Unprecedented Work Opportunities for Women in India

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Unprecedented Work Opportunities for Women in India

  August 1, 2018

The Tandon Group strongly believes that social innovation is just as important as technical innovation and has a long history of taking the lead in social responsibility on a range of issues. By developing and applying new ideas about what social values we have and should have, Tandon has not only become a leader in India economically but also politically, using its influence to encourage the country’s growth to the best benefit of all its citizens.

From 1984 to 2000, the Tandon Group became the largest employer of women in the tech sector. Not only did this pave the way for other tech companies to start employing more women, but social innovation led to technical innovations and economic advantage for both India and Tandon.

By employing more women, Tandon gained access to a previously untapped source of potential and expertise and this move helped fuel India’s growth into one of the top tech producing companies in the world. Additionally, through positively influencing the Indian Supreme Court, Tandon helped gain women in the technology industry the right to work at night, increasing women’s freedom in the workplace and indirectly improving their living conditions as a whole.

Tandon also used its political influence to help encourage the creation of “tax-free zones” throughout India. These have proved to have had an incredible impact on the growth rate of the Indian economy, increasing production and foreign investment and ultimately driving India into the top ten of the world’s biggest economies.

Time and again, social innovation has proven to be not just the right thing to do, but a key indicator of economic success; by innovating socially as well as technically, the Tandon Group continues to find success and make a difference in a variety of impactful fields. Looking at a problem with innovation and tenacity, both economically and socially, has been a key driver behind Tandon’s past and present successes and continues to push them towards ever greater growth and influence.

Tandon GroupUnprecedented Work Opportunities for Women in India

Should Startups Focus on Growth or Profitability?

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Should Startups Focus on Growth or Profitability?

  May 23, 2018

This question has been asked in every major business on the planet. From concrete manufacturing companies in the 1950s to PayPal in the 1990s, and now the Facebook and Uber empires of today. They created a great product, have started to gain traction, recently got funding, and now they must ask, does the company focus on growth, or profitability? A point needs to be made from the outset: It’s mathematically impossible to maximize growth and profitability at exactly the same time. You’re either doing one or the other, and often it’s these decisions which will ultimately determine the success of your company.

Questions to Consider

First ask this question: “When should my company start worrying about making money?” This isn’t simple to answer because there are many subtle distinctions which need to be made for a right answer to appear. Are you a business-to-business (B2B) company? What is the economy like? Are you a first mover? Have you already achieved funding and is it easy to get additional funding? What are your personal goals with this business- are you trying to run a global company or a niche money-making side business?

Based on the above, if your company is business to consumer (B2C) than it’s smart to focus purely on growth. Reason being is the consumer behaviour is notoriously fickle while corporate behavior is relatively static. This means a B2C company needs to pour money into advertising spending while locking down their user base. Let’s look at Facebook as a case study.

When Facebook initially started they didn’t have a clear revenue model but the executives did know they had something groundbreaking on their hands. They reasoned it was critical to gain the user’s first, in massive spending sprees for growth, and would figure out the revenue model second. Thus, the Facebook advertising platform was born, and out of it a multi-billion dollar revenue stream.

Money for Growth

Let’s look at this problem from a different angle. We already asked if there was easy access to capital, either in the form of private equity or venture capital. Now, let’s assume you decide to pursue an investment from a private equity fund. If you do this they’ll most likely lay down the business with debt in long or short-term loans. Now, if you’re a tech company it’s not smart to go down this route, because tech companies generally need to focus on user growth. However, if you’re company is building a physical product, then going through a private equity firm might make sense.

Rules of Thumb

If you’re a technology company that requires user interaction for viability, than obtaining users should be your primary goal because the greater volume of users you have, the greater amount of time people will spend using your product. Thus, it’s in your interest to focus on rapid growth from the outset with plans to weather unprofitability. Eventually you’ll have to monetize but it can be unwise if done too soon or before critical mass adoption.

