(SAQ) Should ask Questions for Entrepreneurs

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(SAQ) Should ask Questions for Entrepreneurs

  May 28, 2018

If you’re an entrepreneur you most likely have an unwavering passion for innovation. You see the world in a positive way and think about the massive opportunity for improvement. These are vital qualities to being successful. However, if you want this year (and following years) as an entrepreneur to be spectacular, you need to develop the skill of asking great questions. If you want to shorten the learning curve, and grow quickly, keep reading. Below is a list of the important questions every entrepreneur must ask themselves, if they want to be successful in their ventures.

What Does Success Look Like?

You need clarity of vision for success. The reason for this is simple. Once you know exactly what you want (and we mean you must deeply know how the final vision plays out) then you can begin making decisions which move you towards your vision. You will start to see the world in simple terms like: “Does this action help me move towards my vision?” If yes, then take action. If no, then take no action. Write the grand vision you have and make a plan for achieving it, even if the plan is rudimentary, you’ll find the process of planning to be helpful!

What are my limiting beliefs?

“Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss,” according to Elon Musk. We think this represents the struggle of what an entrepreneur will face over his/her lifetime. Many successful people often say the gift of entrepreneurship is in the journey, not the outcome, because you get to see a side of yourself you never thought possible. Often, entrepreneurship is a spiritual journey, because leaders will gain insights into their own strengths, weaknesses, unique opportunities, and vulnerabilities. Your job is to find out what your limiting beliefs are, the hidden operating code you have, and eliminate them from your decision making process.

Does my product or service solve a problem or address a real need?

Peter Drucker, the father of modern consulting, once said: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” What does this mean for you? If your product or service truly solves a deep seated need for the consumer, you’re almost guaranteed success because you’re providing real and tangible value to the world. Often, entrepreneurs fall in love with their idea, instead of doing the hard work of finding a real addressable problem. Don’t fall into this trap.

Who are you going to put out of business and why?

This sounds harsh, but business is a competitive landscape full of obstacles. Unless you’re creating a truly innovative company, meaning you’re first to market (not always a great thing by the way…) you’re going to have competition, and this means you will go toe-to-toe with a competitor for marketshare. It’s best to ask this question early, because at least you won’t be caught blindsided by someone trying to take you under, and you can be on the offensive. Plus, you’ll find out quickly if you have the stomach for business.

What do you stand for? What are you against?

If you want loyal employees and want to be a great leader, you must have a higher “why” outside of making money or gaining market share. Take a lesson from history; Napoleon, the brilliant French general from 1801-1815, was fighting not for personal glory, but for the freedom of the French people from an oppressive government. His men and women stood by his side through chaos because he stood for a principle universal to them all. What does your business stand for which inspires employees to keep pushing when they want to quit? More importantly, what does your business promise to fight? Answers to these questions will reveal an internal motivation you probably never knew existed!

Am I tracking my progress correctly?

We saved this question for last because we think it’s the most important. Tracking your progress is the single greatest action you can take in terms of return on investment. The cost is nearly $0 and the reward is almost exponential. You will gain insights into your hidden patterns you didn’t know you had. For instance, every business needs to track where their money is being spent and the consequences of the spending. The same can be said for every relationship and interaction you have too.

Are you Happy with your Answers to these Questions?

If you’re happy with your answers to the above questions – that’s great news! In our experience, exceptional entrepreneurs are always questioning the status quo. At the Tandon Group we’ve partnered with and invested in dozens of companies over the last two decades, having met with massive success along the way. If you believe your startup is poised to be the next household name, reach out to us. We’d love to be your partner for the road ahead.

Tandon Group(SAQ) Should ask Questions for Entrepreneurs

Your Startup Will Probably Fail… And That’s Okay.

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Your Startup Will Probably Fail… And That’s Okay.

  May 15, 2018

You’ve probably heard the saying that “90% of startups fail.” Well, after tracking over 27,000 startups over 20 years, Cambridge Associates says that the amount of startups who provided less than a 1x return to investors has not risen above 60%, on average. The failure rate peaked around 2000 and the failure rate topped out around 79%. Either way you look at it, even at its worst, the startup failure rate was never more than 80%.

So why do people keep repeating the “conventional wisdom” that 9 out of 10 new businesses fail? It may be to lessen the blow when new startups inevitably do fail, it may be because people actually haven’t looked into the numbers, or it may be to discourage people from taking risk. Regardless, the fact remains, if you start a company the odds are against you. On a purely statistical average, there’s a 60% chance that your company is going to provide less of a return than any amount of money put into it.

