Swapnil Sheth

swapnil.sheth@indigoedge.com

My Story

23 kms away from the great Shivaji Maharaj’s capital, Raigad fort, is the town of Mahad, which is where I was born and brought up. Having done my schooling in Mahad, I lived in Mumbai for 6 years, where I completed my junior college from D.G. Ruparel and Electronics Engineering from Sardar Patel College of Engineering. Years later, I completed MBA in Finance and Strategy from MDI, Gurgaon.

How I got into investment banking?

Before my MBA, I worked with Infosys in the BFSI domain for over 3 years, which laid the  foundation for a role in finance. After my MBA, I worked with Goldman Sachs for ~3 years as an Equity Research Analyst covering the US Technology sector. To a certain extent, investment banking and equity research are analogous careers as you are analysing companies and sectors, pitching an investment idea, and helping investors and entrepreneurs create wealth and value.

What keeps me up at night?

In the Indian context, I believe we are just scratching the surface of innovation and disruption, with most start-ups addressing the 100mn or so population in 20+ odd cities. I see huge opportunities to serve the rest of the  1.2 billion population through innovation in agri-tech, healthcare and insurance, bottom-of-the-pyramid financial services and improving infrastructure and employment opportunities outside of the top 10-20 cities.

My inspirations

I admire Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk for the telescopic vision each of them have and in Bezos’ case, the unwavering execution to achieve his vision.

My focus/interest

My current areas of focus are fintech and consumer-tech. I keep my ears to the ground for any exciting companies in the agri-tech and insurance tech spaces as well.

What excites me?

“Three types of businesses: Solve a customer’s problem, scratch a customer’s itch, exploit a customer’s vulnerability” – Morgan Housel.

A business may fall in more than one of the above categories. For me, businesses falling in third category are a complete no. In the other two, I look for companies that have high quality growth, consumer stickiness, and operating leverage in their business model. And of course, a visionary, committed and able management behind the wheel capable to drive through the uphill and downhill across multiple laps to reach the chequered flag.

Best piece of advice given to me

“When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.”

My advice to entrepreneurs

“You can only connect the dots looking backwards. Have faith that the dots will connect somehow” – Steve Jobs.

But pay due respect to the survivorship bias prevalent in the media and in one’s own beliefs. Don’t go sky-diving without a parachute!

What IndigoEdge is to me

IndigoEdge is a symbiotic place in the eco-system of start-ups, VCs, entrepreneurs and society as a whole. “Doing well by doing good” is the motto here. By helping start-ups raise funding, we help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams, investors create wealth, and start-ups to deliver innovative products and services to customers while creating jobs. We try to a play a game where everyone wins.

As a work-place, it is not a place where we come to work. It is a place where we come to live.

Cooling off

I like reading books and watching western TV shows. I passionately follow football and support Arsenal Football Club and I am big fan of Lionel Messi.