I am an Angel Investor and President of the Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now one of Asia’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. I am very proud to say that I built IAN from inception, taking it within seven years to nearly 350 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of 100+ companies across multiple sectors in seven different countries. More recently I managed the operational build out IAN internationally in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country
Tell us about any current projects you are involved with:
I have been associated with the start-ups this eco-system since its nascent stage. For me to develop IAN and move it forward, it was important to understand the gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. IAN has taken a great leap forward step by branching out overseas and creating a niche for itself. We are the first business angel group to set up its operations in the and we are looking ahead to next move into Singapore and other countries. Our biggest strength is the network, which has over 350+ investors across the globe.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
The biggest challenge for me is to constantly evolve and expand my mental horizons.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Personal achievement for me has been two fold.
1. To find my passion and cause in life i.e. entrepreneurship
2. To work with the best in the industry to create innovative platforms such as TiE Delhi, IVCA and IAN – all in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each of them have become institutions which are unique in nature and best in class globally
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?…..
This is a tough question! My guess is I would have been a global wanderer – seeking new experiences and new highs. Constant change is a need so this would have pushed my mental and emotional barriers.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
The biggest inspiration for me are two thoughts: “Never say never” and, “If there is a problem, there is a solution!”
What does the future hold for you?
Exciting times for IAN! I live day-by-day and every day I hope to learning something new. I do know that the past and present have both rocked, so the future has to be exciting, whatever shape it takes!
But the future of IAN is truly very exciting. We undertook a journey uncharted and we are once again taking it into a new paradigm! It’s become an institution and what excites me is that it will be an organisation which will live much beyond me!
About Padmaja Ruparel
Padmaja is an Angel Investor and President of the Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now one of Asia’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas
Padmaja has been a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial eco system over the last 25 years. She set up and operationalised the TiE Delhi chapter, setting it on a sound footing for it to be rated as number one amongst 60 chapters around the world, for the last 4 years. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. In addition she helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on ‘Angel & Early Stage Investing in India’ which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”. Padmaja is actively engaged with the various committees including Ministry of Finance and Security Exchange Board of India.
In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, an US$800mn company listed on LSE (before being acquired by Steria) Padmaja managed recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged the government, employees and clients. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team when the organisation went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.
This article was provided by WeAreTheCity India Delhi Committee Member Ashish Bhardwaj.