Welcome Guest

Home Interviews Emerging  Non Techpreneur  "Quality Work Will on its Own Translate into Monetary Gains"

"Quality Work Will on its Own Translate into Monetary Gains"

In an interaction with SMEntrepreneur, Akash Kapoor, Co-Founder, InfraBuild Venture Partners, talks about his entrepreneurial journey, Indian start-up ecosystem and much more.

Tags: Akash Kapoor, InfraBuild Venture Partners, start-up ecosystem, entreprenerial ecosystem, enery sector, defence sector, healthcare sector

BY Swadha Mishra | April 09, 2014 | COMMENTS ( 3 ) |

Akash Kapoor Co-Founder, InfraBuild Venture Partners

Please give us a brief glimpse of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

InfraBuild Venture Partners (IVP) was incorporated in early 2012 after working on the concept for almost three years. The journey has been exciting, but not without our share of struggle, setbacks and failures.


Initially, the market was skeptical of our survival because of the high barriers of entry that exists in the sectors we decided to operate in - energy, defence, healthcare, financial services and trading. We in our endeavour also made some mistakes along the way, which is a part of the learning curve. However, the experience had ensured that now we have a clear vision and have made our own niche space. It took us more than a year and half to establish our credibility and get our feet firmly planted on the ground.


I have a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Fox School of Business and Management, Philadelphia. After completing my education, I worked with BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse in New York as a part of their energy trading desk. I attribute my interest in oil & gas to the exposure and experience that I gained in New York.


Subsequently, I moved back to India in 2008 and worked for an energy company which was relocating a 100,000 bpd refinery from Germany to India, wherein I was a part of the corporate finance division assisting in raising funds for the project. Further, I worked for a power-trading firm in the corporate finance division again. These two assignments gave me an insight into the Indian energy market.


Both the assignments in India had an element of business development attached to them, which further enhanced my resolve to start on my own. This brought about the difficult decision to quit a high paying, secure job and take the leap towards entrepreneurship.


IVP has two other managing partners with over 35 years of international business experience. The second partner is a retired armed forces officer with masters in defence studies and has considerable exposure as a consultant to various international defence manufacturers. The partnership was a natural progression of working together on assignments in previous firms and common entrepreneur streak. All three partners come from different professional backgrounds. All have in-depth sector knowledge and large networking base which brought several opportunities to a common platform - IVP.


The partners contributed towards a minimum start-up investment to cater for office infrasturcture and initial operating costs. Generally, a start-up takes about an average of 3-5 years to turn revenue positive, but we managed to make our bottom line positive with long- term contracts within a short span of less than 2 years.


Beside experience and know-how, what were the other factors that compelled you to expand IVP operations into different verticals?

Energy, defence and financial services were natural extensions of our work experience. Since defence is a specialised field, the other partner has a degree in defence studies and considerable exposure as a consultant to various international defence companies. I have worked with energy trading desks at several banks in New York and worked for several oil and gas companies. So we understand these sectors.


Along the way, we identified a gap in healthcare services and energy infrastructure that requires consultancy and liaison services as well as trading and sourcing equipment in oil and gas, power and healthcare.


Now when we look back, we see that these verticals are all interlinked. It took us a while to study and understand these sectors, and now we have sector specialists working on all sectors and sub-sectors of each of our verticals. So, all pieces of the puzzle have fit in perfectly.


Do you plan to expand your scope of operation in any other industry also?

At present, we are consolidating our efforts put in over the last two years. We are finalising long-term contracts in energy, healthcare and infrastructure. It’s pertinent to mention here that we operate deep into sectors. For example, in financial services, we have mandates from companies for raising funds, buy-outs and companies seeking strategic investors. We see an immense opportunity, wherein sophisticated investors can create significant value with the current market scenario. This leaves us with very little room to expand further into other industries immediately.


