Meet Pranav Sharma, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Woodstock Fund on Effect of COVID-19 in Indian economy

▴ meet-pranav-sharma-cofounder-covid19-effect-indian-economy
“VC’s and entrepreneurs should be more nurturing and kinder to the startup ecosystem.” says Pranav on guidance to Venture Capitalists and entrepreneurs.

  India as a nation is going through a difficult time due to CoronaVirus. Many of the Indian businesses are struggling with blind uncertainty about their future economy due to a severe hit on several sectors such as hospitality, MSME, civil aviation, agriculture, and the allied sector. 

So we as a news portal, find it our primary duty to keep the morale high of our Indian start-ups and entrepreneurs by reporting on how some people are working round the clock so our health and jobs are secured. We hope our series will help the entrepreneurs struggling during lockdown and SME's who are trying to beat the pandemic and do best for their business. So read on to spot the opportunities, mistakes, and overall how to correct your actions so that the business heads in the right direction.

 Pranav Sharma, a mechanical engineer from VIT, Pune, is an expert in identifying, understanding, and contributing to structuring and executing the business side of startups. He is the co-founder and Director at Woodstock fund, which helps SMEs with debt fundraising.

Pranav has a decade and a half in a leadership role in financial services across the spectrum Private Equity, Asset Management (both Offshore & domestic), Distribution (Broking, Retail & wealth management), Structured finance, and SME insurance. Prior to that over 3 years of experience in manufacturing and technical sales. MBA (Finance & Strategy) and engineer. Angel and equity markets investor.

 “All our portfolio companies have an 18 month to the 5-year runway, he says, on managing the expenses during this lockdown due to the CoronaVirus. They have cut down on the monthly burn rate and variability of their expenses. Amidst these cost cuts, they have struck a fine balance to actively engage with productive and critical team members and third parties. Their focus has been to keep the cultural fabric of the startup intact.

While doing all of this they have accelerated building and crunched time to reach their milestones. Since customer acquisition is not easy, they are focusing a lot more on partnerships and joint outreach. “We think this is good enough for now unless there is a massive second wave of COVID-19 that needs further deeper cuts and more hands-on-deck,” he says.

On coping with the economic slowdown

Pranav explains how entrepreneurs can cope with the slowdown of the economy due to the pandemic spread, “Just continue to build and capture low hanging fruits - customers that can pay, customers that can be easily acquired, products or features that can be easily monetized. Always remember that everyone is in the hole right now and everyone wants to come out of it. If the startup can contribute materially to the topline and bottom-line of their target market at a reasonable cost then they will get traction which will snowball into momentum when economic activity jumps,” he says.

Measures to take during uncertainty

Entrepreneurship is about courting risk, executing diligently, and then reaping rewards. Most entrepreneurs are die-hard optimists and management-risk is rarely their focus. So, Pranav suggests the following points to help the entrepreneurs  navigate most of the crisis and thus prioritize things in the organization:

  • Identifying the top 3 risks in your startup and finding a maximum of 3 sub-risks under each of these risks
  • Rate them on their probability and impact as high or low (omit medium as it doesn't make you decisive)
  • Identify risk mitigants for each of these sub-risks
  • Review these risks and mitigants on a quarterly basis. Particularly those that are high probability and high impact and need constant focus

Due to the lockdown, a lot of people got to experience life around their homes with their family which they couldn’t all these years due to their busy schedules, travel, and 24x7 work profile. “Personally, lockdown gave me a lot of space to focus on my inner wellbeing through eating right and yoga. Professionally since everyone is available on video and phone calls these days, it has helped me execute things much faster. COVID-19 is contagious, but not as fatal as Spanish flu or any other disease. We just need to be more responsible towards ourselves and those around us and it shall pass-by,” Pranav says.

He applauds the first-of-its-kind initiative taken by Top Venture Capitalists and entrepreneurs with an INR 100 CR grant, Action COVID-19 Team (ACT), launched to provide resources and guidance to startup founders and employees, “It is an outstanding initiative. In general VCs and entrepreneurs should be more nurturing and kinder to the startup ecosystem. Eventually, it's not all about money, fame, or glory. A journey of a VC or entrepreneur is also about being contributive to individuals and society. One thing that COVID-19 has taught us is that we are only as strong as our weakest link. We should support each other beyond boundaries,” he says.

