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6 reasons to invest in startups

Anil Nadkarni, CIO at Mahyco Ltd and CAN Investor, believes CIOs have a lot to gain by investing in startups. By Shweta Gandhi

Anil Nadkarni is a seasoned IT professional with 32 years of core IT experience. He specialises in integrating IT and business, and has done so at his previous stints at Thermax Ltd, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, Mercury Travels, Thomas Cook India Ltd and Cadbury India Ltd. Part of the CIO Angel Network (CAN), Anil has been investing in startups for the last one year. He tells us why CIOs must invest in startups.

#1 Improves the startup’s business model
“An investor is able to use their experience to redo the business model and ensure sustainability by contributing to marketing, supply chain, logistics, etc. Startups are not only looking for financial help—they are open to advice and help too, and are ready to accept it.”

#2 You get an insider view on new tech
“Financial gain is one of the obvious benefits that an investor derives. But the point is that you get to see a new business model, different technology being used and learn if it is an adaptable option or not. Given the plethora of upcoming technologies, you get insight into which one will work by determining what’s next in the tech space.”

#3 It gives creativity room to grow
“Though investing in startups is an individual choice, I’ve always believed that we need to encourage entrepreneurs and their ideas. At no stage should entrepreneurs feel that they are stifled or starved for money to fuel their ideas that just may bring about the next big tech change in the industry.”

#4 Investing is a good habit
“Investing, even if it’s just the sake for investing, is always a good habit to have. An angel investor doesn’t simply invest once—it’s a continuous process. But an angel investor can’t invest blindly. All presentations made by startup pitches are rosy, but you have to pick and choose, leverage your experience, insight, and then take a call.”

#5 It benefits the community at large
“If through the CIO’s help, new technology adoptions can be brought in that are helpful to the general public as well as entrepreneurs, then it is definitely a worthwhile investment. For example, if we invest in an app that directly connects individuals with the government, not only does it help the CIO but the community at large.”

 #6 It’s about giving back to society
“Every CIO helps in giving back to society by harnessing their tech knowledge and sharing it. You have to see the larger picture. I believe it’s our social responsibility to encourage social entrepreneurs so that they get the first mover advantage on their big tech idea. CIOs are individuals too, who have a wealth of experience. They should pass on their accumulated knowledge and help open avenues for entrepreneurs.”

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