Anshul Jain, MD, Lighthouse Funds
Anshul Jain is the Managing Director of Lighthouse Funds. She is also a Board Member in several companies. Lighthouse Funds is a company that provides funds to the companies in need. They operate in different ranges of companies, but the centre is always the consumer.
The power to be able to invest in an organisation comes with great responsibility. Our guest for today, Anshul Jain, is fulfilling her responsibility successfully, for a very long time. She is the Managing Director of Lighthouse Funds. She is also a Board Member in several companies.
Lighthouse Funds is a company which provides funds to the companies in need. They operate in different ranges of companies, but the centre is always the consumer. However they have invested in healthcare brands, wealth, digital and manufacturing brands as well. They are working with brands like Nykaa, Aqualite, CERA Sanitaryware, Fab India and many more.
Difference between Venture Capital and Private Equity
Anshul tells us that Venture Capital is where capital is backing up businesses at a very early stage. It can be backing up a person, even before the venture is started officially, or it can be in the very early stages of the business. However, private equity is when the model is established and the business needs capital to grow further. To explain a little more, she tells us when the business has reached a certain point and they need to scale it beyond, that’s where the private equity comes and focuses on the growth part of the business.
How does Lighthouse funds seek companies that are relevant today and tomorrow
Lighthouse Funds is very clear in its procedures. They first look at the market and its growth rate. They then check what the business is doing and would it be sustainable in the long run or not. Anshul also talks about the management. She tells us that Lighthouse Funds also looks to the management as they believe that if a business idea is good but the management is not able to execute it well then there are hardly any chances of the business going forward.
She says that these three things are very important and non negotiable when it comes to dealing with a new company.
How involved should the investor get in the governance affairs of the company he is investing in?
Anshul believes that governance as a concept in an organization is extremely important. In her opinion governance of the business is as or more important as its growth. As an investor, it is Lighthouse Funds’ duty to put this forth to the management team that one has to emphasize on it and there are several ways through which they can communicate this to the company. They can be helped by bringing in consultants for different aspects, or the process part can be taken care of, helping with the audit etc.
Anshul says that as a thought, governance should be pushed forward if one looks at a longer term journey.
At what stage does Anshul Jain look for an exit from a company?
Anshul says that the decision of making an exit from a company depends upon its scale. However, their general life cycle in a business is about six to eight years.
What are some common mistakes startup entrepreneurs make?
Anshul believes that making mistakes is a part of growing up, so she calls it a learning process rather than a mistake.
However, she believes that people are a very important part of any organisation and are more important in the initial days of it. She suggests that an entrepreneur should judge his skills and then decide whether he wants to go solo or needs a co-founder. She also says that the initial hirings should not be made on the basis of finance available, it should be made on the skill set required. Third thing she talks about is the use of money. She says that businesses should have a balance between spending too little and spending too much. Next thing she suggests to startup businesses is to choose their investors wisely, because one needs a partner who can support the vision one has laid out.
Co-founder versus going solo
Anshul says that if you are building a business and you feel that you need a complimentary skill, then you should definitely find a co-founder. However, it also depends on your ability to collaborate with other people. If you feel that you are good with yourself then you must go solo.
Currently co-head new Investments at Lighthouse Funds. Led investments in Nykaa, Duroflex and Aqualite
Have worked in the area of M&A (Domestic and Cross-border), PE (Equity and Structured Funding) and Capital Markets. Client coverage and Transaction advisory: Deal origination, complex structuring, marketing transaction, financial modeling, presentations, documentation and leading negotiations.
Has lead coverage for Consumer, Food & Agri sector at ICICI Securities
Previous Sector experience: Consumer, Food & Agri (Dairy, Restaurants, Liquor, Plantation, Food brands) , Fertilizer & Chemical (Petrochemical, Urea, Lube Additives, specialty chemical), Mining (Thermal Coal, Phosphate assets), Infrastructure (Power Generation – Thermal, Wind, Hydro and Gas), Cement and Education
Advised Clients across various geographies (India, Asia, Australia, Europe and US). Have advised Companies at growth stage and large Corporate / Conglomerates.
Experience in managing multi-faceted clients (Indian and MNC), Indian Promoters, Senior Management, Government officials and in leading multi-functional teams (lawyers, valuers, tax experts etc)