Podcast: Hard Truths by Vertex | Series 2 | Episode 2 - Hard Truths about Minting the Next Indian Unicorn with Piyush Kharbanda

Piyush KHARBANDA | 07 Nov 2023

Thank you for your strong support for Hard Truths by Vertex podcast Series 1 - We are now back with Series 2!

How do Indian startups navigate constraints and build innovative businesses?

In this episode of Hard Truths by Vertex podcast, Elise Tan and Piyush Kharbanda discuss the challenges and opportunities in the Indian startup ecosystem, drawing insights from successful ventures like KukuFM and Kissht. Explore the unique dynamics of the Indian ecosystem and the path to success in a dynamic market. Tune in now!

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0B0C6G9H9GHsHVy7p7xSFT?si=4-JpQUiAQni4Tp1ZxpgJyA

Youtube: https://youtu.be/qHDTrx-zFq4?si=Dzsvfs4WTzvf0EiL


(00:00) How did Piyush come across Vertex?

(02:01) How has the Indian ecosystem grown since his joining?

(04:12) What are the types of companies that have done well in the Indian ecosystem?

(10:48) What brings Piyush to the early stage market?

(13:40) Hard truths for first time entrepreneurs

(20:50) How do successful start-ups manage to monetise?

(28:54) How have the rules of Venture Investing changed since the pandemic?

(31:33) Product market fit is a journey

(35:08) What should be your investing strategy in India?

(37:57) Exit opportunities in the Indian market

Read the full transcript here:


Our Guest

Piyush Kharbanda

General Partner, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India

Piyush Kharbanda joined Vertex Ventures in 2016 and is focusing on opportunities in India. Prior to Vertex, he spent five years investing across sectors with Multiples, a leading India based mid-market fund, where he was involved in investments through portfolio management and exit. Before that, Piyush worked with Alvarez and Marsal on performance improvement and strategy consulting assignments.


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Your Host

Elise Tan is the Director of Communications and Community at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. Prior to joining Vertex, she has had extensive experience in investor relations and partnership at global venture funds and accelerators with more than $100m in AUM. Elise also currently runs a Southeast Asia-based startup community of nearly 800 entrepreneurs called the Asia Startup network and actively supports their startup journey through panels, meet-ups, and mentoring programs.

Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India is a pioneer in investing in tech start-ups in this region and has helped to build a number of unicorns. In this podcast, we seek to share and uncover the Hard Truth - raw, unfiltered insights and venture capital knowledge from across Southeast Asia and India. Tune in to learn from leading founders, innovators, venture capitalists, and industry experts in the region and to gain industry insights from those in the know.

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Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India is part of the global Vertex Ventures network of funds.

In addition to Southeast Asia and India, the Vertex Global Network is comprised of affiliates in Silicon Valley, China and Israel. This provides a unique platform for our portfolio companies to realize their full potential by leveraging the combined experience and resources of our extensive network of global partners.

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