“One of the most powerful connections fundamental in the success of a startup as identified in our analysis was mentoring relationships,” said Rhett Morris, the Director of Endeavor Insight while sharing insights from their company’s research.
The benefits of having a mentor are many. They bring in years of knowledge and experience and guide the startups towards success. Being surrounded by the right people, at the right time can be instrumental as one grows and begins to move toward long-term sustainability. In the early days, mentors and advisors help the startups in finding their footing. Their advice and guidance helps founders in building a strong foundation. In addition, having strong mentors also leads to building a strong network and creating relationships in the markets.
Keeping the importance of Mentors in mind, since last five years, the People Matters TechHR Startup Program has been giving an opportunity to the early-stage startups in the HR technology space to interact with investors and mentors and learn from them. Again in 2018, the Startup Program invites HR Tech Startups to learn from the panel of various mentors including names from companies like Matrix Partners, Airtel and Bertelsmann Investments & Corporate Center India.
Here’s a brief about some of the People Matters TechHR Startup Program mentors:
Sandeep is the not just the Managing Partner but also the co-founder of Lumis Partners, which has invested in various startups like PeopleStrong, Wheebox and Sheroes. Sandeep is passionate about HR Tech solutions and wants to build portfolio across higher education segment and human capital services in emerging markets. He is also an active member in this sector and leads several activities across various public/private organizations in this ecosystem. Sandeep has handled quality and technology leadership roles across various businesses of GE.
Tarun Davda has an experience of almost 10 years, with a focus on early stage (Seed & Series-A) investments in the Consumer Internet, Mobile & SaaS space. His verticals of interest and expertise include Travel, Digital Marketplaces, eCommerce, Vertical Classifieds (Healthcare, Recruitment, Real Estate, etc.) and SaaS. Tarun started his professional journey in May 2009, as Director- Strategy and Business development of Directi. After that, he worked in leadership roles for various e-commerce companies like BigRock.com and StepOut.com.
In September 2013, Tarun invested in Stayzilla and after that was associated with various Tech companies including HR Tech startup Belong and companies like Ola, Treebo and Practo as Board Observer. Since 2013 he has been part of VC firm Matrix Partners. Till now Matrix Partners has invested in HR Tech companies like Belong and GrownOut. Recently, it backed Delhi-based SaaS startup Anaek. The startup's automated chatbots help in HR and office tasks like attendance management, expense filing, and assists in office administration tasks, among others.
A tech enthusiast, Harmeen Mehta says, “Use your brains and the power of technology – makes everything possible. And keep experimenting and pushing boundaries – don’t fear failure else you will never try anything new.”
With almost 22 years of experience and a degree in Bachelor of Engineering in Computer science with a specialization in neural networks, Harmeen has worked in companies like Qantas Airways, British Airways, HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BBVA. She has been strongly focused on digitizing Airtel and has led various initiatives with this intent. As a mentor, she brings in a vast experience with a lot of passion for new innovative ideas in technology space.
Recently named as one of the Top 50 Fintech influencers in Asia by FintechAsia, Tejasvi has been instrumental in the establishment and growing presence of RupeePower in the country. He founded RupeePower in 2012. He has played a vital role in the growth of the company by taking care of most of the functions, including policy, finance, business development, operations and strategy. He has also invested in Moneybloom and People Matters and is currently associated with both of them as Advisor and Board Member, respectively.
Tejasvi strongly believes in the power of technology and says, “Algorithms built on digital footprints will revolutionize work.” He promotes and encourages innovative tech solutions and is always on a lookout for an opportunity to be associated with them.
An IIT and IIM graduate, Pranjal has the vision to create market leaders and a commitment to support entrepreneurs through that journey. He began his professional journey as Project Engineer in Indian Oil and after pursuing his MBA, he went on to become a consultant and worked with companies like TSMG, Accenture, KPMG and A.T. Kearney. Since March 2016, Pranjal has been working as Vice President in Bertelsmann Investments & Corporate Center India where he leads venture capital investment and drives strategic projects for the company in India. Bertelsmann Investments & Corporate Center India’s portfolio includes names like Saavn, Pepperfry and Roposo. It has also invested in various edu tech firms like Eruditus/Emeritus and iNurture.
“Helping startups gives my life a meaning,” says Arpit.
Having worked with companies like Computational Research Laboratories and TLabs, currently Arpit is associated with Blume Ventures where he makes investment decisions and helps portfolio companies go to the next level. He has been involved in promoting startups since 2006. At Blume Ventures he is managing a portfolio of about 15 companies which include companies from a variety of sectors ranging from used goods market to IOT to Healthcare to Enterprise services. Bloom Ventures portfolio also includes some HR Tech startups like Skillenza, Mettl, CareerVita and Belong.
One of the veterans on the panel, John Sumser has an experience of more than 35 years. He has been working with HR Examiner since 2008 and as the Principal Analyst there he examines the insides of hundreds of companies, their products, and ecosystems. He helps companies and leaders in seeing the path of evolution and the risks on the journey. John firmly believes in HR Technology and also has wide experience and knowledge in the domain.
Sumser once wrote that HR technology is a necessity than a choice and that future innovations in this sector will depend on the investments that industry is willing to make. He has also worked for firms like KeyInterval Research, Salary.com, Interbiznet and Point Foundation.
The early stage startups that are looking for building mentorship relationships can take part in the People Matters TechHR Startup Program and make most of this opportunity. Click here to register.