What if your nascent start-up gets funded by a couple that has had a 100 per cent success rate in building start-ups just as they invest in it?
Yes! There is a couple that has been instrumental in carrying many start-ups from the early stages to a stable successful position and the history has repeated itself for as many as 100 times.
They have outdone themselves as the investors, strategists, managers and mentors of companies such as HCL, Bigbasket.com, BlueStone.com, Avagmah.com, HomeLane.com and Portea Medical when every time they have accounted for complete success of these companies even though all of them are in different stages of their growth.
These are the ones that they are helping to nurture and flourish presently, but there are four other such ventures that they have fostered since the 90s era and that have now become a brand name.
Bangalore-based Krishnan and Meena Ganesh are an entrepreneurial couple who have led start-up beginners to believe that if the companies reach a certain perfection, they can defeat even bigger and more successful competitors. And, this they claim has been the mantra to the success of such companies!
They not only serially launch ventures but are also managing their recently started food services business.
From start-up companies delving in home furnishing and decorating services, food and catering, technology knowhow and cloud computing software to handyman services, the duo takes up fields that are grabbing markets and much of consumer attention and they have fared better than the best as they could sell three start-ups, Customer Asset, Marketics Technologies and TutorVista (set up in 2006 with initial investment of Rs. 50 Lakh) to ICICI Bank for 20 million dollars in 2003, a BPO company called WNS for 63.5 million dollars in 2007 and wait for it….Pearson Group in UK for 213 million dollars in 2011. For Marketics, Krishnan had served as the only mentor, investor and even the Chairman until it got sold.
The BigBasket is currently estimated to be at Rupees 1000 crore whereas an online light jewellery store, BlueStone has seen prime investors such as Saama Capital, Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners and even Ratan Tata. This has been the result of the success of the duo towards marketing and promoting these companies and even nurturing and encouraging their growth. Meena is the founder and the CEO of Portea Medical and spearheaded a 9-million-dollar-raise from big funding partners, the likes of Qualcomm Ventures, Accel Partners and Ventureast in 2013. Even Avagmah has reached a certain level as it is being funded by Capital 18 that is a part of Network 18.
50-year-old Krishnan has a post-graduate degree from IIM Kolkata has successfully funded and taken them from the stealth mode to the zenith and ultimately exited them. Not only this, he has been able to raise capital for all the ventures that he chose to nurture and has paid returns to his investors and employees. He comments on the changes he has experienced in his management journey, saying that the encounters have led him to “become more mature, tolerant and patient” (as reported to SmartCEO.com) , which he believes, involves age more than anything else.
Apparently, Krishnan’s expertise in being serial entrepreneur and business leader comes from his stint at an IT company where he worked in the initial years of his career. Here he came across clients who kept facing innumerable issues with the hardware and maintenance of their computer. He thus became the Founder and CEO of IT&T that was responsible for being a multi-vendor IT service company with 16 offices and 400 employees to his credit.
There are five other companies that they have invested in currently that are in stealth mode where three have already launched, one of them being Freshgrub that caters to the food needs of people at home and office-goers with ready-to-eat food and meal options.
And, this is not all. For 23 start-ups they are angel investors and truly for all the companies they invest in, they are like angels who come and build the company from a stealth mode to a success mode before they exit.
No wonder renowned and revered industrialist and the chairman of India’s biggest conglomerate company, like Ratan Naval Tata has invested in BlueStone after the duo came into picture.
Both HCL that the couple had worked with in the yesteryears and Portea Medical that has been launched in August 2013 have their own stories of relevance to tell. As Shiv Nadar, the founder of HCL explains, “What particularly sets him apart is his ability to constantly accept feedback p- to assess, reassess and introspect continuously and remain positive. Both he and Meena are very quick thinkers too.” (As reported to Economic Times)
On the other hand, with Portea Medical, the duo has been able to generate a technology-based home healthcare services company with a workforce of more than 1000 people and branches in 18 cities where employees make over 25000 home visits every month.
Among the top 5 nominees for the Economic Times Entrepreneur 2012 award, the mentor, incubator, investor and promoter of numerous internet and e-commerce companies of India, Krishnan is now confident and ready to nuture potential ‘billion dollar businesses’ as his and his wife’s future project. The National Knowledge Commission, Govt. of India has honoured him as among the “Iconic Entrepreneurs of India” and he even has been meted out the privilege to serve as a member of the Board of Governors of IIM, Calcutta. Meena, on the other hand, has been the proud winner of the ‘Distinguished Alumnus’ award by the same institute for her very capable skills of leading the operations of several companies and developing markets for the same successfully. She is the only Indian and the first among four women in the Global Retail Council of Tesco to run operations of the company worldwide.
As Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani puts it in clear terms, “they enter a new field, put together a team and inevitably become successful in whichever area they get into.” And yes, they do it with a lot of emotion and enjoy their work!