Top reasons why startups fail

If you read our previous blog post- common issues we see in startups today – you’ll see that the top 6 most common causes for failure are:

  1. Your product or service doesn’t solve a problem or address a real need
  2. You are unable to sell your product or service
  3. You don’t have enough money to expand and grow your business
  4. You have no true leader to shape the vision of your company
  5. There’s no differentiation between you and your competitors
  6. You don’t care enough about the customer experience or customer service

Almost all of the reasons that a startup fails can be categorized into one of those 6 issues. It can be very difficult for a first-time entrepreneur to avoid these common pitfalls because most people do not truly learn something until they experience it firsthand.

REAL reason startups fail

Almost all of the problems we listed above arise from lack of experience. That doesn’t mean that first time entrepreneurs can’t be successful. It simply means that it’s hard to foresee all the potential troubles that lie ahead until you’ve been there before. Experienced entrepreneurs anticipate running into these problems and proactively build their organization to overcome them.

There are two ways to overcome a lack of experience. The first is to simply go directly into business and learn along the way, anticipating inevitable failures. Most failure is not permanent or catastrophic and therefore, can be learnt from. The second way, to make up for lack of experience, is to learn from others. Build a team of experienced people around you that can help you navigate the complicated start up process.

Why failure isn’t the “end of the world”

Failure is never permanent unless you quit. An entrepreneur can always try again. As long as you are ethical and moral, people will not negatively judge you for an earnest attempt. If you tried your best and failed, try again. As long as you keep your reputation intact, there’s no need to fear failure.

Entrepreneurs who failed but tried again and succeeded

There are countless entrepreneurs who failed multiple times before they succeeded. In fact, the majority of great entrepreneurs fail before they meet with success. We think it might be helpful here to highlight some of the more obvious examples of entrepreneurs who failed but got up, tried again, and built a successful company.

Jeff Bezos (Amazon) tried to start an online auction site called zShops, which ultimately failed. Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) created a company called SocialNet, for online dating and social networking, which ultimately shut down. Evan Williams (Twitter) developed a podcast platform called Odeo which didn’t take off. Fred Smith (FedEx) received a poor grade on an assignment from his college professor where he pitched his idea for the future shipping giant.

All of these entrepreneurs have one thing in common, they didn’t give up. No matter what, even if you’re first companies fail, if you try again, you still have the chance to be wildly successful. Our hope is that failure doesn’t keep you out of the game -of entrepreneurship- for the rest of your life.

Are you the type of person that never gives up?

At the Tandon Group we are always looking for entrepreneurs who refused to quit. If you have a company that you think can be the next big success, reach out to us. We’ve invested in dozens of startups across many sectors that have seen success. You can check out our portfolio of companies on our website and read some of their spotlight articles on our blog. If you need capital to grow your company, we’d love to be your partner for the road ahead.

Tandon GroupYour Startup Will Probably Fail… And That’s Okay.

Fictiv: A Startup Funding Success Story

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Fictiv: A Startup Funding Success Story

  May 10, 2018

San Francisco-based Fictiv, a distributed manufacturing company, continues to offer excellent 3D printing, urethane casting and CNC machining services to companies all across the United States, and venture capitalists are taking notice. Since 2013, Fictiv has been a game changer for the next generation of great American companies prototyping, manufacturing, testing and redesigning parts. You might call them the “Airbnb” of manufacturing.

Since our last update on the startup’s funding status, Fictiv announced a Series B funding of $15 million dollars to further expand its Virtual Manufacturing Platform.

Over the past year, Fictiv has used venture capital to:

  • Quadruple their worldwide network of manufacturing partners, bringing the number to over 200.
  • Expand manufacturing capabilities to support production volume for CNC, urethane casting and injection molding.
  • Open new offices in Guangzhou, China to meet customer demands for production parts.

In addition, Fictiv is constantly developing new collaborative tools to drive efficiency into the manufacturing process and give engineers their time back. They recently rolled out their new Workspace app, where hardware teams can collaborate on projects, provide design feedback, resolve issues, and manage file revisions.

Fictiv’s vision from the beginning has been to democratize hardware development, which means improving access to manufacturing while reducing the time it takes to bring products to market. Their extensive customer list now includes Silicon Valley’s top product companies in the automotive, medical robotics, aerospace and consumer electronics markets. Read the full press release and contact Fictiv for a free quote today.

