Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata has said that when it comes to picking the right startup to invest in, he relies on his intuition. He further said that the founders' attitude and maturity also helps him decide. "In my case it was intuition, in fact talking to the founders, drawing conclusions from their attitude, maturity and their seriousness meant more to me than any other thing," added Ratan Tata at an event organised by Chiratae Ventures.
The 81-year-old also said that he became a startup investor by accident. He added that he used to look at the sector as exciting but somewhat untouchable. Tata further mentioned that with two-three years into the sector, it has become a learning experience for him. "I entered the startup sector as an investor partly by accident. During the years that I was with the Tata group, I always looked at the startups as a sector that is exciting but somewhat untouchable because somewhere there will be conflict of interest with Tata Group," said Ratan Tata as mentioned in a report in news agency PTI.
The Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons said that when he retired, he started making small token investments in what he considered exciting companies. "So, what I did was to take some more risks than I might have taken under different circumstances. With two-three years into this, it became a learning experience, as this sector is very active and has the best minds," he said.
The Tata Group patriarch said that large cash burn that start-ups report every month is not a cause of concern. He added that this is a sector that will grow.
Speaking on when is the best time for a startup to go global, Tata said that there is none and it depends on the founder. "I am glad the startup space is growing and becoming so prominent. Now more and more big companies will recognise that there is another way to do something and that something might be the better way to do cheaper and most cost-effective way," he added.
"After all Indians are entrepreneurs at heart. What we need is opportunity to flourish. And I think startups are doing just that. I wish them all success," Tata concluded.
Tata was an early backer of Ola and Paytm since 2015. He also has a small stake in One97 Communications. His maiden e-commerce investment was in Snapdeal. He has also invested in fitness startup CureFit, weather forecaster ClimaCell, auto portal CarDekho, online furniture mart UrbanLadder, eyewear e-tailer Lenskart, home rental platform NestAway, and online pet care platform Dogspot. He is all set to invest an undisclosed amount in Pune-based electric motorcycle startup, Tork Motors.