At TechSparks2021, meet the soothsayer, pioneer, startup godfather Sanjeev Bikhchandani
Followers of India’s startup ecosystem and its internet economy need no introduction to Sanjeev Bhikchandani. But for the uninitiated, he’s the man who started Info Edge, which runs Naukri.com, JeevanSathi.com, 99acres.com, and Shiksha.com, in the early days of the internet in India.
His entrepreneurial journey started in 1990, when the then 27-year-old IIM-Ahmedabad MBA quit his job and started two firms (one of them was Info Edge, which then did salary surveys and consulting); the economic liberalisation policy introduced in 1991 was still a year away, and setting up a business was a ‘nightmare’ as many from that period would swear. But, Sanjeev was always a bold man with a healthy risk appetite.
Fast forward to 1997, Sanjeev launched Naukri.com, becoming one of the pioneers in the internet business in India. A little under a decade from there on, in 2006, Info Edge (Naukri.com parent) listed on the bourses, becoming one of the first internet companies to go public.
The ‘Godfather’ of India’s internet economy has seen it all, from the dot com boom to the burst to Digital India now. Sanjeev has also been godfather, mentor, guide, and investor to several startups and placed early bets on the likes of Zomato and PolicyBazaar. Recently as Zomato went public, Sanjeev’s 11-year-old investment in the company yielded over 1,000x return.
Now, with PolicyBazaar’s upcoming Rs 6,017 crore IPO, Sanjeev may very well be set for another bumper yield. In the meantime, Info Edge Venture Fund, the venture arm of the company has also picked up shares in travel startup Ixigo in a pre-IPO round.
Within the startup ecosystem, Sanjeev is often referred to as the investor with the ‘Midas touch’ and the man with the foresight of a soothsayer, being able to identify opportunities before others. He is a man with an ocean of knowledge and wisdom, when he speaks the whole room listens with rapt attention. So you definitely do not want to miss this legend in action at TechSparks – YourStory’s annual flagship event.
TechSparks 2021, the 13th edition of India’s most influential technology, innovation, and leadership summit will be a six-day virtual event held between October 25 and October 30. It will see leaders from around the globe discuss empowering and enabling the next generation of changemakers from India to take the mantle of innovation forward.
Tune in to catch Sanjeev talk about the joys and pains of being a first mover in various verticals of the internet business and identifying online business trends. He’ll also speak in detail about the Info Edge Venture Fund, the Zomato IPO success, among several other things.
He will be in conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma only at TechSparks 2021, India’s largest all-virtual startup-tech conference from October 25-30, 2021.
For this and a line-up of action-packed sessions, check out the TechSparks 2021 calendar.