Startup in 60 Seconds - Anirudh Damani, serial entrepreneur and angel investor


One teacher I remember, and why

In school, it was Mrs Chopra; she was my class teacher, and was instrumental in reaching out to me at a time when I was lost and rebellious.

In college, it was Dr Dan Nuckols, who is the primary reason why I changed concentration from Computer Science to a double major in Economics and Business Administration (Finance). He made complex problems/ theories/ equations so simple and fluid that I fell in love with the human behaviour towards limited resources. He was, and is, mesmerising and open to discussing any new idea or theory. I was notorious for taking every single course he taught at Austin College.

One most valuable work lesson, thus far

Take advice from everyone, but assimilate and implement the advice that is given from someone who you aspire to be; read books/ articles if you don’t have someone you aspire to become in your life.

One thing I look for the most in a new recruit

The willingness to take risk. Are you open to work for performance pay? Or, will the base be the compelling reason to change jobs? If you don’t have the belief in your ability to earn a high pay through superior performance, how would I be comfortable paying you what you want?

One thought from a book I am currently reading

I’m reading ‘Simply Fly’ by Captain Gopinath, and I believe it should be read by every single Indian studying in college and wanting to become an entrepreneur some day.

Captain Gopinath narrates his personal story, in which he starts from a small village and convinces you that you can do what you want and start from wherever you are today and touch the sky (and he did!).

One tip for time management

Neither you nor I can predict when our time is up – so in my opinion managing your time is the most futile thing in the world.

During a leadership training in Chicago, we were taught the importance of “When you’re there, be there” - and that’s my time management mantra.

One key thing in my fitness routine

Get the services of professionals to help with your fitness. Like you hire a CA to do your books, hire a trainer and a dietician to help with your body.

Also, I seriously recommend getting a food allergy test done – certain foods seriously hamper your metabolism and should be avoided.

One signal that tells me there is a problem

My mentor always told me, “Numbers tell a story”. So I spend a lot of time looking at the KPIs and their trends.

One technique for handling anger

Anger is the satisfaction response to specific stimulus that needs to be identified to avoid trouble in current life patterns. Changing this thought pattern is something I learnt at Neuro Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner course that was done by Sue Knight in December 2012. Certainly recommend anyone who is interested in understanding their own mind to do one such course.

One essential ingredient in my investments

Either you build a moat or flatten the playing field.

One good thing about the new generation

They are born without shackles and without the burden of my generation from the early 80s. They choose not to believe in the limitations, and that in itself is the India Growth Story for me.

One worrying thing about the young

We have lots of young people getting educated but very little getting taught. Teaching is what tells you what the difference between right and wrong is. How does one cultivate the right habits that will take him/ her to their goals? There has to be more mentorship for the young brigade because their energy and enthusiasm, if channelised properly, will reap benefits for the nation, for generations to come.

One thing that clinches a deal

Your passion, zeal, energy and belief. Not just one – all of them.


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