Idein Ventures and a native of Champaran recently made it to the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2017 list, he gave Bihar another reason to be proud of our diaspora. Ashwin was born in Bettiah and grew up in Sahibganj where he studied in St Xavier’s, however, he believes that more than the learning from school, he learned a lot about life, business, politics and finance from the circumstances and situations around him. Like every other Bihari, he takes keen interest in Politics as well.
To celebrate his success, and know more about another Bihari gem, Patnabeats reached out to him, and during our conversation, he mentioned: “One benefit of growing up in a remote town of Bihar is that you remain attached to the ground and understand the value of money while doing business.”
We asked him, what you must want to know about Ashwin Srivastava.
How does it feel like to be a part of Forbes 30 under 30 list?
Ashwin Srivastava: Apart from giving the initial feeling of elation, Forbes under 30 list makes you feel more responsible. Getting into the list is not real success, but being able to justify the inclusion is. We have been achieving numerous successes with our companies, but a lot more is yet to come.
Tell us about Idein Ventures
Ashwin Srivastava: Idein Ventures is a global private equity firm which is changing the rules of the game. We are currently present in India, UAE, USA and West Africa and soon to be in Israel. We invest in seed stage and growth capital of companies. And while being so global, we also maintain a centralised process of connecting all our companies and function more like a conglomerate with varying hybrid structures, than just a PE firm. We advise, own and operate businesses in real estate, healthcare, education, interior design, last mile, recruitment, forestry, etc.
Since you aren’t staying in Bihar, what do you think about Bihar?
Ashwin Srivastava: I am not staying in Bihar and call Mumbai my work home now. But I am very much connected to my home and keep on following the progress of my home state. Bihar is still not ready with the right ecosystem and infrastructure needed for sustained growth of businesses. There has been a lot of visible growth in the past 10 years, but much more is still needed to make it a preferred investment destination for PE players.
What does ‘Bihari’ stand for you?
Ashwin Srivastava: It’s a feeling which every person from Bihar should embrace and not shy away from. Our tendency to not associate the word with ourselves after we migrate and become successful leads to only a negative perception being associated with Bihar.
Any plans of starting something in Bihar or taking your venture to Bihar?
Ashwin Srivastava: We welcome startups and companies from Bihar to approach us for seed and growth investment. Since our businesses are spread across sectors and geographies, Bihar is already covered in the list of areas we target. We do not have any startup functional in Bihar, but I believe some of our startups already have clients from Bihar. I will be really proud if I see a company with its origins in Bihar getting funded by us.
Being in a position where you can influence, what would you like to do for Bihar now or in future to promote start-ups in the state?
Ashwin Srivastava: One of the major ways in which Bihar can progress as a startup hub is by having proper incubation and accelerator programs in the state and in the leading educational institutes present in the state. Telangana is a good example to emulate. Such programs need the following to become successful- support from the local government, which we wish to help bring in the state; support from global and influential investors, which we already are; and the presence of experts on the ground who can bring in the right ecosystem.
Moreover, we are running and planning certain CSR programs aimed at bringing right education to deserving students from underprivileged background, and we wish to provide the same to students from Bihar as well. Education is the key towards building a sustainable startup ecosystem in Bihar.
How much stereotyping have you faced as a Bihari living away from the state?
Ashwin Srivastava: Much of the stereotyping which I faced was when I was in Delhi. Mumbai has been much more open and much less judgmental based on my background. Stereotyping races, communities, religions, and regions have been a common problem in India, and underdeveloped states like Bihar bear the maximum negative brunt for the same.
What message would you like to give to the youths of Bihar.
Ashwin Srivastava: Success is definitely not a function of stability. So get out of the herd mentality and seek knowledge and satisfaction in life by treading unseen pastures- success will follow. Youths of Bihar need to start thinking beyond government jobs or IIT/Medical.
It’s not the first time any Bihari made it to the list, in January 2016 Patna’s Sharad Sagar, was mentioned in ‘Forbes 30 under 30 Entrepreneur’ list. Every single time anyone from Diaspora achieves something, it becomes the victory of our community. The achievement tally in the name of Bihari diaspora is increasing day by day, and PatnaBeats is proud to bring out their success stories to you. Bihar has been an epicenter of knowledge since ages and lately, the entire world has started acknowledging this multifarious state for the talent and potential that it breeds.
Quote of the day:“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” ― Eric Roth