Exclusive: Padmaja Ruparel, Indian Angel Network is Breaking Barriers, just like the Start-ups She Supports

Born and bred in Kolkata, Padamja Ruparel, President, Indian Angel Network is one of the names associated with the rise of Venture Capital funding and the startup ecosystem.

Growing up around the Naxalite movement in the city of joy, Ruparel turned to a life of normalcy and spent her time studying chartered accountancy and MBA according to her parents’ wishes.

“I come from a generation where a girl getting highly educated was an anomaly; my parents felt that I should stand on my two feet and study further, and not for the sake of getting a better suitor in the marriage market which was the norm,” says Ruparel who has been financially independent since age 16, told Business Insider.
A Jack of All Trades

Ruparel prides herself on never depending on her family for financial help even when she was getting married at a “ripe age” of twenty six. Business sense came early to young Ruparel who had been involved in growing her family wealth since college days by getting involved in the real estate business which was growing phenomenally.

Pushing boundaries while juggling multiple interests, Ruparel decided to get married and break out of a cocoon to start her own life path away from the societal bounds of Kolkata.


Post marriage, she settled in Delhi, leaving behind the wealth she created to her family and decided to rebel against the cliché of a married woman by working full-time and starting over in the capital.
Entrepreneurship by Chance

After a stellar career in the corporate sector, Ruparel entered the world of entrepreneurs by what she calls her destiny, “From setting up Tie (The Indus Entrepreneurs) in Delhi, to networking to create IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association) while working in a corporate, later did I realize that I’m setting up the foundation to my career in the startup ecosystem,” says Ruparel who started her career in a startup and now start-ups emerging companies.

Ruparel’s partnership with Saurabh Srivastava, who is the other founder has been spanning over decades with both of them working at different ventures together. When Ruparel decided to quit the corporate rat-race in 2005, Saurabh convinced her to take on another project, which blossomed into the Indian Angel Network, also known as IAN.
Formally established in 2006, IAN now has close to 450 members across the world with investors from 10 countries, in seven locations, which includes cities in India and UK. The network is sector agnostic and has funded startups across 17 sectors in India, including education, e-commerce, healthcare and hospitality. The entrepreneurship story has started in the Indian subcontinent and with a strong network like IAN, the angels are surely set to soar with the start-ups.