Fictiv: A vision that is catching startup investors’ attention

Tandon Group: Startup Investors with a Vision

At Tandon Group, we know it takes more than a good idea to make a startup succeed — it takes investors with a shared vision. If you have a vision and a startup seeking funding, reach out to us. Tandon Group is always looking for innovative new portfolio companies that need startup capital to grow. While we focus on the EMS, IT, wireless, defense and consumer industries, we are open to hearing any promising company’s pitch. We hope to hear from you soon!

Tandon GroupFictiv: A Startup Funding Success Story

Indian Crowdfunding Opportunities

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Indian Crowdfunding Opportunities

  May 4, 2018

Prior to having a proof-of-concept, raising capital for your startup can prove very difficult. Most professional and institutional investors want to see working products and market validation, before they’re willing to invest any capital. This can turn into a paradox — you need money to build your initial product or service but you can’t get money without having an initial product or service. There are ways however, to raise capital and prove your concept, at the same time.

Enter crowdfunding

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding essentially lets you raise money from future customers (or fans), prior to building your product or service. These micro investors, commonly known as “backers”, pledge money to your cause in exchange for one of the first products, to gain access to your work before anyone else, to be recognized as a backer, or any number of other creative reasons. 

Why has it become popular?

Crowdfunding has become popular in recent years due to the fact that you can start a company and prove the concept, without risking almost any assets. Another reason crowdfunding has become popular is that you do not give up any equity in the company in exchange for the money. Therefore, a successful crowdfunding campaign means you get the necessary capital to build your product or service and you still maintain full control of your company. These factors make crowdfunding a great option for products or services that serve end consumers. 

What opportunities work best for crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is most viable for B2C companies because of the fact that you need a large consumer base to be able to pledge money to your project. B2B companies usually have limited success using crowdfunding because there is not a large consumer base to get backers from. However there have still been some B2B crowdfunding success stories such as Bitvore. Some of the best crowdfunding campaigns of recent history have included 3D printers, vaporizing pens, short movies/documentaries, smart devices, electronic gadgets, and other consumer goods. 

How crowdfunding can help you land future funding

Crowdfunding platforms are one of the best arenas for startups to prove their concept. When you’re able to induce 10,000+ backers to pledge hard-earned cash to your product or service, this is a great sign for the viability of your company. Angel investors and venture capitalists love to see a successful crowdfunding campaign because it means that there is a real need or desire for your offering. Most successful crowdfunding campaigns will not have a hard time raising further venture capital if they’re willing to exchange equity for it. 

How to spread the word about your crowdfunding opportunity

There’s a million ways to get the word out about your crowdfunding opportunity. The most successful strategies involve some sort of social virality. Ideally, you have a initial niche base of people that you can market your project to who, in turn, will share it with their friends (who may not be immediately involved in that industry). If you want more in-depth knowledge on how to spread the word about your crowdfunding project, take a look around online as many comprehensive guides have been written. 

List of crowdfunding companies in India:

Financing After Crowdfunding

If you’ve run a successful crowdfunding campaign and are looking for further capital to expand your business, the Tandon Group can help. We’ve invested in dozens of startups in the technology, wireless, consumer, defense, and IT industries. We’ve had successful exits and are always looking for the next promising startup. If you believe that your company is going to be the next household name, reach out to us. We’d love to be your partner for the road ahead.

Tandon GroupIndian Crowdfunding Opportunities

Is An Indian Tech Bubble Going To Burst?

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Is An Indian Tech Bubble Going To Burst?

  April 26, 2018

It’s been almost 20 years since the infamous “tech bubble crash” of Silicon Valley. In the late 1990s, companies were raising hundreds of millions of dollars before ever turning a profit and it seemed that every week a new tech stock was going public. In those periods of hyper growth, when capital was easy to acquire, the only focus seemed to be acquiring new users. Founders forgot that at some point they had to turn those users into revenue.

In recent years, as more and more Indian consumers adopt mobile technology, (and gain access to the internet) Indian entrepreneurship has seen exponential growth. With near-zero interest rates in the United States, a heavy inflow of available capital has been seen in the Indian startup scene. Some economist think that this is a sign that India is undergoing the same sort of tech bubble the United States went through in the early 2000s. In this post, we’ll discuss whether or not India is in a bubble situation.