Second, if your company is developing physical products which are capital intensive and growth is achievable, but at a slower rate than profitability will be your best option. Reason being is that your company’s main goal will be reducing costs of production for goods sold, which inevitably leads to greater margins. Your massive growth will come from an initial public offering (IPO) which infuses the company with liquid capital which can then be used for greater growth down the line.

If you’re a startup looking for resources to help you succeed, Tandon Group has provided numerous startups with business advice and funding support for over four decades.

To learn more about our company, please contact us.

Tandon GroupShould Startups Focus on Growth or Profitability?

Tandon Group Sponsors 2017 USC Global Conference in Tokyo

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Tandon Group Sponsors 2017 USC Global Conference in Tokyo

  September 1, 2017

Conferences are one of the best ways to network and conduct business development in any industry. Tandon Group has been attending conferences for the better part of 40 years. Many of the connections and business opportunities that turned us into the company we are today were created at industry conferences.

As a way to give back, Tandon Group is sponsoring the 2017 USC Global Conference. We are sponsoring because our directors, Sandeep, Jaideep, and Sudeep Tandon, all attended USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. USC has been a leader in tech innovation for decades and has produced some of the best engineers in the world. Here’s all the information you need to know about the conference:

Who’s gonna be there?

Previous years conferences have had over 700 attendees from every industry imaginable. USC’s Global conference attracts so many world-class businesses, technology, education, and finance leaders because of its rich history as a world-renowned University.

This year’s conference will have many distinguished speakers including:

  • Kazuo (Kaz) Hirai- CEO of Sony Corporation
  • L. Max Nikias- President of the University of Southern California
  • David H. Petraeus (Retired General), Chairman of the KKR Global Institute and venture capitalist
  • Midori Goto- world-renowned violinist

You can see the full list of speakers here.

What’s taking place?

At this year’s conference, you’ll be able to see special keynote speakers, watch multiple sit-down interviews, attend lunches, dinners, and numerous networking opportunities. There are very few places where you get so many like-minded individuals in a room together. This is an opportunity for people from every sector to get together and uncover new opportunities to expand and grow.

You can see the full schedule by visiting the schedule of events here.

Where’s the conference?

At the Grand Hyatt Tokyo located in the Roppongi district.

You can explore the surrounding area on Google Maps here.

When is the conference?

The 2017 Conference will take on September 21-23, 2017.

Add it to your Google Calendar here.

Why should you go?

As we said at the beginning of this blog post, conferences are one of the best places to grow your business and expand your network. This year’s USC conference will be one of the largest in history. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity that could transform your business forever. If you’ve ever wanted to mingle with high-level executives and decision-makers, this is the place to be.

While you’ll still have to exercise your networking muscle, putting yourself in a position to grow is the only way you’ll meet valuable these connections. Even after factoring in conference tickets, airfare, and hotel accommodations, one valuable connection could produce an ROI far in excess of what you spend to attend.

Aside from business networking opportunities and the conference itself, you get to explore the Tokyo metropolis landscape. Tokyo is the largest city in the world with over 33 million people. For many people, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a city you rarely get to visit.

How to sign up!

If you’d like to attend, you can sign up for the event by going to the USC Global conference website and registering here. We hope to see you there!

To read the original article, please click here.

Tandon GroupTandon Group Sponsors 2017 USC Global Conference in Tokyo

FreeCharge: Incubated Idea to India’s Biggest Online Acquisition

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FreeCharge: Incubated Idea to India’s Biggest Online Acquisition

  August 1, 2016

In April 2015, online marketplace, Snapdeal, bought Tandon Group portfolio company, mobile recharge app FreeCharge, further strengthening its position as a long term power player in the consumer internet space in India. FreeCharge is Snapdeal’s biggest acquisition to date and projects to add a substantial volume of transactions occurring through its platform by the end of the fiscal year.

