Rather than trying to define what constitutes leadership, it would be easier to say that you are a leader when you are committed to doing the right thing over the easy or best-for-you thing, and of doing this irrespective of how hard it is.
Living up to his words above, Chairman Emeritus of the Indian Conglomerate, Tata Sons, Mr. Ratan Tata continues to provide his active support to the Indian startup ecosystem. He has now joined the technology venture capital firm of India IDG Ventures India's advisory board as a Senior Advisor. Earlier this year, he has joined Kalaari Capital as advisor and Jungle Ventures as ‘Special Advisor’.
Similar to his roles for the other two venture capital firms, Mr. Tata will be advising IDG Ventures India and portfolio entrepreneurs on its overall business strategy(including business growth, global expansion) and strengthening the organizational leadership ( i.e. team building and leadership). He will also be a special invitee, on selective basis, in portfolio company board meetings on strategic matters.
Sudhir Sethi, Founder & Chairman of IDG Ventures India Advisors believes that Mr. Tata is an icon when it comes to business leadership in the new age India and his rich experience in building businesses and expanding globally from India is of immense value to the portfolio companies.
In its 9th year of operations, IDG Ventures has advised investments in 50 companies, committing over Rs 1,000 crore in the Indian early stage technology venture capital market. IDG Ventures India is an early investor in some of the leading players like Myntra, Lenskart, Zivame, Vserv, Manthan, Perfint, NestAway, Hiree, and Uniphore among others. The VC firm has had successful exits including, Manthan, IVIZ and Myntra acquisition by Flipkart. IDG is one of the most active seed/series A investors in the country.
Mr. Tata has been actively contributing to the Indian startup ecosystem after stepping down from his active rle at Tata Sons. Here’s a brief account of Mr. Tata's investments in startups(India and abroad):
- March 2014: Altaeros Energy, a wind energy company formed out of MIT, Boston receives additional funding from RNT Associates, a company owned and controlled by Ratan Tata after stepping down from Chairmanship of Tata Group.
- August 2014: Made his maiden investment in Indian startups with backing one of the largest ecommerce players of the country, Snapdeal.
- September 2014: Invested in another Kalaari backed online jewelry shopping company Bluestone
- November 2014: Made a personal investment in online furniture company Urban Ladder
- December 2014: Affordable healthcare services startup Swasth India raises Rs 2 crores from Ratan Tata
- February 2015: After raising $50M from Hong Kong-based investors, Cardekho announced stratetig investment from Ratan Tata
- March 2015: Alibaba backed Paytm secures undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata
- March 2015: Ratan Tata buys minority stake in the non-banking finance company of Grameen Capital India(GCI)
- April 2015: Ratan Tata becomes the first Indian to invest in world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi
- May 2015: After getting 113 no from investors, Kaaryah founder Nidhi Agarwal gets a yes from Ratan Tata
- June 2015: India’s billion dollar unicorn Ola receives the backing from Ratan Tata
- July 2015: Healthcare startup Lybrate raises $10.2M from Ratan Tata and others
(Disclaimer: Mr. Ratan Tata is an investor in YourStory Media)