Why do bubbles happen?

In simple terms, “bubbles” happen because overvalued startups focus on growth over revenue. The market eventually catches up, realizes that these companies are vastly overvalued, and stock market corrections force the value of these companies to plummet.

One major difference between the United States tech bubble of the early 2000s and the current Indian startup ecosystem is that many of the American tech companies were in the public sector while the majority of the Indian startups are private companies. This makes it harder for markets to accurately gauge the value of a company because there are no regulatory requirements to publish company financial information. That being said, we can still look at private companies, compare them to the market they serve and see very troubling signs of overvaluation.

Signs of a bubble in India

One example of a potential overvalued startup is Flipkart. Flipkart is similar to Amazon and Snapdeal in the fact that it is an e-commerce platform. As of last year Flipkart had approximately 45% market share of the e-commerce industry in India. The overall value of the entire e-commerce industry in India is approximately $15 billion… Flipkart was recently valued at $15 billion dollars. You can see the obvious problem here. Flipkart only holds a 45% market share but is valued at the same amount as the entire e-commerce industry. How is this possible? Companies like this are either overvalued or convincing investors of future value they have yet to realize. The valuation estimates could simply be wrong as well.

Fear of Missing Out

Another contributing factor to the potential overvalued startup landscape in India is something that all humans face, the fear of missing out (FOMO). FOMO is inherent in almost all human beings. We don’t want to watch someone else do something fun, exciting, and amazing, and not participate in it ourselves. The startup frenzy in the United States from the mid-1990s until now has shown the rest of the world the power behind technology and the way it will affect the entire world in coming decades.

While the United States got to experience the internet in its dial-up form, where a telephone landline was required, much of the developing world completely skipped landlines. With the emergence of strong mobile technology, consumers in all areas of the world can now have access to the internet without the expensive infrastructure that was needed 20 years ago. This transition is manifesting itself everywhere, especially in the fact that India will see more people come online in the next 10 to 15 years than any other country. As we said before, most of this growth is not coming from urban areas but rural areas, where the infrastructure simply did not exist before.

Public Consensus

In a Youth Survey by HT and MaRS, 20.8% men and 21.2% women say indian startups are in a bubble that is going to burst. While this is not a majority, that still means that one out of five Indian consumers believe that large tech company valuations will soon be declining.

Let’s take a look at what start up company executives think themselves– Nearly 65% of startup executives and founders believe that Indian startups are in a technology bubble and 18% of them feel that the bubble is close to bursting.

Fund Raising

Last year, ninety four percent of startups looked to raise outside funding. What does this mean for the future of startups in India? Well, for starters, this means that company founders look at internal organic growth as a non-viable option for building their company. While angel investors and venture capitalist can certainly expedite the growth of a startup, companies like Zoho prove that building successful companies does not require outside investment.

Taking on outside investments often means spending money on things that don’t really matter. While it can be nice to have company t-shirts, branded merchandise, fancy offices, free lunch, free events, and all other sorts of company perks, none of these things actually makes your product or service any better.


A tech bubble bursting in India isn’t going to send shock waves through the economy worldwide, like that of the US in the early 2000s. Many companies made it through the crash and are now global superpowers that lead technological innovation. At the Tandon Group, we believe the same thing will happen in India. Companies that are not truly worth what investors are paying will eventually come to realize their true value while great companies will grow and prosper regardless.

At the Tandon Group we’ve invested in dozens of startups we think are poised to meet with success in the coming years. That being said, we are always on the lookout for the next great, innovative company. If you think that your startup can be the next great success, reach out to us. We’d love to be your partner for the road ahead.

Tandon GroupIs An Indian Tech Bubble Going To Burst?

India is Now the Second Largest Internet Consumer in the World, Thanks to Smartphones

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India is Now the Second Largest Internet Consumer in the World, Thanks to Smartphones

  April 10, 2018

How did India become the second largest internet consumer in the world, second only to China? The answer, simply put, is widespread access to economically priced smartphones and cheap internet plans. Indians can now purchase decent mobile devices for just $20, which means that even the estimated 200 million Indian citizens who live without electricity can connect to the worldwide web.

