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Straight Talk with Mohandas Pai: From founding team DNA to data monopoly to Twitter trolls

Dipti Nair
22nd Dec 2018
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Mohandas Pai

Here’s one straight talk that does not mislead. There are no ifs and buts, just plain talking. And who better to do that than IT veteran & tech investor Mohandas Pai in conversation with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma.

From being one of the most awarded CFO of the country to being the most active builder of India's startup story, Mohandas Pai is relentless in his passion. He can be sharp and come across as stubborn, but with him, you get what you see. There’s no beating around the bush.

Watch this engaging conversation laced with unmatched wisdom, insights, and passion.

The conversation circles all aspects of the tech and startup ecosystems from what it takes to form an ideal founding team (a visionary, a hacker, and a hustler), to the need to guard against data monopoly, and the quality of debates on social media.

Talking about the startup ecosystem, Mohandas Pai believes though we are the third largest startup ecosystem in the world today, it is still early days. He tells Shradha Sharma,

“Today, there are 20 unicorns in India. In the next two years, 10 more will join them. By 2025, there will be 100 unicorns. India has come to a stage where more and more capital is coming in.” 


Mohandas Pai: an ecosystem enabler

Mohandas Pai, who has a rich career in the technology sector in India, is also credited with playing a strategic role in transforming Infosys into one of the world's most respected and widely known software services companies as its CFO from 1994 to 2006.

He has since been actively working with regulators to improve the business ecosystem in India and often takes up its causes with the government as he did on the recent angel tax for startups

On the contentious issues of Aadhar and data privacy, Mohandas Pai says he strongly supports data privacy and believes data monopoly is the most dangerous aspect of the digital age.

Watch this next video in which Mohandas Pai gets candid about his ideology, his views on the government, and social media attackers.


Mohandas Pai also works with the Union government and state governments in the fields of education, IT, and business. His work with decisionmakers to improve the quality of education and availability of skilled manpower is held in high regard.

He has also served as a member of the Board of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from 2012 to 2016 and was recently appointed as the head of the panel formed by SEBI to study the impact of fintech on the securities market.

(Disclaimer: Mohandas Pai backed 3one4 is an investor in YourStory)

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