Founder & Sponsor
Highly qualified Founder & Sponsor with 35 years of experience. Part of numerous government committees and on the board of several ventures including Chairman of Micromax
Mahendra is an industry professional with investment experience of more than 20 years in Private Equity and Venture Capital. He is the founder and chief mentor at Venture Gurukool, under his leadership Venture Gurukool has become one of the top early-stage investors and mentoring platforms in India.
He Co-Founded Smile Interactive Technologies, which is among the leading internet groups in India and South East Asia. Since 1999, it has built internet businesses with passionate entrepreneurs, global internet companies and venture capital firms to create category leading businesses in the area of consumer internet, digital media and SaaS. At Smile, Mahendra helped build and scale many early-stage ventures with very rewarding exits to strategic players like WPP, Yahoo, Dentsu, Facebook etc. and the ventures had investments from marquee investors like Sequoia Capital, DST Global, etc.
Mahendra led private equity investments at Brand Capital of Times of India and structured finance across various businesses in the growth and expansion phase. He spearheaded investments in over 150 ventures in several industries viz. pharma and life sciences, manufacturing, engineering, media, consumer-facing food and beverages, education, and business services after a deep understanding of Indian business, regulatory and financial, and market environment.
He also served as Managing Director and CEO at Times Internet, where as a leader he provided vision, strategy, and organisation development for indiatimes.com, the leading portal in India, and led the creation of multiple online assets, e-commerce, subscription services, and mobile/voice value-added services including timesofindia.com, economicstimes.com, Indiatimes travel, Indiatimes shopping and Indiatimes 8888- the first-ever mobile media VAS initiative with all mobile operators. He also led venture capital infusion into the organization by Sequoia Capital, this was their first investment in India at record valuation.
Mahendra was the Founding President of IVCA and led it for over a decade. He was also the Founding trustee and Vice President of IAMAI.
Mahendra believes that the next generation entrepreneurs will drive the GDP growth and wealth creation. He Founded Ankurit Capital to be build an institutional VC Fund to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit in India!