Incubated by Tandon Group

Encouraging entrepreneurship amongst its employees, and mentoring talent for the future is Tandon Group’s passion and in the case of FreeCharge, the Tandon team nurtured the idea since inception. FreeCharge co-founder, Kunal Shah, was running Tandon Group’s business process outsourcing company in Mumbai and he became fascinated with customer behavior after reading a book given to him by U.S. based director Jaideep Tandon – The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

Kunal then approached the head of Tandon Group, Sandeep Tandon, with an innovative idea built around customer loyalty – a rebate program for the Indian consumer called PaisaBack. It was designed to drive foot traffic to the growing organized retail segment in India. The program was successful but scaling operations was not easy. This drove Kunal to pivot and build a program on the backbone of the rapidly growing mobile phone market in India. This became FreeCharge.

“I knew that over 90% of all Indians using a cellphone had a prepaid plan that constantly needing refilling. I was always a postpaid consumer and never knew that recharges were that big,” said Kunal.

Incubated by Tandon Group, and later funded by leading venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Kunal and Sandeep began building out a platform to allow for online recharge in 2010, encouraging users to participate by offering coupons of equal value for each recharge.

Launch and Early Struggles

FreeCharge launched its recharging platform on August 15, 2011. Sandeep was able to leverage his extensive network and bring on McDonald’s like the launch partner merchant. The company built up a large customer base very quickly. Before too long they were handling over 10 thousand transactions every day. This early success brought with it some challenges.

“The technology platform was built in a hurry. Our users were experiencing failed transactions as we tried to grow faster,” says Shailendra Singh, a managing director at Sequoia Capital India that served on FreeCharge’s board.

The company was still attracting new users, but it couldn’t grow because it simply didn’t have the technology to handle a higher transaction volume. It spent several months in this stalled state until it rearchitected the whole platform and moved a substantial portion of its operations to Bengaluru to be closer to young, talented engineers.

Scaling for Rapid Growth

Sandeep and Kunal quickly realized the need to bring in the right talent to scale. Freecharge rounded out its executive team bringing on industry veterans to serve in key positions of COO and CEO. Among them, Alok Goel, former COO of RedBus. With the re-engineered platform and Alok at the helm, FreeCharge started to really take off in late 2013. The company began to market more aggressively and achieve wider brand recognition around the country.

In January 2014, FreeCharge launched its mobile app. At first, the app only accounted for 10% of transactions, but it grew exponentially throughout the year and now accounts for over 70% of total volume. After a new round of funding, FreeCharge was preparing a multi-year growth strategy to double or even triple its user base of 20 million people.

It had quickly become India’s most transactive e-commerce site with close to 500,000 transactions a day.

Snapdeal Acquisition

Around the same time as the new investment deals closed, Kunal received a call from Snapdeal CEO, Kunal Bahl. Kunal B. met with Kunal S., Sandeep, and Alok at the Sahara Star Hotel in Mumbai, and the subject of an acquisition came up almost immediately. The company leaders focused on the fit between the two companies.

“The first question that came to our mind was of synergy between the two firms,” says Alok. “We did not want one plus one to be two but 11.”

On the other side of the table, Kunal and Snapdeal were thinking not just about FreeCharge’s current user base, but also its potential to grow and expand into new categories. They viewed it as a critical tool to drive long term user growth and engagement.

While FreeCharge is now part of Snapdeal, it will retain its name, brand identity, and leadership.

To Tandon Group, the acquisition of FreeCharge represents another kind of success: that of vision, incubation, mentoring and fostering next-generation innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within its own ranks.

Tandon GroupFreeCharge: Incubated Idea to India’s Biggest Online Acquisition

Must Know Business Terms for Startup Founders

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Must Know Business Terms for Startup Founders

  June 1, 2016

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, at one point, you may need funding. You will need an amazing pitch to obtain seed through Series B investments. To do this you must know the language every venture capitalist uses. Below are the most common terms every startup founder should understand. Who knows, maybe knowing these words going into your next pitch will get you the funding to launch the next big thing!