A Mobile Revolution

In the year 2000, India had just 10 million internet users, according to CNN. That number skyrocketed to 462 million by 2017. What caused such a monumental leap? First and foremost, there was a constant decline in smartphone prices, fueled by fierce competition among mobile developers. In 2016, an Indian company called Ringing Bells launched the Freedom 251, dubbed the “world’s cheapest smartphone”. With a 4-inch display screen and a design reminiscent of an iPhone 4, the device cost just $3.60. The website selling the phones crashed on opening day due to demand. However, the country’s best selling devices are mid-range units priced at around 4,000 rupees, or about $60, still low by US standards.

Free 4G Service

 In 2016, India’s most wealthy man, Mukesh Ambani, launched an initiative that would cause wireless usage data soar to unprecedented numbers in just one year. The founder of Reliance, India’s largest company, Ambani unveiled a new network called Jio, aiming to provide 4G data services all across India. Remarkably, Reliance designated a whopping 20 billion dollars toward the project, building 45,000 mobile towers in just 6 months. Then, in an effort to jump-start the network and entice more consumers to come online, Jio offered 6 months of free 4G data service. Subsequently, the number of Jio subscribers increased by 10 in just one year, to an estimated 160 million in December 2017.

Number One In Mobile Data

In just one year, India went from 155th place in the list of countries with the most mobile data usage to number one. On December 21, 2017, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, sent the following tweet:

Amazing! With 150 cr gigabytes per month of mobile data consumption India is now world’s no 1 mobile data consuming country. Its mobile data consumption is higher than USA & China’s mobile data consumption put together.

 It was indeed amazing, and the mobile consumption revolution will do much more than simply allow more Indians to create facebook profiles and connect with each other on WhatsApp. Mobile phone use will influence many other sectors, including the digital commerce market, and digital payments. Businesses small and large will be able to reach more consumers through online advertising, and pull in larger profits through internet sales. The digital payments sector is expected to climb to $500 billion by 2020.

Number One in App Downloads

India is also now the world leader in app downloads, generating $2.7 billion in global app revenues. According to the State of App Marketing in India report, India had over one billion app installs, four billion app opens, 950 apps, $400 million in-app revenue, and 40 million retargeting conversions from January 2017 to January 2018. However, there is room for improvement in India’s app longevity rate: it is estimated that 32% of installed apps are deleted with 30 days.

Effects of the Mobile Revolution

The mobile consumer revolution in India could also have a dramatic effect on India’s population in the education, social, and medical fields. Educational apps marketed to children have potential to foment literacy and encourage learning. Language learning apps may help Indians communicate with others and succeed in both university and business settings. Healthcare apps, now growing in popularity in India, allow consumers to compare the prices of medicine. This is extremely helpful in a country in which citizens must shoulder most of their own healthcare costs.

Many hope to see new innovations in technology arise from India’s smartphone boom, which could be shared with the rest of the world, and subsequently help millions of Indians achieve greater financial stability.

Have an idea for an app or looking for angel investment? Contact Tandon Group at to be considered as a candidate for our investment portfolio.

Tandon GroupIndia is Now the Second Largest Internet Consumer in the World, Thanks to Smartphones

How Indian Entrepreneurs Are Changing The World

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How Indian Entrepreneurs Are Changing The World

  March 29, 2018

Entrepreneurs are the people who move industries forward. Without entrepreneurs, innovation would come to a halt and large, bureaucratic corporations would only make small, incremental improvements. From our point of view, entrepreneurs are some of the most important people in today’s society. Today we’ll present a list of just a few Indian entrepreneurs who are changing the way we live.

(*We exclude Tandon family members and focus on other entrepreneurs in this post)

Kunal Shah

Kunal Shah is the co-founder of Freecharge, along with Sandeep Tandon. Freecharge is an e-commerce website headquartered in Mumbai and provides online facilities to recharge any prepaid mobile phone. In April of 2015, Freecharge was acquired by Snapdeal for approximately $400 million (US) and has been referred to as the second biggest acquisition in Indian history.

Mobile technology is one industry most poised for rapid change as a large base of the indian population are now using mobile devices. Faster wireless internet will provide enormous opportunities for new companies to provide innovative products and services that a +1 billion person market will have access to.

Girish Mathrubootham

Girish Mathrubootham is the founder of Freshdesk, (now Freshworks Inc.) one of the leading customer support software systems on the market today. With over 100,000 customers (including Toshiba, Honda, Sony Pictures, Cisco, and many more) Freshworks is poised to be one of the leading business software companies in the world.

