Tushar Kansal Founder of Kansaltancy Ventures

Interview with Tushar Kansal Founder of Kansaltancy Ventures

Tushar is an accomplished professional with experience
spanning multiple sectors from Venture Capital (Brand Cap), Big 4 Consulting (Deloitte &
Touche), LSE-listed Sistema’s India unit (MTS India) to CFO of Guggenheim Partners-owned
company (DLI). He is Mentor and Judge at Entrepreneurship cell’s of IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Delhi, IITChennai, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-ISM-Dhanbad & such marquee Institutions. Tushar has expertise of
Financial & Business advisory, Fund raising & creation of docs/ collaterals for VC Funding.
Tushar is a Venture Advisor with Loyal VC, the INSEAD-led Canadian VC Fund, having a core
portfolio of over 160 investments in more than 35 countries. He is also Partner with GSD Venture
Studios, a Silicon-valley based Venture Builder.
Over the years, Tushar has arranged Funding for startups & growth-stage companies in diverse
sectors like, EdTech, FinTech, Consumer B2C, B2B & D2C, AgriTech, Disruptive & DeepTech as
well as non-Tech sectors (Please see Recommendations on LinkedIn).
His expert opinion is often sought by leading business news channels and publications like CNNNews18, VCTV, Business World, Business & Economy, Qrius and Digital Market Asia. He has come
on 100+ talks – Just check on YouTube, VCTV streaming site
https://latoken.com/vctv/investor/1040 & Kansaltancy.com

He received Executive education from Harvard Business School, MBA in Finance from University
of Delhi and B.Tech from The Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences

  • • What is your educational background?

I have completed Executive Education from Harvard Business School, an MBA in Finance from University of Delhi and B.Tech (Textiles) from Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences – Bhiwani, which is affiliated to the “Textile Institute Manchester, UK” and part of the leading Industrial & Education house in India “The Birla Group”. Major part of my Schooling has been at Montfort School, Delhi.

  • How did you begin your career? Was it in conjunction with the present role that you have taken up?

I got campus placement from Engineering College at Indo Rama Synthetics, a big poly-staple fibre manufacturing company at Nagpur. But I soon realised that I wanted to be either in IT or Finance. So I prepared hard for MBA Entrance examinations and got through MBA in Finance at the University of Delhi. I got campus placement in M&A division of SBI Capital but post my MBA, I co-founded an Education company called KITES which trained high school students in IIT entrance examinations. The company grew to 800 students and 3 centres in North Delhi and I got a very good exit when we sold it to Narayana Institute in 2006.

For the last decade, I have been in leadership role, driving Business, with large companies and as an entrepreneur.

At Deloitte, I executed Private Equity assignments/ Valuations & Financial Advisory. At Brand Capital, I was part of the team investing across companies. At MTS India, as head of Debt division, I was instrumental in raising almost $2.5 billion of debt in 3 years and handled all round Financial goals as CFO of DLI, including compliances towards the PE Fund Guggenheim, as the main investor and owner. 

I am Founder of Kansaltancy Ventures, an Investment Management firm as also Saffron First, a Startup Network/ Fund and all the roles played by me have deeply helped me in executing my present professional journey.

  • Tell us more about your journey?

My social media links are at Linktree – https://linktr.ee/tusharkansal and Corporate website is www.Kansaltancy.com 

I founded a startup Indus B2C Global in 2013. It was a startup into B2B consumer space. The product was Human Hair extensions which are sought after by mostly women of African origin. It was during my time with this startup that I realized the gaps between what startups need and what companies are offering to help the startups.

I quit full-time Management of this startup and became a financial investor. That’s when I launched Kansaltancy Ventures – we assist startups and growth stage companies with equity fundraising, debt, mergers and acquisitions and mentoring. We also help in getting business for the startups which we handhold.

A large part of my work at Kansaltancy Ventures is doing webinars and helping founders and team members of aspiring startups, reach their goals.

Today, I have made a lot of progress in creating an ecosystem in this field.

I am a Mentor and Judge at Entrepreneurship cell’s of IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Chennai, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT ISM-Dhanbad & such marquee Institutions. I have expertise of Financial & Business advisory, Fund raising & creation of docs/ collaterals for VC Funding.

