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We'll lend JSW group's expertise to start-ups: Parth Jindal

Interview with Overseeing JSW Venture Fund

Aditi Divekar 

We'll lend JSW group's expertise to start-ups: Parth Jindal

Parth Jindal, son of billionaire Sajjan Jindal, is overseeing the launch of JSW Group's new In an interview with Aditi Divekar, the 26-year-old who is currently in his second year at the Harvard Business School in Boston, says the fund will invest in niche areas. Edited excerpts:

Why are you launching a venture fund now?


The start-up culture is beginning in India and all sectors are getting well connected to the economy through this route. We could have launched this fund maybe one or two years ago and are aware that low-hanging fruits like Flipkart or Snapdeal are definitely gone. We feel there is a lot of opportunity to be captured. So, we've planned to bifurcate a sum of Rs 100 crore, which will initially come from the family, over three years.

JSW Group has always been in the manufacturing segment. What made you look at venture fund?

The fund has the brand name. As an incubator, we will not just fund but will also lend expertise to these start-ups in areas where we already have a strong footing in terms of business. Since we also have a brand name, will be attracted towards this fund. So, it is going to be a combination of funding and offering expertise in businesses we are already present in. That's where will be different from other funds.

Which sectors will you invest in? When will the fund make its first investment?

Education, healthcare, and e-commerce look attractive for investment. Personally, I am excited about opportunities in the wedding market space and small and medium peer-to-peer enterprises. But, I think the easy ideas have gone and now investment opportunities for venture funds are more in the niche areas. The start-up ideas need to be understood better before investing. We have already got proposals from about 40 and committee will be meeting in January to decide on its first investment.

Your growth and expansion plans?

These largely depend on the returns we get from these investments. We have kept a five-year horizon to churn 15 per cent returns at least, on a compounded basis. That's the minimum we are looking at. The fund will mainly invest at the seed level and selectively in the A-series. Once the fund starts generating returns, we can also think of pooling the funding by bringing in other venture capital firms.

By when will we see a proper management structure for the fund and what is going to be your definite role?

The team at the venture fund will include Gaurav Sachdeva, who has been appointed the managing partner of the fund along with Jyoti Kumar Agarwal who is part of JSW Group. My role in this venture fund will mainly be that of 'go-and-no-go' when it comes to deciding on investing in any start-up. I will not have day-to-day involvement with the fund business.

First Published: Thu, September 17 2015. 00:29 IST
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