Best buying opportunity for investors

Most are denying the possibility of a second wave and a new normal that can re-architect practically every industry that we know of. Right now what we are seeing is a relief rally,” he says. The year 2020 in general will be a washout, as demand might not return back to what they were and hence the enterprise balance sheets will contract massively. 

Pranav says, “We still have to see the pain in the market because this lockdown will lead to almost a quarter of no revenues and continued payroll and other costs. One bad quarter for corporate leads to another quarter being washout and then another quarter to cover the losses.” Pranav adds that “I am a lot more bullish on startups in the digital asset space. For those startups that are available at a reasonable valuation, our fund is very well poised to capture this upside potential multi-bagger,” he says.

(Edited By Rabia Mistry)

Tags : #MedicircleRendezvous #pranavsharma #smitakumar #woodstockfund #venturecapitalist #portfoliocompanies #rendezvous

About the Author


Rabia Mistry Mulla

'For vessels to change their course, they have to be hit by a strong wind first!'
So here I am penning down my thoughts on health and research after 6 years of planning Diets.
Being a Clinical Dietitian & a Diabetes Educator I always had a thing for writing, alas, been hit by the winds towards a new course!
You can write to me at [email protected]

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...
-Advertisements-


Trending Now

PM addresses the Nation today, announces free vaccinesJune 07, 2021
Why inhalers are best for treating asthma, well illustrated by Dr. Anil SingalMay 12, 2021
Dr. Rohan Palshetkar shares his invaluable insights about the Maternal Mortality Rate causes and improvements in India April 29, 2021
It is important to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards any teenage girl seeking contraceptive advise suggests Dr. Teena Trivedi, Obstetrician and GynecologistApril 16, 2021
80% of the diseases are psychosomatic which means they have roots in the mind and this is where homeopathy steps in - It resolves physical ailments by finding the cause in the mind – Dr. Sanket Dhuri, Consultant Homeopath April 14, 2021
A futuristic Vision of a Healthcare Entrepreneur: Shyatto Raha, CEO, and Founder of MyHealthcareApril 12, 2021
Saher Mehdi, Founder and Chief Scientist at wellOwise talks about aspects making healthcare more equitable and reachableApril 10, 2021
Wide variety of therapies to address autism in children explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 09, 2021
Allopathic and Homeopathic medicines should not be taken together says Dr. Sunil Mehra, Homeopath ConsultantApril 08, 2021
The charm of homeopathic medicine is that it can be taken with conventional medicines – Dr. Shruthi Shridhar, Consulting Homeopath April 08, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder and associated concepts explained by Dr. Vinod Kumar, Psychiatrist and Head of Mpower - The Centre (Bangalore) April 07, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 05, 2021
Sehat Ki Baat, Karishma Ke Saath- Episode 6 Healthy Diet For Boosting Metabolism Which Can Help Thyroid Patients April 03, 2021
Significant Pointers on Kidney Health by Dr. Santosh Waigankar, Consultant Urooncologist and Robotic Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani HospitalApril 01, 2021
Dr. Vaishal Kenia, Ophthalmologist Talks About the Different Possibilities Available for the Treatment of Glaucoma Depending Upon Their Type and SeverityMarch 30, 2021
No Definitive Role of Diet in Treatment of Lymphedema but Intake of Calories, Salt and Long Chain Fatty Acids should be controlled says Dr. Ramani CVMarch 30, 2021
Dr. Kiran Chandra Patro, Senior Nephrologist Talks About Dialysis as the Temporary Process and Not a Permanent Cure for the Patients of Renal DysfunctionMarch 30, 2021
Two out of three new chronic kidney disease patients are found to have diabetes or hypertension informs Dr. Sreeharsha HarinathaMarch 30, 2021
Glaucoma Treatment: Medications or Surgery? A valuable piece of advice from Dr. Pranay Kapdia, Chairman and Medical Director of Kapadia Eye CareMarch 25, 2021
Dr. Shraddha Satav, Consultant Ophthalmologist Recommends that Everybody After 40, Should Go for the Complete Eye Checkup at Regular IntervalMarch 25, 2021