I am a Venture Advisor with Loyal VC, the INSEAD-led Canadian VC Fund, having a core portfolio of over 160 investments in more than 35 countries. I am also Partner with GSD Venture Studios, a Silicon-valley based Venture Builder.

Over the years, I have arranged Funding for startups & growth-stage companies in diverse sectors like, EdTech, FinTech, Consumer B2C, B2B & D2C, AgriTech, Disruptive & DeepTech as well as non-Tech sectors. The full list of 40+ Recommendations are on LinkedIn

My expert opinion is often sought by leading business news channels and publications like CNN-News18, VCTV, Business World, Business & Economy, Qrius and Digital Market Asia. I have come on 150+ talks – Just check on YouTube, VCTV streaming site https://latoken.com/vctv/investor/1040 & Kansaltancy.com!

  • What are the offerings of Kansaltancy Ventures? 

Kansaltancy Ventures (http://www.Kansaltancy.com and https://www.linkedin.com/company/kansaltancyventures) is an investment management and advisory firm into Equity fund raising, fund raising for VC Funds, Debt and Mergers & Acquisitions. It has years of experience Growth Companies to prepare for the unknown while meeting their Needs. Our verticals: 

• Funding: Equity & Structured Debt Planning & Pitching to Investors

• Mergers & Acquisitions 

• Pitch Deck Preparations & Presentations

• Business Plans & Project Plans Preparations 

• Start Ups & Growth Strategies & Planning 

• Go-To Market & Digital Marketing Strategies

• Financial Strategic Planning & Analysis

• Strategic Planning & Execution Advisory

• Business Valuations Advisory

As an independent Growth delivery firm, we can access many different Funding Options so that the customer can get the right Funding and services

Saffron First (https://www.linkedin.com/company/saffronfirst) is a Global Crowdfunding/ Angel Network & Fund, headquartered in Singapore, crafting investments in APAC/ India & providing domain specialists, capital & an ecosystem of strategic partnerships

  • What advice would You give to youngsters wanting to follow you so that they do not face similar issues?

I would give the below mantra’s:

  • Focus on skilling yourself – reskilling, upskilling and staying relevant to developing trends in your work area all the time
  • Interact with good human being who are also specialists in their fields. Attend webinars on specialisation topics, go meet people and develop mentors in your field
  • Don’t run after degrees and certificates
  • Focus on a field and master it completely. Develop core competence
  • Don’t run after money, let it come after you
  • No ambition is small – each person is unique and is God’s own creation 
  • How do founders and new entrepreneurs get in touch with you? How do they reach you?

I am reachable on my LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tusharkansal/ or email [email protected]

7. What all factors should a Founder keep in mind once he/ she starts fund-raising?

The foremost factor for a founder, or a teammate who are looking for equity funding is to have an internet presence/ a Google presence. Anybody who searches your name or your company’s name on Google, the first 10 and 20 results should give the person a good idea about what you do, why you do and what is your passion. For that, you need to write a lot, blog a lot – you can write a blog on medium.com or you can have your videos on youtube.com or you can have some speaking engagements. Some websites can cover your work area and profile. The second part is that you need to establish good relationships with select investors, and the founders of the investee companies of these investors.

You should go to events, and nowadays the events are being held online. So you can go to these events, ask questions, and then add the investor, on LinkedIn. When you add an investor on LinkedIn, you send them a personalized invite, so that they understand where you are coming from.

Once you are in touch with these investors, you can ask them about their investment thesis, and in most of the cases, the investment thesis is given on the website of the investors. The best way of approaching these investors is through the founders of their investee companies.

8. As an entrepreneur you must be having a lot of pressure and stress. What works best for you to handle the pressure and stress?

If any human being finds full expression of who he is, always, he will find success. If you compare yourself to somebody in another completely different area or arena of activity, and put the numbers together, those numbers may be bigger – that’s not the point. In your area of life, finding full expression is success.

Most people think it is their job, their family, their life situations, the taxes and the unpaid bills that are causing stress. But essentially, stress is your inability to manage your own system – your body, mind, emotions, and energy.

