Welcome to our section, FSChangemakers, where we bring you stories and conversations of inspirational women. These women have changed lives and given back to the community in their own way. Every day, they stand up and push through challenges to imagine and create a better future. Today, Navjot Kaur, Vice President, Fireside Ventures shares her story.
It was 8 years back, while in her first job at Netscribes, she was first drawn to the idea of what she is doing now. Being exposed to data and stories of hundreds of startups, she could see herself in this ecosystem even in the long term. She decided she wanted to become a venture capitalist because she wanted to be on the side that nurtures and waters that ‘seed’ of an idea grows into a plant.
As a professional who engages with and evaluates a large variety of ideas, she consciously keeps a check on her own biases and blindspots. Whether these blindspots are about the investments she makes or about how more women can be a part of the VC or any other male-dominated field.
In this conversation, Navjot talks to us about what made her choose Venture Capitalism, her favourite deal, getting over her blindspots and a lot more.
Watch the full discussion below.
Timeline Of The Video
0:00 – Introduction
0:37 – Startup exposure with Netscribes
1:43 – Entering the world of venture capital
3:33 – Learnings from experience at BookMyShow
6:10 – Chose to be a venture capitalist over an operator
6:34 – Day to day working of a venture capitalist
9:14 – Investing in D2C and consumer brands
13:12 – What strikes a chord while considering a deal
“…Vision of the entrepreneur. How big an individual is thinking. Opportunities can be big and small but what matters is the individual’s dream and passion that reflects a lot in the vision.”
14:00 – Favourite deal so far
“…And it actually gave me learning – bias v/s big picture. What we understand, we try to gravitate towards that. I am sharing this instant because I had no relatability to the deal. I don’t know much about e-sports, as a consumer but as an investor it was so exciting to know that there are people who sit and watch other people game and that’s a billion-dollar business. So, my learning was how to remove my personal opinions, biases, blindspots about something and yet see the crazy opportunity and invest in it.”
16:14 – Experience of working in a male-dominant field
“…As a kid I saw a movie- Legally Blonde and my takeaway from that movie was that you don’t have to be a certain type to achieve something. You can do something by being yourself. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and others. Men in the industry should stop perceiving that a role can be played by a specific type of person and even the candidate should stop fitting in and try to be masculine. If you be yourself and stop being masculine, the expectations of masculine traits would start decreasing, also vice versa.
19:36 – How to break in VC
21:10 – Rapid Fire
21:29 – A pivotal moment of her life
“…This was in my b-school. We were divided into a few groups. We were given the exact same material with an egg. We had to use that material to throw the egg from the second floor and make sure it doesn’t break. As a group, we did it and thought our group is the best. There were 20 other groups, doing the same thing. And there were actually 20 ways in which it can be done and get the same result. That was one aha moment for me that there are so many ways of doing the same thing and all are right.”
22:54 – Three Indian women who inspire her
23:52 – Five wardrobe staples
24:32 – A message to the audience
Listen to the podcast here.
All images used are the sole property of Navjot Kaur and cannot be used without prior permission.