Business software is one industry where startups are creating positive change because old players, like Microsoft, Oracle, and others, are slow to implement change. They provide legacy software that is years behind where it could be. These large companies take too long to adapt and therefore open up space for new companies to come in and capture market share.

Azim Premji

Azim Premji, known informally as “Czar of the Indian IT Industry”, started from humble beginnings after taking over his father’s cooking oil business and turning it into one of the largest IT companies in the world. Western India Vegetable Products, which was the company his father founded, made the transition to the Information Technology field after Azim came back from Stanford University and changed the name to Wipro. There was substantial opportunity for growth when IBM was forced to leave India, leaving a large vacuum that needed to be filled.

Azim is now the second richest man in India with reported net worth of $18.3 billion dollars. Information technology is still a field ready for disruption because of the ever-improving nature of technology. Essentially, every one to two years, new and more powerful technology is introduced to consumers.

Sridhar Vembu

Sridhar Vembu is the founder of the Zoho Corporation. He has been the CEO since 2000 and is famously known for turning down venture capital money and building his company internally. Sridhar proves that it’s possible to grow a large tech company (that can compete with companies like Oracle, Salesforce, QuickBooks, and Microsoft) without taking on large amounts of venture capital.

In business software applications, customer support is often a neglected aspect customers are forced to deal with. Zoho prides itself on being one of the only companies that puts customer service above everything else. Instead of relocating and building his company in Silicon Valley, Sridhar decided to stay in India. He built his company locally by teaching High School students how to program and then hiring them as developers himself.

Kailash Katkar

Kailash Katkar is the founder and CEO of Quick Heal Technologies LTD. Quick Heal is one of the pioneers of research and development for the IT security industry. Quick Heal offers antivirus protection for PCs, laptops, Macs, and smartphones. They also offer enterprise IT Security Solutions for larger companies that can protect an entire work force.

IT security will be one of the most important sectors needing innovation in the foreseeable future. Large scale IT hacks, like the recent Equifax breach, show just how important security can be. Over 143 million Americans had their confidential information stolen by hackers who were able to break into Equifax databases. A large scale breach like this could happen in India as well, which is why investing heavily in IT security will be a top priority in coming years.

Will you be an influential Entrepreneur?

If you’re working on being an influential entrepreneur yourself, the Tandon Group wants to help you along the way. At the Tandon Group, we’ve invested in the dozens of high-growth startups in the wireless, consumer, defense, and information technology sectors, across the globe. We’ve had successful exits and helped grow companies to millions of users. If you know your company has the potential to be the “next big thing”, reach out to us. We’d love to be your partner for the road ahead.

Tandon GroupHow Indian Entrepreneurs Are Changing The World

How To Prepare For An Investment Meeting

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How To Prepare For An Investment Meeting

  March 20, 2018

This post is going to focus on the mental aspects of an investment meeting, over the technical aspects surrounding your company. If you’d like a more technical breakdown of necessary components to bring to an investment meeting, go to our checklist on raising startup capital. As far as this post is concerned, these are the task you need to do to be mentally prepared to tackle an investment meeting confidently.

Keep in mind that, no matter what, you’re almost certainly going to be nervous going into your investment meetings. The best advice we can give is to reframe ‘nervousness’ as ‘excitement.’ If you’re excited, as opposed to nervous, you’ll perform better. The physical feeling is almost identical.

That being said, here’s our list of things to do before meeting with your first investor:

Anticipate questions

Before stepping foot in an investment meeting you obviously want to know what questions they might ask you. Having answers to difficult questions prepared proves to investors that you actually thought your idea through. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have perfect answers for every question but at least having an answer means you’ve anticipated difficulties and planned ways to overcome them. In every business, there’s going to be difficult questions and sometimes investors simply ask a question to see how you approach a problem. There have been countless articles written online about the different questions investors will ask you.

Brainstorm objections

After anticipating questions, investors will almost certainly object to some of the answers you give. You need to anticipate these objections and have counters available, so you can build your argument. An investment meeting can really be boiled down to the process of building an arguing of why your company has the potential to be successful. In most cases, if you can prove your case, you’ll get an investment. The point here is not to be combative or to prove anybody wrong. The point is to show you’ve really grappled with the potential difficulties that lie ahead.

