Cloud Specialist Janakiram MSV seeks a VC’s mind on Cloud as to how it is viewed by an investor. In conversation with Jishnu Bhattacharjee of Nexus Venture Partners, Janakiram gets Jishnu’s perspective on various facets of the Cloud and which areas are the investor’s focuses. He also finds out what an investor is looking for in a Cloud startup. In an interesting conversation providing a good insight, Jishnu tells Janakiram that an investor’s interest in the Cloud is much beyond it.
How do you see the Cloud ecosystem in 2012 with recession and the state of the global economy?
Cloud is a great vehicle for having a frugal startup. It brings in agility and flexibility enabling on-demand operational expenses instead of upfront capital expenditure.
If you notice the Cloud landscape, there are a few areas which are growing very rapidly: platform, tools, storage companies, big data companies. Going forward, what would you bet on? Which is the most promising trend?
All. There are plethora of opportunities across the stack from infrastructure to platforms to applications to data intelligence. Traditional ways of doing things are up for disruption. Explosion of data is leading to rethinking of how to scale and manage storage at better performance and lower cost. Likewise, networking is getting virtualized to enable better infrastructure scaling. Newer platforms are coming up on the cloud to make application development and deployment much easier. And to top it all, it’s all about how to make meaning out of the deluge data that is getting generated today, whether it be IT log data, or noisy social media data, or retail transaction data. Lots of opportunities exist in how to derive more business insights out of data, and in real-time.
Specific to India, 2011-12 has been good and going forward, what opportunities do you see for Cloud startups in India?
Cloud makes even more sense in emerging economies like India where business needs are changing and growing at a much faster rate, people are more value driven and would love on-demand flexibility that cloud offers. Also there are less legacies for people to migrate from, and hence lesser barriers to adopt the cloud.
For cloud technology start-ups, it’s imperative to have a global outlook even though you are originating in India. You need to have something truly differentiating and globally competitive. You cannot take a view that you are building something for India that already exists elsewhere, the technology needs are secular and companies abroad will enter India to eat your lunch. Likewise, if you have a compelling solution you can build category leading companies out of India that sells globally, gluster and druva are some of the examples.
What kinds of investments can we expect from Nexus in the coming year?
We’re sector agnostic. We do expect investments in 2012 in technology infrastructure, big data, mobility, social for enterprises, e-commerce and also sectors like healthcare and education.
We heard that personally you spend a lot of time with the companies you invest in. So, what drives you as an investor personally?
Our DNA at Nexus is in building companies. We come from entrepreneurial backgrounds, we empathize with entrepreneurs as they navigate through the roller-coaster rides towards building a great company. We see ourselves partnering with, rather than investing in companies.. My thinking is always that our success hinges on entrepreneurs’ success. We help them achieve their dreams and enjoy the journey together!