Having said that, we feel we need to tap into the retail side of business. It is rather early days to talk about it, but we are evaluating opportunities in education and retail (both online as well as physically). At the moment, it is at a due diligence stage and we would divulge more once things are finalised.


What were the challenges that you faced initially and in the process of scaling-up your business?

Initially, there was a lot of scepticism about our survival. All the sectors that we operate in have well established players, high barriers to entry and painfully long gestation period. To counter these and more importantly for survival, we took a very methodical approach wherein we undertook a variety of projects that we categorised into short-term, mid-term and long-term projects.


We have taken projects, which were on the drawing board as a concept to reaching a stage where these concepts have been converted into contracts both long term as well as short term. Now that we have reached this stage, the next major goal is to take IVP from a start-up SME to an established major enterprise.


We believe that systems need to be put in place for running of a smooth and successful enterprise. For this, we are ploughing back most of the revenue into the business with an aim to make IVP a formidable enterprise over the next 3-5 years.


What are the emerging trends in energy, infrastructure, healthcare and defence sectors?

Energy: Looking at the last decade or so, there has been a tectonic shift in the equation. Asia, apart from being a major consumer of energy, has also become a major owner of energy assets and provider of energy infrastructure. India and China have taken a stellar role in leading the Asian countries.


Today the likes of Reliance, Essar and Adani are in competition with international energy majors for some of the largest assets globally. This has opened up a great opportunity for auxiliary and support services in upstream, mid stream and energy infrastructure.


Domestically, there is no doubt that there is huge deficit in supply of natural gas for local consumption. While supply is increasing due to various global factors such as shale gas discovery in the US, the problem lies in inadequate infrastructure to transport the LNG from the port to the interiors of the country.


We strongly feel that LNG will play a major role in providing cheaper, greener alternative fuel but we have a long way to go before proper infrastructure is in place. Internationally, we are very bullish on Iraq. As a country, Iraq is operating at 40 per cent of oil production capacity as compared to the pre-war production. This presents a tremendous opportunity in itself in energy and energy infrastructure space.


Infrastructure: Public infrastructure such as airports, public transport systems - including highways and metro has changed the way we commute. I think we have just scratched the surface and with a country as large and geographically diverse as India, connectivity still remains a major issue. The trend for the next decade or two will be to first better the infrastructure in Tier II and III cities, and then improve upon the existing infrastructure in the metros by adding services such as urban rapid transportation systems.


Healthcare: Healthcare industry is currently valued at approximately $80 billion and it is poised to grow at an average CAGR of 21 per cent for the next 10 years touching $280 billion by 2020. This spur in healthcare is not only visible in metrocities but also in Tier II and III cities.


By some conservative estimates, rural India will have a potential requirement of 1.75 million new beds by 2025. Presently, healthcare is a fragmented sector and private equity players have been playing a significant role to spur organic as well as inorganic growth, which has lead to a process of consolidation.


There has also been a phenomenal growth in medical tourism to India as well as exporting healthcare services to countries worldwide especially the African sub-continent and Middle East has accrued exceptional profits in this sector.


Defence: Between 2006 and 2010, India surpassed China as the largest importer of weapon systems. It is no secret that all major defence OEMs are vying for a piece of India’s insatiable appetite for defence equipment. The Indian defence and homeland security market is very lucrative due to the following factors:-


1. India largely has an import driven procurement with almost 70 per cent of the equipment being imported.

2. There has been a recent shift Defence Procurement Policy towards buy Indian which will lead the foreign OEMs to either form joint ventures with Indian partners or do a Transfer of Technology (ToT) to India.

3. The offset requirement of 30 per cent for defence procurement helps in leveraging capital acquisitions to develop the Indian defence manufacturing industry.


Which sectors, according to you, are attractive for investment in India currently?

Although the government could do a lot more in terms of policy, encourage manufacturing, import duties etc, India in itself has a robust market and has its growth story intact. Personally, I feel education and healthcare space is an attractive investment destination both in terms of the domestic investment and return scenario in India as well as exporting our world class services and institution across the globe.


