Arihant Patni is not an unknown name in the Indian tech sphere. He, along with his brother Amit are credited for building up Patni Computer Systems, an IT services and business solutions company that was sold to outsourcing services firm iGate for about $1.22 billion two years ago. Since then, the brothers have moved on to dabble with the investment space — setting up Nirvana Venture Advisors — betting their money in the internet space. Last year, the brothers set up The Hive India, an early-stage startup fund to focus on data analytics entrepreneurs.
With two senior appointments last week — Vinita Ananth, a former Hewlett-Packard executive from Silicon Valley and Deepak Agrawal, former Associate Vice President of Nirvana Venture Advisors — The Hive India is all set to go big on Big Data.
In a chat with e27, Arihant Patni, Managing Director, Hive Technologies (While The Hive India is a separate entity, it is yet affiliated to The Hive in Silicon Valley) tells us about the new hirings, The Hive India plans for 2014 and the Indian startup scenario. Excerpts from our chat:
On new hirings
The Hive India will focus on the massive Big Data opportunity worldwide, creating/partnering with entrepreneurs in India, engaging and idea-storming with the countries’ best brains to find innovative and breakthrough data-driven ideas, and spreading our networks to give startups the widest possible reach to early-adopter customers and exceptional talent. The hires we’ve made are essential for us to work towards our goals.
As we looked to hire, Vinita fit the bill – her background as an angel investor and entrepreneur, her experience in doing business in India and the US (Silicon Valley), and her knowledge of technology made her an ideal candidate for the role. Meanwhile, Deepak is a hire from within, from our Internet fund Nirvana Ventures. Deepak already knows the ropes and will hit the ground running. His awareness of the startup ecosystem, the players and his skill in building deal flow will be invaluable.
On Indian startup community
There is a lot of activity in the current Indian startup ecosystem, with a lot of people ready to take risks and follow their dreams. In the last two to three years, we have seen manifold increase in the startup scene, especially in Bangalore, and it is only growing every year.
We are particularly enthused by the potential in India to produce companies in analytics and data-driven applications. We believe it’s the best time for anyone to start a company in India.
On The Hive India’s vision
Our laser focus on Big Data sets us apart from other investors. We want to offer immense value to our startups, regardless of where they are in the startup lifecycle – be it the prototype stage or traction phase or raising series A/B funds, etc. We also want to play a significant role in the technology startup and data analytics ecosystem.
We want to be first stop for data scientists/data teams when they begin their entrepreneurial journey. We should be able to add value through our experts in India, Southern California and the Silicon Valley.
On raising new round of funds
We have our own prop capital, which we are deploying in Big Data companies; we are actively looking to invest. We are not currently looking for funds for The Hive India in 2014-15.
On investment plans for 2014
We are looking to make three to four investments in next 12-18 months’ time frame. We are looking for seasoned and passionate entrepreneurs who are looking to build disruptive companies.