Accelerator (“Incubator”): A center where startups are mentored by other successful entrepreneurs who guide the founders through the development of an idea to launch, and sometimes beyond!

Burn Rate (Runway): A term to describe how quickly you are spending money in comparison to how soon you believe the startup will break even, or more importantly, generate a profit. Normally the burn rate is a financial projection based on current spending and applied probability decision making.

Early Adopters: A savvy person in your marketplace who will use the newest and greatest product or service available. Read the highly recommended “1,000 True Fans” blog post for a clear meaning of early adopters.

Exit Strategy: A term every startup founder needs to know. This is an explanation of how, and when, you plan to sell the company. Who is going to buy your company, and why? Your investors are in the game to make money, and you will increase your odds of funding by having the exit strategy thought through.

FMA (First Mover Advantage): First mover advantage means you have a product that will create a new market or industry. It takes incredible innovation to get the first-mover advantage, but if you have this then point it out immediately.

Freemium Business Model: This is a business model pioneered by applications and software. The business releases most of its products for free to the public in order to gain market traction. They then upsell the customers who want the updated or more advanced version.

IP (Intellectual Property): This is anything from a patent to a trade secret — like the formula for Coca-Cola — and can be a vital asset to your startup. For instance, Google has IP in the form of their search algorithm.

Loss Leader Pricing: Selling a product at a loss with the expectation of getting repeat business from the initial customers. Normally this would be recorded as a marketing expense when doing the financials.

Market Penetration: This answers the question: “How much of the market can you acquire in (period of time)?” Every venture capitalist requires startup founders to understand the market thoroughly enough to make this prediction.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product): First coined by Frank Robinson, and then popularized by Eric Ries, MVP is the bare-bones version of a product you think will provide a proof of concept. The MVP will generally give you an answer to whether your idea is going to work or not.

Pivoting: Generally means a move from one market segment to another. Say from early adopters to the mass market.

Responsive Design: A term used for software development. It means your web app is responsive to desktop, tablet, and most importantly mobile screen sizes.

ROI (Return on Investment): A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. ROI measures the return in relation to investment. To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment, and the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

Split Testing (A/B Testing): A way of conducting controlled experiments with the goal of improvement. This marketing methodology is frequently used to test changes to signup forms, registration pages, calls to action, or any other parts of a website where a measurable goal can be improved.

Term Sheet: A document that outlines what investors are going to receive for providing an investment in your startup. If you get this congratulation, you’re well on your way!

Valuation: This measures the total value of your startup. For instance, say you get an investment for $2 million for 20% of your startup. The startup’s valuation would be a total of $10 million.

Value Proposition: The elements of your product or service consumers would be attracted to compared to your competition.

Hopefully these terms help you better understand the startup culture, and the language venture capitalists use. If you have a startup, Tandon Group wants to work with you! We’ve had successful exits and helped grow companies to millions of users. Reach out to us if you think your company is the next big thing!

Tandon GroupMust Know Business Terms for Startup Founders

Should Ask Questions (SAQ) for Entrepreneurs

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Should Ask Questions (SAQ) for Entrepreneurs

  May 1, 2016

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 GroupShould Ask Questions (SAQ) for Entrepreneurs

How to Prepare for an Investment Meeting

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How to Prepare for an Investment Meeting

  March 1, 2016

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 argument 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 to 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

Checklist for Raising Startup Capital

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Checklist for Raising Startup Capital

  September 1, 2015

Raising capital for the first time can seem daunting. If no one on your founding team has done it before, you’re bound to make mistakes. The only thing you can do to calm your nerves and feel more confident is get as prepared as possible. Luckily, most VC’s and angels have similar needs when it comes to the information they want to see before making an investment.