What are your long-term growth strategies to emerge as a leader in the market or to combat competition?

The vision for IVP from the onset is to be a long-term player. We believe that quality work will on its own translate into monetary gains. So our motivation was never to make quick money, but to establish and secure ourselves through well thought out and world class projects.


At times, this approach was used to be frustrating because we were doing some exemplary work, but still the monetary gains were not seen initially. Now, we have established ourselves and made a respectable name for IVP in market and this itself combats a lot of the competition. In a very short span of time, we became the partner of choice of several blue chip companies globally.


What sets us apart from the rest of the competition and has put on the path to emerge as a market leader in our field is the fact that we are prepared to play the long term game.


How do you view the entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem in India?

Intrinsically, we as Indians have been risk averse. Therefore, if you ask a youngster on what his aspirations are – the most likely answer would be towards a safe profession, such as doctor and engineer.


Although this thought process is beginning to change, we still have a long way to go before we catch up with the western world. More and more people are beginning to take the risk and follow what they really want to do rather than following the beaten path.


If we look at the most successful organisations, you will find that world over they have been founded by first generation entrepreneurs like Bill gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.


Start-up ecosystem in India, although at nascent stage, is witnessing very exciting times. Although HNI’s and angel funds have been providing funding for a while, we would like established institutions to incubate businesses as well and look deeper rather than just at the bottom line of a company.


IVP has mandates from many start-ups/entrepreneurial ventures looking for angel funding. Therefore, we have a pulse of what is going on out there. We hand hold them in preparing their Information Memorandums, financial models and introducing them to the right partners to help them grow. So we in a way are incubating many businesses under one umbrella.


How do you act as an enabler/facilitator for individual entrepreneurs and SMEs?

We regularly work with aspiring as well as established entrepreneurs wherein IVP acts as a facilitator/enabler by forming the right partnerships and aligning capital with entrepreneurs and their ideas.


We are consultants to several SMEs as well as large multinational companies thereby, pitching the products and services of SMEs to large multinationals. We also work with several govt agencies internationally, wherein SMEs provide their products and services.


How do you handle business uncertainties like stringent govt regulations, policy changes and tax issues?

We have a two-fold approach to tackle such issues. Since our team has vast experience in these sectors, the regulations have been imbibed in them during their exposure to the sector and we are able to foresee and address uncertainties and pitfalls with regards to businesses that we operate in.


However, we are mindful of the fact that we operate in a very dynamic business environment where regulations, policy, tax codes and business trends are constantly undergoing a change. Hence we have a team of analysts that map the sectors on a regular basis.


We regularly publish sector reports for ourselves as well as our clients. This ensures that we are a step ahead of the game and can be well informed of the regulatory and policy changes and have a realistic view on our projects keeping in mind the operational problems in India.


What is your advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs.

I strongly believe that if you believe in a concept and take it to the market then the market forces in themselves will either validate the concept or teach you enough to tweak it to the needs of the market. So believe in yourself and give it 200 per cent. Be patient and listen to your gut.


Please add your comment

durable New Balance Hombres Real Blanco 574 Entrenamiento

May 31, 2015 at 2:15 am

Admiring the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you present. It\'s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn\'t the same outdated rehashed information. Excellent read! I\'ve bookmarked your site and I\'m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Reply  |  

Nike Air Max 1 Blue Black Is Very Charming

March 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I\'m kinda paranoid about losing everything I\'ve worked hard on. Any tips?

Reply  |  

Free 3.0 V5 White CoalBlack Mens Is Everyone Choice To Buy

March 11, 2015 at 2:57 am

Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I\'m getting fed up of Wordpress because I\'ve had problems with hackers and I\'m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

Reply  |  

Not readable? Change text.

