vision. If the entrepreneur is not able to showcase that he wants to be the market leader then it becomes very difficult for anyone to invest in the startup.

Excite the investors

At the end of the conversation, whether it is for 30 minutes or an hour, the investor should be able to share your excitement. If not, then the investment might not happen at all. The conversation should leave the investor with the thought that he should have come up with this idea in the first place. If that happens, the investor will definitely put in money.

(Aprameya Radhakrishna is the co-founder of TaxiForSure. The company was acquired by Ola Cabs in March this year for $200 million (Rs 1,220 crore). Of late, Radhakrisha has been actively investing in startups. He recently pumped in an undisclosed amount in Bangalore-based Vyomo Pte. Ltd, which runs a beauty and wellness platform. Radhakrishna also has positions in Bangalore-based Tsepak Technologies Pvt. Ltd (which runs instant messaging app GoodBox) and foodtech startup Dazo (previously called Tapcibo). The entrepreneur-turned-investor plans to put in Rs 10,00,000-40,00,000 in each startups. However, he has not decided on the number of firms that he plans to invest in. As told to’s Priyanka Sahay.)

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