The right and the best way I handle stress and pressure is:

• Do Yoga – Yoga means union with the divine, the omnipresent. The whole effort of aligning your body, and the resultant effect it has on the mind, is there to realise and experience

• Do meditation – practising widening the gap between the mind and the moment leads to calmness and stillness! Be as still as the tree, and that is possible with meditation

• Practice a life lived with high values – living an honoured life is aligning with life’s higher purpose and it leads to peace of mind

• If fight you must, take the example of Bhagwad Geeta – ensure you are fighting for the right cause and the right side

• Be with nature from time to time – sitting besides a whistling tree, or a placid lake or walking bare feet, is an act of supreme bliss

9. What is the Startup and Funding scenario in India as of now?

India’s startup domain is poised to gain further momentum after the unprecedented funding boom created 20 unicorns, or private firms valued at $1 billion or more, this year.

By 2025, the Indian startup ecosystem is set to witness three-fold growth in valuation and a substantial rise in the number of Unicorns, which currently stands at 59, according to a report by early-stage venture capital fund 3one4 Capital.

The number of startups will jump to 100,000 in 2025 from about 55,000 currently, the report said. They will attract investment of a whopping $100 billion between 2021 and 2025, employ 3.25 million people and become the second-largest ecosystem in the world after the United States, it said, adding that India will be home to over 150 Unicorns.

10. Whats the exit strategy universe looking now that Zomato had a bumper IPO and others have lined up to get listed on Indian Stock Exchanges?

Since long, the exit options available to the Indian investors or the global investors in Indian companies were very limited.

First, they wanted to do an IPO on the Indian stock markets, but because of SEBI regulations that 50% of the IPO should be reserved for retail investors, meaning with a cheque size of less than 200,000 rupees, it became very difficult to launch big IPOs and given the fact that these New Age tech companies command a huge valuation, the IPOs never came. There was only an odd one, the IPO of Infibeam.

Then, the investors looked for follow-on investments and doing a secondary sale of their shares in these follow on investments, but that is not always a very smart strategy because it gets you a less valuation. Ideally, an investor would like to exit at the peak of the valuation.

So, the investors, sometimes looked for getting the company or the founders to buy back the shares by giving them the required IRR (Internal Rate of Return), but that always that has not been the ideal strategy, and there have been very less cases where that has happened.

A lot of investors are doing the strategy – you invest in my company and I invest in your company. And many times, Mergers and Acquisitions, so you know we had some combinations like Housing.com merging with PropTiger.com

The most exciting thing recently is the opening of the Indian stock market, to new age Tech companies – the first New Age Tech company to get listed on Indian stock markets is Zomato. It is commanding a very good valuation after listing, and that has given hope to a host of new age tech companies like PolicyBazaar, PayTM and others to use this route.

When Jio of Reliance was soliciting investments from big foreign companies like Google and Facebook, there was a report which said that Indian companies would be allowed to list on foreign exchanges. And that gave a big fillip to the valuations as well. We are yet to hear more on that subject. It seems that there has been some held up.

11. What is your advice to any Global investor on how they can structure their investments in India?

While structuring any investors investment in India, typically a global investor, we would recommend basis factors like tax benefits, ease of business, and other factors like the cost associated with each activity.

If a company is setting up shop in India, the best structure which we suggest is – incorporate a holding company in Singapore. India and Singapore have a Double-Taxation-Avoidance-Agreement (DTAA), and the capital gains tax in Singapore is Zero! Singapore has access to huge liquidity, which means a lot of money available for investments. So in the future, one can take investments in the holding company in Singapore. Also in Singapore, there is a lot of ease of business in Singapore, so it is very easy to set up a holding company in Singapore.

Walmart bought Flipkart for $21 billion – one big reason was that Flipkart had a holding company in Singapore!

There is also a strong intellectual property ecosystem in Singapore and money available by collateralizing your intellectual property is very easy in Singapore. Singapore ranks number one globally in the ease of getting funding against intellectual property. The Intellectual property of the company can be filed in Singapore itself.

While India ranked 63rd overall in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings, it ranked a poor 163rd in enforcing contracts. Because the holding company is in Singapore, one can use Singapore based arbitration clauses and Singapore based legal agreements to sign up contracts.

Secondly, form a subsidiary company in India. Keep human resources from India, as they are cheap and skilled and talented – hence keep back office staff in India.

The income tax rate in India, is 30% and for small amount, it is 20%. But the Income tax in Dubai, UAE is Zero! So the top management of this company can be based out of Dubai, so that the taxation, top Management incurs is Nil

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