Kalra started his career in exports and set up a leather apparel manufacturing firm that worked with global designers like Donna Karen, Ann Taylor, J Crew, Eddie Bauer, Next and many more. He exited the export industry in 2002 and later worked with a group of investors to promote Assotech Reality and the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies. And for the past three years, he has been a full-time angel investor.
Kalra is candid in his advice for start-ups. “The sooner you realise that you have to be flexible, the better. Your start-up needs to be put before everything else,” he affirms.
Preferred Sectors: Kalra is sector agnostic but likes to work with other angels who have knowledge about the sector in which they are investing. While he sees opportunities in areas like technology and the Internet, he also invests in capex-heavy sectors like infrastructure and warehouses.
Preferred Location: Although companies close to Delhi are preferred, Kalra has invested in start-ups across India, in cities like Bangalore, Pune, Jodhpur, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. He has recently done due diligence on a start-up in Jammu. His international portfolio includes companies in France and Canada.
Involvement: Portfolio companies are free to call Kalra 24x7.
Key Investments: Kalra has made over 24 investments which include Innoveda Biological Solutions, M Power, Kwench, Innovize Tech, Taxspanner.com, Exclusively.in, BuyThePrice.com, Druva and WebKlipper, among others.
Hits & Misses: Kalra says that 85-90 per cent of his portfolio companies are doing well. But he is concerned about one or two his investments.