This series will look at leadership from the point of view of an investor or VC.

In each episode of this series, we will explore what traits, behaviors, or red flags investors see in the leaders that they work with – and how founders evolve over time as they become better leaders.

Vignesh Shankar is a Managing Partner at Artha99 Investment Partners with a background in Strategy, M&A, and Corporate Finance.

Step into the captivating world of an interview with a dynamic entrepreneur and investor. Meet the seasoned professional who, despite a background in finance, dared to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. 

From working in top firms like Pricewaterhouse and HP Emphasis, this individual craved more than just numbers and spreadsheets. Eager to break free from the confines of a closed environment, they fearlessly established their own boutique investment advisory firm back in 2008. 

With an insatiable entrepreneurial spirit and a thirst for growth, they took on a remarkable challenge: not only to advise on acquisitions but also to step into the shoes of running the business itself.

Join this interview to uncover the entrepreneur’s reflections on the importance of humility, constant learning, and being open to help. Discover their unique approach to investing, where synchronizing with founders, people skills, and unwavering ethics take precedence. 

Gain insights into their views on sales, the lifeblood of business, and the critical role it plays in building relationships, understanding customer pain points, and embodying a company’s brand.  

You can find Vignesh at the below links

In the interview, Vignesh shares

  • “Never assume that you know everything and always be open to the fact that there is much you don’t know. Seeking help and being receptive to it will always benefit you.”
  • “Having the openness to learn while being confident in your vision is crucial for founders and leaders. It allows for growth and adaptability in the market.”
  • “When considering investments, the synchronization with founders, their people skills, and ethics are essential factors. These determine whether we invest or not, even if the business itself is promising.”
  • “Red flags in investment opportunities include founders solely focused on an exit strategy without considering long-term growth, and a lack of openness to bringing in key team members for vital segments of the business.”
  • “Sales is one of the most critical functions in a business, as it ultimately brings in the money. Exceptional people skills, understanding the customer’s pain points, and being the brand ambassador are crucial for sales success.”
  • “Cash flow is the oxygen for a business. Without a plan to bring in cash, there are hard questions to face. Acknowledging this fundamental aspect is vital for CEOs and business owners.”
  • “Salespeople often show empathy toward business owners since they understand the challenges of investing in and growing a business. They play a crucial role in driving growth and building relationships.”
  • “Dealing with both successes and failures requires leaders to remain humble, take responsibility, and exhibit a willingness to learn from their experiences. Being honest about failures and analyzing successes with logic are important traits.”
  • “Supporting founders’ growth in human skills that aren’t typically taught in business schools is essential. As passive investors, we provide a support system to help founders with various aspects, such as networking, business planning, and funding.”
  • “Building relationships with founders involves difficult and uncomfortable moments, but they are crucial for growth. Open communication, reasonable demands, and respectful reasoning are essential to maintain a strong relationship.”