Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review of Mahendra Ramsinghani's "The Business of Venture Capital: Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies

21 Aug 2012

Review Posted on

5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must' for all those who fancy the bucket & probably the ocean too!August 21, 2012 By Vishrasayan

As someone aiming to venture into VC, and moving quite laterally at that, I was on lookout for a book that not only strengthens my basics but would also help me develop my own perspective of how the ecosystem behaves & how I could synergize and coexist with the same - `The Business of Venture Capital..' by Mahendra Ramsinghani fit the bill perfectly.

While essentially structured as a comprehensive guide to the VC process, the author took pains not to make the style pedagogic & peppered it liberally with quotes, case-studies and his own witty one-liners that helped the overall learning process while not getting your goat. Even as I persisted through all chapters, I did realize that the composition of each chapter allows one to skip a chapter or two & still make sense of the flow.

The book ends with a quote by David Ogilvy "Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals". Interestingly (for me at least...), the epilogue starts with the sentence, "At its core, VC is truly an apprenticeship business" - This seeming contradiction/ irony is what defines the approach taken by the author Mahendra Ramsinghani in establishing that a true venture professional is essentially a lifelong apprentice who nonetheless perpetually aims to challenge the boundaries of a conventional success.

Highly recommended for aspiring & established VCs and anyone else who fancies the `bucket' in whichever way!

The clinical attrition of INX-189 post a 2.5 billion acquisition - are investors into life sciences really looking at where the buck is headed?

October 2012
Discussion initiated onGlobal Private Equity & Venture Capital group on Linkedin

Agreed BMS is no VC & acquisition of Inhibitex at 2.5 billion was more a survival tactic, but probably the outcome could be such for many investments into the life science (drug discovery). I believe the investor due-diligence of the investee should go beyond market projections of the pipeline candidates & a rational assessment of the druggability & clinical longevity of the pipeline candidates is what should interest the investor the most – not sure if this happens to the extent required?

Would love to hear what the investor community feels about this.


PS: My love went totally unrequitted :-)... zero response

Is the LP bias against investment into life-sciences contra-logical?

17 January 2013

Early Stage Biotech Showing Positive Signs of Scaling Its Wall of Worry by Bruce Booth on Forbes

Despite the apparent consensus opinion at JPM that innovative new start-ups are continuing to attract capital, I wonder if in reality the venture funding, particularly from big-pharma CVCs, is mostly channeled into development/ acquisition of potential clinical candidates - THIS anomaly of an 'uncharacteristic aversion of domain biggies themselves towards investing into early innovation that'd feed their own pipelines' is WHAT I feel is the primary reason for a strong bias in the LP universe against investment into Life Sciences......

INX-189 clinical attrition - a call for re-look at single isomer strategy of Gilead?

October 2012
Discussion posted Pharmaceutical Discussion Group on LinkedIn

Is the purported toxicity of the non-active diastereoisomer in a P-chiral nucleotide prodrug (protide) a scientifically derived hypothesis OR is it merely a surmise from a coincidence that no active-isomer is found toxic till date? (considering very few 'single isomers' entered PI till date..)

The quintessential 'Indian vegetarian meal' prototype on Emirates

23 Nov 2012

On FB McKinsey article "the trouble with Travel distribution"

Yes indeed - the globe trotting traveler these days can negotiate and get deals on anything & everything, except if he/she's an Indian vegetarian, flying any global airlines and hoping for a gourmet food experience.... Get real chum, eat ur paneer, okhra, rice & all together :-l


11th January on FB

Akbar bhai.... meraa bhi ek sawal hain baataan shadab cafe mein chai pe chotti samosa khatey waqat bolney hain, woh baataan camere ke samne kaiku karrain miyaan? panga kaiku lerain phursat mein khali-peeli sarkar sey? 

The mahaul at Nirmal is such that anyone can get into a rhetoric mode, get irrationally impassioned and indulge in senseless bravado....... while some of the allegations, sentiments voiced by Akbar bear a semblence to reality, truth, a lot of it was hyperbole & it would be foolhardy to say the listener would take it all as God's word...... Akbar is no polished politico, he comes across as immature, kiddish...... more than what he said about the infamous 'pandrah minute', more worrying is the way the crowd erupted in cheer & approval of that idiotic posturing........... dimaag khaan bhoolkey phirrain yaaron ye logaan?

Secular India would do good to focus on the funny side of all this & show it to the understanding Muslim population out there which also has a sense of humor... (believe me... there were a few concerned, confused and amused faces right behind the sher-e-deccan :-)...) to me this speech is nothing more than a excitable shahri showing off to the vulnerable dehathi....

(main section is between 48th & 60th minute)

Climb down from the towers BoDs..

We are all Board Members on LI by Lucy P Marcus

As an employee who always worked with a sense of ownership, accountability, I always felt its strange that the board's engagement with key employees (second line, executing level) within the organization is non-existent & more often than not, its strategic guidance is based on a colorful slide-deck or an birds-eye-view executive summary that rarely reflects the subtler aspects of business realities and it's short & long-term sustenance. While I see a common thread here that the board has a responsibility towards company's vision & and should represent the stakeholders interest rather than it’s own, I am wondering why so many critical decisions are still taken by boards without ever engaging directly with the stakeholders that actually go about translating the vision into action? & I’m presuming that employees at key positions too are considered a part of the stakeholder pool & not just the investing PE universe.

Provoke, par zara bachkey :-)

Want to Deepen Impact in 2013? Be a Provocateur on LI by Ben Mangan

Quite nicely provoked :-)... I though see most provocateurs use the 'why' primarily for disruptive purposes (unfortunately) than otherwise.... I guess these belong to the category of 'those who don't give a damn (like Veronika J wrote below...), but provoke nonetheless for the heck of it' (OR to topple some apple-carts...) Whichever type one is, my message to all prospective provocateurs is "Ask WHY?, but be well prepared when countered by 'WHY NOT'?"