Here is a list of items we like to see at the Tandon Group before we consider investing in a company. While some startups will have more concrete information for each item on this checklist, you simply need to do your best to flush out your company’s position on each of these items:

  • Company Overview: Your overview should be an overarching description of your entire business. It’s usually best to complete this part of your preparation after you’ve gone over the rest of this checklist. The company overview will be a shortened version of the main points contained here.
  • Physical Location: Where is your company located? How many locations do you have? Where do you plan to open new locations? Is your team all “under one roof” or remotely based? Basically, spell out where and how your company is operating.
  • Founding Team: Most investors are looking to invest in a team of founders. While this isn’t a definitive rule, it’s usually a best practice to find someone who has complementary skills to your own. If you’re a coder or an engineer, you should find a business savvy co-founder (or vice versa).
  • Product Demo: At the very minimum, if you’re not a seasoned entrepreneur with past successes, you need to have something to show an investor. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as your final product but it needs to capture the essence of what you’re trying to do. Ideally, it proves your concept viable.
  • Addressable Market: You don’t want to go into an investment meeting saying that your addressable market is the entire world. You need to have a specific target audience, at least for your initial marketing efforts. Who is most likely to use your service? What’s their age, gender, interest, demographics, etc?
  • Problem/Solution: This goes hand-in-hand with your addressable market. Now that you know who you’re serving, what specific problem, need, or desire are you going to solve? The number one mistake we see entrepreneurs make is they create a product or service that no one actually needs or wants.
  • Business Model: How are you going to make money? You can start a business and not immediately monetize your user base but, eventually, you’re going to need a way to make it sustainable. Your product demo should align with your business model to show how you’re going to generate revenues and profits.
  • Competition: There’s a common saying, “business is cut-throat.” Your competitors are trying to steal your customers, take away your market share, and put you out of business. It’s in your company’s best interest to know exactly who all of your competitors are, where they operate, and how they operate.
  • Financials/Projections: You should always be able to show where you’ve spent every dollar and where you generated every cent of revenue from the beginning of your company’s existence. It’s simply bad accounting if you don’t have records of all the money you’ve spent and made so far.
  • Legal Information: How is your company legally formed? Is it an LLC, corporation, partnership or some other legal business entity? In most cases, you need to have this already setup before you go to any sort of investor because you’re not even going to be able to open a business bank account without having a company formed.
  • Past Funding: If you’ve raised money in the past this is going to be one of the first things investors are going to want to know. What was the last funding round valued at? How much equity was exchanged for what amount of money? What kind of shares and what sort of control do the previous investors have? These are all questions you going to need to make sure you have answers to.
  • Future Vision: Where do you envision taking this company? While most companies will need to pivot and change course multiple times during their lifetime, you should always have some sort of vision that you’re aiming to attain. A compelling vision aligns your employees, your investors, and your goals- so that everyone is on the same page.

If you follow the checklist above, your chances of raising capital for your startup will greatly increase. If you’re a startup founder looking to raise capital, Tandon Group wants to meet you. We have over 40+ years of startup experience and have invested in startups from many different sectors.

We’ve had numerous successful exits/acquisitions and would love for your company to be the next one. Reach out to us and we’ll get back to you with more information about setting up a meeting.

Tandon GroupChecklist for Raising Startup Capital

What to Look for in an Angel Investor

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What to Look for in an Angel Investor

  August 1, 2015

There are important differences between an angel investor and a venture capitalist. For starters, the typical investment size for angels is smaller than that of a venture capitalist. In general, an angel will invest between $20,000 and $250,000 (of their own money) in exchange for a private equity position. VC’s pool together resources and invest on behalf of a “fund” in most cases. Venture capitalist (VC’s) don’t usually have a cap on the amount they’ll invest but they have a range they prefer.

Angel investors are more common for early-stage startups because these companies (usually) have less of a track record and are still validating their business idea. Angels like investing in early-stage startups because they get in “on the ground floor” and receive a higher equity position.

