Second generation industrialist Abhijeet Pai joins 9Unicorns as a Partner

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Abhijeet Pai, a Hyderabad-based second generation industrialist, has joined India’s leading accelerator 9Unicorns, as a Partner.

Abhijeet comes from the Puzzolana Group — a 50-year-old business house with interests in Engineering, FMCG, Dairy Industry and special grade metals.

Speaking on Abhijeet’s association with 9Unicorns, Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Founder and Managing Partner at the year-old-accelerator, said, “We are proud to have Abhijeet Pai as our esteemed partner. His over one-and-half decade of experience in managing large businesses will help us in better sourcing of startups and develop them into leaders in their respective ventures. This also marks Abhijeet’s transformation from being an industrialist to a strategic partner with a keen focus on early stage as an asset class.”

Abhijeet is one among the new age investors and entrepreneurs who have either started their own family offices or funds, or partnered with venture capital (VC) firms to help fulfill the ecosystem’s need for strategic early-stage startup investors.

In his 15 years of experience, Abhijeet has handled a business conglomerate, backed over 25 start-ups and three funds since 2014. With his vast operational knowledge in managing businesses and operations, Abhijeet will help 9Unicorns’ portfolio companies in their growth plans to become product or market leaders, based on their core competency. He believes that India, with its strong entrepreneurial spirit, is uniquely positioned to solve global needs thanks to its young tech savvy population.

“I am a firm believer in India’s robust startup ecosystem. I entered into the startup world in 2014 with a start-up called WedMeGood. Ever since, I have invested in multiple other startups as an investor, be it Logicmatter which is disrupting the data analytics space or VanLavino, which is setting benchmarks in the patisseries domain. The journey has been one filled with hard work, joy and growing returns,” says Abhijeet.

Abhijeet believes in, “catch them young” which requires a lot of focused engagement with entrepreneurs. For him, embarking on new journeys with entrepreneurs allows him to better understand new age trends and think out of the box — a trait that is often useful when working with other businesses.

“I admire the aggressiveness, variety, brand, approach of sourcing and funding philosophy of 9Unicorns that has become a preferred choice for many many seed stage startups. As a Partner at 9Unicorns, I bring my experience of growing, managing large businesses and turnarounds of businesses in stress at the most crucial times to the accelerator. To me, Indian startups have a mammoth opportunity to service the 1.3 billion strong market. And I hope to back more market and product leaders with 9Unicorns ,” Abhijeet said.

He further added that it is also time to consolidate and become a fund partner with more focused stakes in a segment, class or theme that is targeted for early-stage success, as opposed to being a limited partner and angel. Abhijeet is also of the opinion that more and more family offices should join hands to further boost and make India the world’s largest start-up ecosystem.


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