Memorize answers

There’s no use in anticipating questions if you’re unable articulate your responses when the time comes. After you’ve thought of answers to all of the most common questions you might encounter, you need to commit those answers to memory. Ideally, if you’ve been working on your company for any length of time, you have mentally addressed these problems many times in the past and the answers will come second nature to you. If you’re having a hard time committing your answers to memory, it may not be the best time to be looking for an investment.


Building upon the last point, the best way to commit your answers to memory is to rehearse them. You should use a co-founder, a friend, a family member or anybody else that you can trust to help you rehearse questions and answers, back and forth. Many people find it helpful to start with a mirror and simply practice with themselves before they move on to live practice.

Research investors

Knowing about the investor(s) that you’re pitching can be one of the easiest ways to gain confidence before an investment meeting. Get beyond the basics of where they’re located and who they are. Figure out: What is their typical investment size? What are the type of companies they like to invest in? What are some companies they’ve invested in in the past? What big successes / failures have they had? Basically, look for anything that you can leverage as a positive to help sell your vision.

At the Tandon group, we’re currently looking for promising startups who are looking for investment capital. If you believe your company is on the verge of becoming the next big hit, get in contact with us. The Tandon Group has invested in dozens of startup companies and has seen some resounding success in the past. We hope that your company will be her next big success and we’d love to be your partner for the road ahead.

Tandon GroupHow To Prepare For An Investment Meeting

Top 6 Quotes From Indian Entrepreneurs

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Top 6 Quotes From Indian Entrepreneurs

  March 13, 2018

Advice and wisdom from entrepreneurs who’ve accomplished what you want to accomplish can be invaluable. Their experience can help you avoid major pitfalls and mistakes most young entrepreneurs make. One of the entrepreneurs on this list is actually a founder that we’ve invested in at the Tandon group. We can vouch for the fact that his advice is sound, and necessary, to build a successful startup.

Here are our top six quotes from Indian entrepreneurs on how to be successful starting a company:

 “If you fully accept the worst that can ever happen in your journey, fear won’t ever be an obstacle in starting-up.” – Kunal Shah, FreeCharge

Freecharge is actually a company we invested in (a co-founder of the company is also an owner of Tandan Group). You can see their profile on our businesses page. Kunal Shah gives us an insightful piece of wisdom with his words about accepting fear. Every entrepreneur that we have ever worked with experiences fear on some level. The highest-performing entrepreneurs accept that fear and don’t let it hinder their performance. In business, as in life, fear means you are pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. As the popular saying goes, “if you want to accomplish something you’ve never done before, you have to start doing things you’ve never done before.” Doing new and unfamiliar things is almost certain to bring fear.

“Ideas are no one’s monopoly. Think big, think fast, think ahead.” – Dhirubhai Ambani, Reliance Industries

It’s important to remember that ideas are unlimited. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you’ve done before in business, anyone can come up with the next breakthrough idea. Where you separate yourself, and become a true entrepreneur, is when you execute on those big ideas. If you’re stuck in the “idea phase,” you need to first realize that all great ideas are thought up by people no smarter than yourself. Everyone (even you) has their own area of expertise and that is where you want to focus your efforts on finding your next startup idea.

“The trench is as much a part of growth and expansion as the peak is. Hitting the bottom before you succeed is almost a rite of passage.” – Dr. Ashwin Naik, Vaatsalya Healthcare

In our experience, there are virtually no entrepreneurs who achieved success who, at one point, did not narrowly avoid failure. Tesla, Freecharge, Virgin Group, Airbnb, Uber, and almost every great startup you’ve heard of, didn’t know for sure if they were going to make it or not. Pushing through periods of uncertainty and potential failure are always going to be necessary if you want to reach success. Most people quit at the first sign of potential failure. You should view this as a good thing because this is where you can separate yourself from the 99% of other “wantrepreneurs” who give up when it gets hard. If you can make it through this, you will almost certainly meet with success.

“Don’t be a jerk. Even if you are brilliant, don’t be a brilliant jerk.” – Girish Mathrubootham, Freshdesk

Many startup founders get infatuated when hearing stories about founders like Steve Jobs. It’s no secret that many people viewed him as an inconsiderate leader. We agree that in order to start and build a company you have to be steadfast in your beliefs but there’s a fine line between being certain about your decisions and being a jerk to the people around you. Sometimes you’ll need to be forceful and convince people to follow your vision but other times you need to know how to be compassionate and see problems from other people’s point of view. Being a leader is always a delicate balance between keeping your team cohesive and leading them toward your vision.