Enter the characters as seen on the image (case insensitive)
  Notify me of followup comments via e-mail   Subscribe for daily newsletter

Related Interviews

Lack of speed, execution is a sure shot killer for start-ups: Livspace's CEO Anuj Srivastava

Anuj Srivastava, CEO, Livspace

Bet it an entrepreneur, early-stage investor or a product manager, Anuj Srivastava does not have to do too many different things to play...

Flintobox: A box full of toys to set your kids' imagination soaring

Arunprasad Durairaj, Co- Founder and CEO, Flintobox

Today’s generation has no time to play. They are burden under the bulky textbooks from the beginning of their school life, leaving...

Edutor is more of a tech company than a content company: Co-founder Ramesh Karra

Ramesh Karra, Co-founder, Edutor Technologies

Edutor Technologies, a next gen EdTech solution, has introduced an Android-based solution on a platform called IGNITOR, which offers...

How Hippocampus is making pre-school education affordable for rural India

Umesh Malhotra, founder CEO, Hippocampus Learning Centres

During the 9 years’ stint at Infosys in US, Umesh Malhotra lived in the Bay Area of California with his wife and five year old son....

Hindustan Wellness: A comprehensive solution for all health and wellness needs

Siddharth Sangwan, Founder, Hindustan Wellness

The concept of a 360-degree preventive healthcare model as a viable business idea had been playing in Siddharth Sangwan’s mind for...

Looking for budget travel? YatraGenie serves as a one-stop-shop for travellers

Renil Komitla, founder, YatraGenie

Armed with an inherent knack for keen observation and market intelligence, Renil Komitla ventured into e-commerce via the launch of...

Govt policies for start-ups are stimulant for better growth: Yogesh Agarwal, Applane Solutions

Yogesh Agarwal, CEO, Applane Solutions

Applane Education is a Cloud ERP that helps educational institutions to automate their processes and thus, enables them to focus on...

How Smartican is changing the landscape of social media

Aastha Almast, Co-founder & CMO, Smartican (2nd from Left)

Founded in January 2013, Smartican is a youth oriented Digital Social Media, Game Development and Entertainment Company. Initially...

Looking for original luxury sedan parts? SparesHub.com ends your search

Tapas Gupta, Co-founder, SparesHub.com

The automobile spare parts replacement market in India is very large, complex and unorganised. The current size of the components...

It's a space age! Startup Dhruva set to privatise India's satellite industry

Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO, Dhruva Space

‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.’ – The popular phrase hold true for 25 year old...

QuizWorks' brand PlayDay using gamification to accelerate enterprise growth

Raj Dam, Founder, PlayDay

Do you think playing games at workplace is unproductive? Think again. Nowadays, more businesses are using gamification tools to train...

Agripreneurs in India need long term visibility of fund: Ashutosh K. Sinha, Villfarm

Ashutosh K. Sinha, Co-founder & Director, Villfarm

Agripreneurs in India have the limited ability to invest and scale up their business. Therefore, they need longer term visibility of fund...

Gigstart: Here is your online party organiser

Atit Jain, Co-founder, Gigstart

Gigstart is a marketplace which facilitates quick and transparent connect between entertainers and party planners. It is first of its...

Ecolibrium Energy thrives on more than 100% YoY growth

Chintan Soni, CEO, Ecolibrium Energy

India has perennially been a power starved country with still 400 million of citizens not having access to power. Constant black-outs and...

Why Shrenik Gandhi quit Future Group to start his own venture

Shrenik Gandhi, CEO, White Rivers Digital

White Rivers Digital is India’s one of leading ROI driven digital agency that provides holistic communication strategies to take...

Kapil Agarwal's bootstrapped start-up UrbanHomez looks to clock Rs 5 cr next year

Kapil Agarwal, Founder & CEO, UrbanHomez.com

UrbanHomez is one of India’s largest online portals for Home Renovation, Design and Décor. It makes hassle free connection...