While the term “angel” might conjure up images of a business savior and someone who whisk companies on to success, the reality is most angel investments fail. Startup founders need to take certain things into consideration before bringing on an angel investor. Remember, this person will be with the company for the foreseeable future.

In this post we’ll look at the most important things you need to consider before taking on an angel:

High-Risk Tolerance

Perhaps the most important thing startup founders need to consider when looking at angel investors is their level of risk tolerance. Startups are inherently risky because it’s almost impossible to know whether or not a company will succeed. There can be indicators of success but only time will tell. Angel investors that don’t have high-risk tolerance can cause all sorts of problems for startup founders.  In general, you need to make sure your potential angel is in a position to lose their entire investment. While your goal is to make the company a huge success, you can’t risk having an angel investor breathing down your neck, asking when they’re going to get their money back.

Long-Time Perspective

If an angel investor expects to get their money back in 6 months or less, you need to take that as an indicator they’re not the right investor for you. Professional angel investors know that it can take multiple years before a startup provides a return on investment. Having a long-time perspective means that an angel investor’s willingness to wait years before even anticipating a return. Be upfront with any potential angels and let them know that you’re in this for the long-haul. It can even scare off potential angels if you tell them that you’re going to pay them back in an unrealistically short time frame.


One common theme seen in successful entrepreneurs is that they almost always have regrets about equity and control. While you have to be willing to give up some amount of control to raise capital, you also don’t want to give up too much control before you know where your company is heading. If an angel investor is overbearing on the amount of control they want, sometimes it’s best to simply pass on that angel.  Before ever going into any investment negotiations, make sure that your startup co-founders are clear on the amount of control you’re willing to give up.


A less quantifiable benefit to bringing on an angel investor is the professional connections they’re able to provide to an early-stage startup. Startup founders should reach out to angels who have specific industry connections in the field that their company operates in. An angel who has 10 years of experience in your field is far more valuable than an angel who has 30 years of experience in a completely unrelated field.  Do background research on any angels you’re speaking with and figure out who they know and how long they’ve known them. Tools like LinkedIn, Google, and good old-fashioned telephone calls are your best bet here.

If you’re a startup founder looking to find potential angel investors for your company, Tandon Group might be able to help. Tandon Group has invested in many startups over the last 30+ years and is always interested in meeting new startup founders (even if we don’t invest ourselves). We have one of the strongest networks of Indian and American entrepreneurs in the world. If you want to find out how we can help, reach out to us and let us know what you’re working on!

Tandon GroupWhat to Look for in an Angel Investor

Tandon Group’s Global Impact Since 1978 Until Now

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Tandon Group’s Global Impact Since 1978 Until Now

  July 1, 2015

Founded in 1978 by M.L. Tandon, the Tandon Group has grown to become one of the most influential and important companies in India. The zeal for technological and social innovation found at the heart of the Tandon Group is a product of its beginnings and the personality of its founder.

In 1960 M.L. Tandon arrived in the U.S. with just $12 to his name, determined to attend university and forge a career to help his family. Despite his limited resources, he gained admission into Howard and paid his own way through college by working in the service industry before joining IBM after graduating. It was these early successes born of hard work and determination that taught him to tenaciously pursue success at every level of his career.

After a successful career in the American tech sector he decided to return to India, determined to use his hard-won knowledge and expertise to improve the lives of his family and others in India. Tandon Magnetics was formed in 1978 with the help of his brothers and the support of the rest of his family, soon finding success manufacturing the first floppy drive for the IBM PC.

Since then the Tandon Group has gone from strength to strength, partnering with global brands and developing strong partnerships to support new business expansion in the emerging Indian market. Working with a zeal for innovation born in its founder, Tandon today works towards social innovation as well as technical with a legacy that includes helping grow India’s technology sector and to help increase the acceptance of women employees within the industry.

Tandon GroupTandon Group’s Global Impact Since 1978 Until Now