Shishir Gupta is a well known investment banker for startups having global ratings of 5 out of 5 and ranking among top 20 consultants for venture capital. Shishir Gupta is a startup lawyer, investment banker, full stack developer and startup consultant.
Hi Shishir, thank you for agreeing to do an interview with Startup Simba and give our readers an idea about what you do, your journey as an entrepreneur, investor, author and more.
Startup Simba (S.S): Let me start the conversation by congratulating you on your book launch – Startup Easy: Part 1. Would you like to tell our readers what is this book all about and why did you came up with this book? What’s your plan about next book?
Shishir: I’m still writing the next part, Startup Easy: Part 2 – Fundraising. I’m not good at writing, that is why it’s taking a lot of time, I completed my first book in 3 years, 1 year in planning and 2 years in writing. The first part is rated 4.9 at Amazon, that is the highest rating achieved ever by any book in such category, this is motivating me to complete the next part as soon as possible.
S.S: If I am not wrong, you are a Lawyer by degree. So, how did the transition happen from a lawyer to an entrepreneur?
Shishir: I am a born Entrepreneur, I grew up in business environment as I belong to business family. I joined my family business at the age of 14. I launched my first Startup in 2001, just after completing school. I did MBA in Marketing and Finance before joining Law School. I decide to become a lawyer after being troubled by a big company in a false legal issue.
S.S: You have certainly come a long way, tell us how has been your journey? What were the major challenges you faced, how did you overcome those challenges?
Shishir: There are so many in challenges to list; I’ll point out one of them: I got fooled by multi level marketing companies when I was a teenager, I needed the money for my family, but ended up losing money. This is a big learning, “we shouldn’t choose the easy way and whatever comes to us easily, most of the times it is a deception.” Multi level marketing companies are mostly ponzi schemes, our friends and family trap us in these schemes, it’s like vampires, they suck your blood and make you vampire, then you suck other’s blood. Be cautious, if someone show you a rosy picture and ask you to join his/her business, be alert.
S.S: What has been your biggest motivation in life?
Shishir: Poverty is the biggest motivation in life for me. I don’t want to be poor again, this thought keeps me going on and on, always. Whenever I become lazy or reluctant, I think of my tough time that I faced in past and immediately I get charged to actively take up the tough task with energy.
S.S: We all know that family plays an important role in our career. What kind of support did you got from your family?
Shishir: I lost my Dad while I was in class 10, just before board exams. My Mother and a younger brother was the family. My Uncle’s son took over the entire business and properties of my father. I worked like a slave for him, without pay, stressed and harassed. My Mom supported all my decisions, I remember she gave me all her fixed deposits to break and use the money for my business. I lost all that money in stock market trading and told her, still she supported me and motivated me. Her support made me feel confident; whatever I am now is just because of Mother.
S.S: How do you help startups and young entrepreneurs to grow their business and scale up?
Shishir: We run a unique business, it’s a complete ecosystem for Startups termed as ‘StartupLanes’. We nurture startups through advisory and mentorship and then raise funds for them. We have entire bouquet of services for startups from legal to marketing, from technology to finance and recruitment to tax filing, everything is there, facilitated through are partners.
S.S: What 5 advice you would want to give to young startup founders?
Shishir: Let’s come straight to the advice:
S.S: Investors are tough nut to crack! How are you as an investor? What do you expect from entrepreneurs who are looking for investment form you?
Shishir: Focus upon disruption and scalability of your business. Good traction is definitely a plus. A good team is mandatory requirement. If you startup solves a big problem, you have a killer technology, big market, good traction and awesome team, you will get funded for sure.
S.S: What’s your view on the current startup ecosystem in India? How optimistic are you?
Shishir: The startup ecosystem in India is maturing gradually. Most of the people now understand the meaning of startup, this was not the case 5 years ago. People now write their title as ‘Founder’, 5 years ago they were proud to write ‘Director’ or ‘Managing Director’. This is a big change, we are taking startups seriously now. We will match up with the west within 5 years.
S.S: What’s your plan for the next 3 years? What do you want to achieve?
Shishir: I wish to create a better ecosystem for startups in India. A potential entrepreneur should be focused upon invention and innovation instead of earning daily bread and butter. The day when entrepreneurs of this country forget about earning daily bread and butter, they will create something big. We will see Google and Facebook like startups coming from India, conceptualized and executed at the soil of India.
“I am a born Entrepreneur, I grew up in business environment as I belong to business family. I joined my family business at the age of 14.”
S.S: Who has been your role model?
Shishir: There so many role models, it will be injustice to them if I name any one. At present I like and follow Elon Musk.
S.S: As an entrepreneur, any book or author that has inspired you career and decision?
Shishir: You can win by Shiv Khera is the book that changed my life.
S.S: What makes you nervous, angry, happy and excited? Talk about each aspect in one line.
Shishir: Firing an employee makes me nervous, especially when I have to announce it. I get really angry when I see the wastage of natural resources like water, wasting food makes me angry. I get happy when I become the reason for someone’s happiness; mostly it happens when I read the public posts of people whom I’ve helped. I get excited to encounter technology that changes life. I am always excited to see the sea, greenery and holy places.
S.S: Tell us what kind of a person you are in general?
Shishir: I am a simple person connected to the roots. I don’t like show off, you won’t find an iPhone X in my hand, you won’t see me wearing gold, I drive my car myself, I am happy most of the times.
S.S: When you are not working, how do you spend your time?
Shishir: I prefer to spend the time with my family when I am not working.
S.S: When you are successful, you will be exposed to negative comments, criticism from different quarters. How do you deal with these?
Shishir: Initially I used to get angry, I wanted to answer all the criticism, then I learned to handle it by ignoring. People want to get into limelight by criticizing the good and famous names, this gives them immediate attention. I don’t give my attention to negativity at all, ignorance is the key.
S.S: An ending line that you would want to add to sign off.
Shishir: Thank you for the interview, this gave me an opportunity to rediscover my own thoughts and get deep into my past for extracting even the tiny bits of my life. Thanks a ton, my best wishes for Startup Simba.
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