How Rahul Agarwal plans to build Organic Harvest into a Rs 100 cr venture

Rahul Agarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest

The 31-year-old Rahul Agarwal was an integral part of the highflying world of finance until an entrepreneurial bug bit him. Who would...

If you can dream it, you can do it

Saurav Modi, Founder, Just Jute Products

Like many other aspiring students, Saurav Modi, soon after his post graduation from Christ College, Bangalore, chose to pursue his career...

From a Village School Boy to a Serial Entrepreneur

Krishna Srinivasan, Founder & Chairman, Quest Explore Discover (QED)

Being a son of a village school headmaster, Krishna Srinivasan completed his education from a government school in Trichy. He has...

Witnessing 50-60% growth YoY: Saraogi

Vinit Saraogi, Managing Director, TBD Tradelink

The will to run and grow their own business has taken Vinit (Left) and his brother Bipin Saraogi (Right) quite far. From supplying sweets...

A Taxi Network for All India

Anshuman Mihir, Founder & CEO, MyTaxiIndia

Having the largest taxi rental network across India and with presence in more than 100 cities and connectivity with 48...

Toying With Growth

Sharad Venkta, MD & CEO, Toonz Retail India

Sharad Venkta, MD & CEO, Toonz Retail India, shares the growth path, success through franchising model and more in a chat with...

Innovate and Execute to Survive

Rajendra Rao, Founder, U-Wah Solutions & Co-Founder Madea Creative House

In a tete-a-tete with SMEntrepreneur, Rajendra Rao, Founder, U-Wah Solutions and Co-Founder Madea Creative House, shares his story about...

"Current State of This Market is Extremely Promising"

Sanjeev Mahajan, CEO, Enhance Clinics

Tell us about Enhance. What types of services are provided by your clinic?  Enhance is India’s fastest growing chain of...

Including the Financially Excluded

Ashish Ahuja, Vice President, FINO PayTech Ltd

In an interview with SMEntrepreneur, Ashish Ahuja, Vice President, FINO PayTech Ltd, talks about branchless banking services reaching out...

Cashing in on Car-Sharing

Greg Moran, Co-Founder, Zoomcar.in

How this concept of car-sharing rental service came to your mind? We both were big believers in the car-sharing business model that...

Adding Value to Walls

Mihir Mody, Founder and CEO, Adwallz

Wall posts now have a new address. From the over used online space, the brick and mortar counterpart is now an interesting canvas for...

Changing Indian Trading

Rohit Gadia

Rohit Gadia, CEO and Managing Director, CapitalVia Global Research Limited, turned his passion for stock market into his profession. He...

Teaching for understanding

Divesh Bhatija

Imagine being taught by someone who does not have an opinion about how dumb or smart you are. Imagine understanding everything you learn...

Passion is the key to success

Kanwar Singh

What led to the inception of Synergy Motors? Synergy Motors is about providing premium car rental services for customers who want to...

An eye for research

Vishal Oberoi, CEO, Market Xcel

In a chat with us, Vishal Oberoi, CEO, Market Xcel, gives the lowdown on his company that is enagegd in Research so as to give best...

Entrepreneurial touch

Chetan Indap, CEO, Joule Consulting PVt Ltd

Guy Kawasaki, in his book, ‘Rules for Revolutionaries’, had stated that “People who are crazy enough to think that they...

Restaurant for classy marriages

Zuzer Lucknowala, MD, The Wedding Cafe & Lounge

Smitten by the idea of wedding theme based restaurants in the west while globe- trotting, Zuzer Lucknowala decided to introduce his...

Propelling SME Growth

Pooja Kumar, Founder, SME JoinUp

With a strong urge to build something of value for the SME sector, Pooja Kumar created SME JoinUp. We catch up with her to know about her...

Zooming success

Manoj Gursahani , MD< Manoj Gursahani Vamoose.in

The Vamoose.in website is based on an e-commerce platform developed by renowned European technology company 'EL Media Global'. It...

