By
Rajesh Sawhney

Rajesh Sawhney is a key member of the Reliance ADAG leadership team, driving the group’s foray into media and entertainment spanning movie eco-system, broadcasting and new media. He started investing two-and-a-half years ago as some of his friends from Silicon Valley asked him to look at start-ups. He has recently set up Super Angels of India that will see participation of global angels and has already signed five term sheets.

His advice for start-ups is one straight from the heart. “Be authentic, be different. Show your passion in your work and product. Don’t start business just because of the money or just because the VCs are excited about a certain sector/segment,” he says.

Investment DNA

Preferred Sectors: Mobile, technology and education.

Preferred Location: Invests across the world.

Involvement: Sawhney is a hands-on investor and he is not interested in just providing the capital. He is a keen mentor, advising and guiding entrepreneurs.

Key Investments: Sawhney’s first investment was Silicon Valley-based ViKi, an international video site for the best-of-world TV series and movies. Other investments include education firms Speakwell (English training) and Dexl (IIT-JEE coaching for small towns). Sawhney, whose investments are in double digits, has also backed companies like Mobstac and Brand Idea.

Hits & Misses: ViKi, which has expanded globally with its Singapore office, has also raised $25 million from the likes of SK Planet, BBC Worldwide, Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Charles River Ventures, among others. As he invests for at least 3-5 years, he feels it is too early to judge his companies.

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