Exclusive: Avnish Bajaj, Founder & MD, Matrix Partners India says that for him, only entrepreneurs matter in a start-up

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Avnish Bajaj is an entrepreneur turned investor who has always been driven by the pursuit of success in entrepreneurship but from wanting to be rich to now making other people rich, he has come a long way.

“It has always been about achievement. That being said, money is a scorecard for achievement. Numbers are very important for investors but it is not the end of the game, it is the bridge between needs and means and for me once my needs were met, I just wanted to learn and help,” Bajaj told Business Insider, who thinks that we’re seeing the best entrepreneurs in the history of the Indian consumer tech sector.

In terms of investing, Bajaj thinks that all elements of the venture funding are in place and for the first time, the question of exits is being answered, “As the market starts deepening, the exits will start happening. The next decade or so are going to be very exciting for the investors,”Avnish says that the Indian founders are as competent as their American or Chinese counterparts and have great potential.

Matrix Partners has many popular companies on its portfolio namely Ola, Practo, Dailyhunt, Quikr, Housejoy, LimeRoad, Mswipe and Cloudnine.
Downturn for the win

Bajaj thinks this ‘downturn’ that the Indian start-up ecosystem is seeing is necessary, “All elements of this industry are amplified and disruptive; the entrepreneurs, the investors and even the media get carried away in the possibilities. It’s all part and parcel of being an entrepreneur; if things were so easy, everyone would be starting their own business.”

Avnish says that recession is a good sign as companies like Facebook and Google were started during downturns and now, the entrepreneurs will be starting for the right reasons. The "dis-ease" of doing business

“In India, it’s never been easy to do business but things are improving overall. What the start-ups need is protection against the negative elements even if there is no positive reinforcement,” says Bajaj regarding the role of the state in the success of new businesses.

Bajaj has seen hardships as an entrepreneur in 2004, as he was arrested by the Delhi police over a complaint that an obscene video had been uploaded for auction on Baazee.com. Bajaj was acquitted but then he was against let down recently with arrest of his portfolio company, Stayzilla’s founder happening on shaky grounds,”Startups are soft targets for most authorities because they don’t have the kind of influence compared to big corporate companies. We just want the government to stop harassment at all agency level. Let's extend Swacch Bharat to get India rid of corruption and harassment before we aim for loft goals like Digital India and Start up India." says Bajaj who agrees that the government has the intent to support start-ups but it hasn’t reflected yet.
E-commerce or re-commerce?

Bajaj who is known for his e-commerce investments has agreed that the sector has lost its sheen but says that at the end of the day, the team matters above everything, “Fin-tech, Health-tech, and SAAS are the most exciting sectors right now,” Bajaj who had been pessimistic about the growth of start-ups in the past has started to get excited for the India growth story and so have we.

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