Business of Loyalty and Gift Cards

Nikhi Dhoka, Director, Unit Solutions

If you want a Loyalty Programme and Card System but do not know where to get the technology, Unit Solutions will show you the direction....

Gems of Jewellery Industry

Praveen Goel, CEO, Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers

Praveen Goel, who excelled in gold import and manufacture of loose diamonds, set up his first retail outlet in Karol bagh which in less...

The Forgotten Heros: Vimanika Edutainment Pvt. Ltd.

Karan Vir Arora, Vimanika Comics

Comics are everyone’s favourite but not many think of publishing them. Vimanika Edutainment Pvt Ltd brings out comics about the...

Connecting Farmers to Consumers

Rajiv Kumar Chugh, Founder, 4 Fresh Retail

4 Fresh brings best quality produce directly from the cultivators to the consumers. The company has tied up with around 5000 farmers all...

Transforming Data to Intelligence

Rajesh Varrier, Founder, Activecubes

Activecubes provides analytics services with associated technology solutions, empowering clients to make the best...

Creating Niche Knowledge Solutions

Sumeet Anand, Founder, Kreeo

While Google and Bing rule the world of ‘search’, Kreeo has a further more specialized offering for information...

Stay fit, the Life Mojo way

Namit Nangia, Founder, Life Mojo.

Namit Nangia who was able to reduce his weight successfully thought of sharing the idea with other people, officially. Hence, he came out...

De-Congestion Drive

Abhishek Rajan, Co- Founder, Easy2Commute.com

In their endeavor to de-congest Delhi roads and provide safe carpooling to Delhiites, Abhishek and Ambrish Co-founded Easy2Commute.com a...

Advertising through all possible avenues

Maninder Singh Sethi, Founder, Excelsior Public Relations

Maninder Singh Sethi, the Founder of Excelsior Public Relations always wanted to leverage various mediums to market and advertise a...

Minding others businesses

Hemang Arun Pandeet, MD & CEO of SiddhiVinayak Astrology Services Pvt. Ltd

Astrology as a concept has existed since time immemorial, but professionalism was never a part of it until Hemant Arun Pandeet arrived at...

The Hub of Masterminds

Mr. Sitashwa Srivastava, Co-founder, CreADivity

Jade Magnet (earlier known as CreADivity) is a crowd sourcing platform for creative services. First-of-its-kind in India, it is an...

Free Copies

Harsh Narang, Founder, PhokatCopy

What is the biggest woe of students? A small amount of pocket-money that gets exhausted getting photocopies! Solution? Harsh Narang,...

By Women, For Women

Revathi Roy, Founder, For-She Travels & Logistics

She started her company when she was in greatest pain, suffering from the bereavement of her husband. She was hardly left with any...

Helping relocate

Abhilash BP, CEO MM Group

Abhilash BP, CEO of MM Group, found a business idea from one of the most common problems that existed for a long time. The solution that...

Pioneering New Media

Aditya Basu, founder of Xtreme Television

Aditya Basu, founder of Xtreme Television, would not have succeeded in his venture had he not decided to stick to it come what may. Today...

Scrumptious Ice Creams

Vijay Arora, MD, Gelato Vinto

With a dream of serving Indian food buffs with mesmerising flavour of Italian desserts, Vijay Arora, Managing Director, Gelato Vinto in...

In good health

Sachin Malik, Founder, Diva Fitness

Understanding the different fitness requirements of women and providing them the right solutions of dealing with weight loss, Diva...

The childcare people

Bharat Kapoor, Director, Your Kids R Our Kids

You need not worry about your kids when you are away as Your Kids R Our Kids (YKROK) care centre provides your child the desired quality...

Connecting the Young

Samyak Chakrabarty, Managing Director, Electronic Youth Media

Samyak Chakrabarty might look like any other student when sitting in the mass media class of Jaihind College but his accomplishments...