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Anupam Mittal on building successful enterprises, the journey of Shaadi, and the power of AI

Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal throws light on how he built one of the biggest matrimony sites in the country, his investment philosophy, and the role of AI in the coming years, at the grand finale at TechSparks Mumbai.

Anupam Mittal on building successful enterprises, the journey of Shaadi, and the power of AI

Saturday March 02, 2024 , 3 min Read

When it comes to building a successful company, timing is everything, said Anupam Mittal, Founder and CEO of matrimony site Shaadi.com and People Group.

The other factors that play a pivotal role in his investment decisions are team and TAM (total addressable market). And the three things that make a team great are agility, business acumen, and commitment, remarked Mittal, at the grand finale of TechSparks, YourStory's flagship tech-startup event, in Mumbai.

“I don’t think there is any particular formula that has made me succeed in some of my investments. I have been early to the game, [and] that has been a huge contributing factor … I have been opportunistic,” said Mittal.

Citing the example of Apple Inc, he said it became the most successful business in the world not because it made the first hand-held device but because of its timing.

“When Apple launched, the internet on telecom networks was ubiquitous. So, it could have an app store, [and] that made Apple successful,” he explained.

Long before his stardom from Shark Tank India, Mittal had been making category-creating investments. Most of his portfolio companies have grown to be successful businesses, including Ola Cabs, Bigbasket, Rapido, Whatfix, and AgniKul Cosmos.

Mittal, who has over 20 years of experience in the Indian startup ecosystem, believes that, much like his entrepreneurial journey, his “investing journey" too has changed over the years.

Breaking myths

Breaking myths about entrepreneurship, Mittal said fundraising does not guarantee success and entrepreneurship does not equal funding.

Funding has a very short history of just 70-80 years at the most, he said.

Today, capital infusion every six months is celebrated, he added, noting that it means the company is doing something wrong.

“Why does a company need money every six months? It means the company is doing something wrong. Some of the biggest and most valuable companies including Apple and Google have raised enough money but used very little of it,” Mittal said, in a fireside chat with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma.

“Success builds ego, failure builds character,” he added in the context of fundraising.

However, Mittal acknowledged that capital is an important resource and helps with growth and hiring.

Shaadi.com's journey

The entrepreneurship bug bit Mittal very early on in his life when he was a teenager. The first three businesses he started at that time failed, Mittal told the packed audience.

“I blamed India ... Then, I went to the US and thought I'll study here and live the American dream,” he said. “That ended up happening; I became a multi-millionaire by the time I was in my early 20s through stock options and the dot-com boom.”

Then he founded Shaadi.com, one of the biggest matrimony sites in the country today.

“When you're young, you have the drive to build something ... At that time, I was just determined to build a company,” said Mittal.

The power of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be the flavour of technology for the next several years, and India is well suited to capitalise on emerging technologies and deeptech, said the entrepreneur.

Deeptech will not be limited to writing code for software but will also involve solving real problems, he said.

“While India has been left behind in terms of building AI platforms like the various big global firms, India does have the ability to work on something involving languages," he added.


Edited by Swetha Kannan