The startup ecosystem in India was at a nascent stage when I had moved back to India in 2006. Today, India is the fastest growing startup economy and ranks third globally with 4200 technology startups (NASSCOM report). The VC industry in India has challenged itself to drive disruption and help the startup ecosystem thrive. Large global investment funds are actively betting on high-growth Indian startups and there is a keen interest from many more. Back then, there was hardly any talent to hire for VC firms from the local community. Most of the early entrants into Venture Capital firms were those who had worked abroad and returned to India.
The rapid growth of the startup ecosystem and the success of Indian venture-backed startups has created a growing interest among young professionals in pursuing a career in entrepreneurship and venture capital. Even global funds venturing into India are striving towards building local on-ground teams that understand the nuances and complexities of the Indian ecosystem. I have long believed in the need for developing local talent that understands the India opportunity. However, for people looking for jobs in a VC firm, there are only a limited number of roles available and access to them is typically extremely difficult. Not only is there a huge gap in skill sets when it comes to venture capital hiring, the path to getting the right skills, qualifications, and experience is not clear.
All these factors combined provided an impetus for us to launch the Kstart Fellowship program. The Fellowship program aims to nurture a pool of achievement-oriented individuals to become future leaders in the venture capital and entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the apprenticeship model at its core, the Fellowship program combines structured learning with real, hands-on experience, and provides an opportunity for Fellows to work with some of the most sought after leaders in the industry. Kstart Fellows will gain significant industry experience, benefit from meaningful mentorship, and grow their professional networks. The program is designed to boost Fellows’ insight and understanding of the Indian startup ecosystem and gain all the skill-sets that can be applied to further their career ambitions.
“Kalaari has been a pioneer in venture capital in India and has supported many young entrepreneurs in their journeys. Startups are extremely important in shaping India’s economic story and venture capital plays a critical role in that. I’m glad Kstart is launching the Fellowship program to nurture future leaders.” - Ratan Tata
Over the years, I have come to realise the value diversity brings to a team. A group of peers from diverse backgrounds can come up with very effective solutions that may not be thought of in a conventional setting. Venture teams today are very homogeneous. I believe that Kstart Fellowship program could be very impactful in creating the required diversity in venture teams in India.
The ideal candidate for this program is someone who is entrepreneurial in nature, achievement and impact focused, has high leadership potential and demonstrable expertise and interest in areas such as – product, design, digital marketing and storytelling, business, management consulting and finance etc. Interested candidates can apply here. We look forward to hearing from talented and driven individuals to be part of the Kstart Fellowship program.