“You cannot get into business for the fashion of it.” – Azim Premji, Wipro

It’s no secret that in this day-and-age being an entrepreneur is popular. What most people fail to realize is that, behind the popularity and fan fair entrepreneurs receive, is hours, weeks, months and years of hard work that no one sees or appreciates. Most entrepreneurs forgo security and comfort to build their dream. Everyone likes to celebrate a successful entrepreneur (after they’ve “made it”) but rarely do they think about the hardships that preceded the success.

“Stay focused on effectively solving customer’s problem. The money will come.” – Nikesh Arora, SoftBank

If you read our blog post on the most common issues we see in startups today you’ll notice that the most common issue we see are companies that do not solve a problem or address a real need. Nikesh Arora was the highest-paid executive in the world at SoftBank Corp so if there’s anybody we want to listen to about making money, it might be him. Our experience mirrors his quote because all of our successful investments were centered around companies that solved a real problem.

If you’re a startup founder looking for funding, the Tandon Group might be a great partner. As we’ve said in this post, we’ve helped startups go from initial founding to hundreds of millions of dollars in valuation.  We’d love to help your startup be the next big success. If you want to set up an investment meeting, please contact us on our website. We look forward to being your partner for the road ahead.

Tandon GroupTop 6 Quotes From Indian Entrepreneurs

eComparison: US Vs. Indian Startup Ecosystem

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eComparison: US Vs. Indian Startup Ecosystem

  March 7, 2018

The Indian startup ecosystem has grown into the third largest startup landscape in the world. While the US is still the startup capital of the world, the Indian market has experienced many parallels with its American counterpart. The numbers we’ll discuss in this comparison post will be between 2015 and 2016. These numbers usually increase each year so we expect them to increase this year and next year as well.

Below, we’ll lay out some facts and figures that compare the United States and India to see where they’re alike and where they differ:


India and the United States represent the second and third most populous countries on Earth. Trailing behind China, India and the US rank second and third respectively. India has a population of 1.19 billion and the United States is a distant third with 311.1 million people. This means that India has approximately 4x as many people as the United States. This will be an interesting fact to keep in mind as we get into the  comparison of startups between the two countries.

Number of startups

As of 2015, the United States had approximately 10 times as many startups as India. The US came in at approximately 47,500 startups while India came in around 4,300. Based on population sizes, that means for every one Indian startup there was 300,698 people. In the US, for every startup, there’s approximately 6,758 people.

Number of investors

The two types of investors we’ll look at are Angel Investors and Venture capitalists. The number of Angel Investors in India was only approximately 300 while the number of Angel Investors in the United States was over 300,000. The number of  Venture capitalists in India was ~156 with total VC funding of approximately $6.5 billion. In the US, there over ~1,300 venture capitalist with over $47.3 billion invested.

Incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces

India is also 3rd overall in the number of startup incubators and accelerators, after China and the US. As of last year, India had 140 incubators and accelerators putting it just past Israel. This still leaves India a distant third behind China and the US. The United States has approximately 1,500 incubators and accelerators.


A “unicorn” is a startup with a valuation of 1 billion dollars or more. This valuation either comes from relative value compared to prior investments (post money valuation) or market capitalization (public market stock value). India had only 10 unicorn companies (though nearly one-sixth of the world population lives in India) – the US had 98 unicorns (with 4x less people).

Government Regulation

India’s rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2017 is 130, out of 189 countries. A look into specifics paints a grim picture: India ranks 155 in the ease of starting a business, with an average of 14 procedures in Mumbai, when the average is 4.8. The US’ performance is better, with a rank of 51, and an average of 6 procedures to start a business.


Marginal corporate tax rates for India and the United States are 38.6% and 38.9%, respectively. The United States ranks third in the world for the highest marginal tax rate trailing only United Arab Emirates (55%) and Puerto Rico (39%). India ranks 12th in the world and 2nd in Asia, after the United Arab Emirates.

If you’re a startup in the United States or India and you’re looking to find a venture capitalist partner, the Tandon group is interested in helping. At the Tandon group we have over 40 years of experience investing in technology startups and growing them into multimillion-dollar enterprises. If you’d like to setup a potential investment meeting, reach out to us on our website. We look forward to being your partner for the road ahead.

Sources: NASSCOM, IMF, Preqin, Tax Foundation, VCVA, ACA

Tandon GroupeComparison: US Vs. Indian Startup Ecosystem