Sid's the guy everybody loves.
He moved to India in 2001 to found Evolv, a vocational training company. Evolv was funded by Singapore Technologies - their first early stage investment in the sub-continent. Over the next 6 years, Sid grew Evolv to 300 employees training and assessing over 20,000 people a year across 200 cities in South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East. In 2007, he sold Evolv to NIIT - Asia's largest training company. Sid worked with NIIT for the next 3 years, heading Evolv, as well as Litmus - NIIT's foray into assessments and Uniqua - NIIT's joint venture with Genpact. In 10 years of leading Evolv, Sid became a master in education technology (and continues to explore advancements in this market at Lightbox.)
An entrepreneur at heart, Sid left NIIT to get more involved in the start up community in India. Over the next few years, leading up to Lightbox, Sid advised several startups, angel funds, and a very special NGO called Magic Bus.
As enterprising at play as he is at work, Sid recently launched a new restaurant, The Hungry Monkey. Brown Paper Bag says "one step in and we realised, this was a hipster kid, the kind who'd look good on our Instagram feed." Check it out if you're in Delhi.
2014 was one of the most prolific years we’ve had in terms of the number of startups, fundings, valuations, and user growth in India. In 2015, we should see the fruits of that labor in several spaces – look out for many fledgling companies to mature and grow at a pace we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago, or even just a year ago.
There’s this great visual most people have of being an entrepreneur or a founder. It’s a poster of a young college dropout, next to the logo of a billion-dollar company they founded, surrounded by famous people and, money.
At Lightbox, we spend a lot of time thinking about the changing nature of ownership. It’s amazing how much “stuff” most of us collect over time. And how little we actually use in everyday life. It makes you start questioning consuming and purchasing habits in general.
There’s a belief globally that we have a burgeoning middle class in India – and we’re following in the footsteps of China’s massive change from immense poverty to a stable middle class. But that’s really not the case.
When you invest early in a company’s life cycle, there is such a lack of information available, so much of an investment decision at this stage is based on the founding team and prior investing experience. The earlier you invest, the more experience you need.