Entrepreneurship is in their blood – R. Ramaraj, Senior Advisor, Sequoia Capital India

At the end of TiECON media briefing, held recently, I asked R. Ramaraj, Senior Advisor, Sequoia Capital India, if he finds entrepreneurship to be vibrant in Tamil Nadu. Look at what is happening in the cities and towns, going beyond Chennai, he said.

K.P.N. Travels, Ramraj Banians

“Three years ago, we went to Salem and Erode, as TiE, just to see what kind of entrepreneurship is there,” begins Ramaraj. “We met K.P.N. Travels. Peak standard of buses. That story has not been told. We met Ramraj Banians, a fabulous story. Not many people know enough about him. I saw entrepreneurship in farm equipment. These are young entrepreneurs, people who started and built. They have the entrepreneurship in their blood. There is family support in these areas, and they are doing a great job. You should tell their story.”

Lion Dates

Ramaraj also narrated his experience in Trichy, where he had gone to speak at a college on venture capital. “I wanted a local entrepreneur to be present, and so I took Ponnudurai of Lion Dates. That time nobody knew his story in Trichy. He told me, ‘I will speak only in Tamil.’ I said, ‘Please come.’ We went, and I spoke in English, about VC funding and so forth. He stood up and said, in Tamil, ‘Don’t take any money. I built my business from a bicycle, and today I am Rs 600 crore of business.’ Such a nice story, how he built and differentiated his product, and how he built a famous business. The students there were so inspired. Every second sentence they were clapping…”


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