Entrepreneurs working in mobile-based healthcare services have huge opportunities in India, according to Silicon Valley-based veteran VC investor Vinod Khosla.
Speaking at Khosla Labs IGNITE 2013, the venture capitalist said the startup ecosystem in India is up for a huge growth, and five years down the line, the country will start seeing many growth stories.
“I am amazed by the activities happening in the mobile space in India. It is growing fast and has a huge potential. With the mobile-based healthcare services, we can slash the cost of healthcare by 90 per cent while at the same proving better quality services,” he said.
Khosla noted that internet is another vertical that is creating a revolution in the country. According to him, startups operating in traditional IT-related areas such as machine learning and data mining can also script success stories in the country.
“Almost all innovations will come only from the startup world. There is a tremendous scope for entrepreneurship in India. As Walmart changed the retail sector and YouTube changed the media space, new startups can revolutionise many verticals,” he said. “The world is ripe for innovation. If you have skills, expertise and idea, do start now,” he urged the people gathered at the event.
Asked about Khosla Ventures’ investment strategy, the veteran investor said it is looking for three things: the team, market and willingness to take risk. “I am looking to invest in companies which can create an impact in the society. The RoI is secondary for us. We have made at least 100 investments, but have never calculated the rate of return.”
He advised the entrepreneurs that they should respect others’ opinions and should be ready to be challenged. “As an entrepreneur and investor, I always would like to be challenged and proven wrong. Ego gets in the way of progress. You should accept criticism. When you are proved wrong, you are getting a chance to learn,” he said.
About the startup ecosystem in India in comparison with that in Silicon Valley, he said: “Be patient. The Indian ecosystem will grow slowly. It will not get better overnight. Silicon Valley was created over a period of time. You have to look long-term trends. We have a billion people and a developing economy. However, to enhance growth, you need incubators, mentor and investors.”
Khosla is one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems. He has also worked as a general partner of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In 2004, he launched his own investment firm Khosla Ventures. He has also set up Khosla Labs, startup incubator, in Bangalore, and Khosla Impact, which invests in cleantech solutions starups in India and Africa.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)