Thanks to his businessman acumen or "hubris" as he humbly calls it in retrospect, Anupam Mittal, the founder and CEO of People Group today is one of the biggest names in the Indian e-commerce sector.
With more than 40 investments in a range of interactive services (Shaadi.com, Ola cabs, Makaan.com and Mauj mobile among others) Mittal
has seen his
valuations rise 10-fold in the last couple of years alone and features in the list of the country's 50 most powerful people according to a leading business publication.
In April 2011, Mittal
picked up two per cent stake in Ola Cabs by investing approximately Rs 50-60 lakh.
With the cab company receiving higher valuations during its subsequent fund-raising from both domestic as well as global investors the value of Mittal's initial investment has risen to Rs 22-25 crore in just a span of three years.
It was a case of unexplored potential, he
"Four years ago, when Ola launched in Mumbai, the cab industry was unorganised despite the big market.
The cab industry makes $8-10 billion in a year nationally, but there was still more potential I felt," he
The entrepreneur believes that as important as it is to sniff the potential of a new market and gauge the competitive intensity of it, one mustn't ignore the voices in one's head and the general 'vibe' of an idea or a person.
"I should be able look forward to my meetings with the entrepreneur and share a drink with him or her
One needs to have a good chemistry with a work associate to be able to have successful partnership," says Anupam
who takes pride in having formed what he
calls "the best in the online team" while referring to the top employees in his
Over the past decade and a half, Mittal
has invested in a range of industries right from matrimonial and property sites and cabs to films and property services.
And it has all been a game of trial and error, he
Since traditional family networks are breaking down too, there is a good chance for a matrimonial site to sustain in the market," says Anupam
have been open to the idea of finding an online match himself?
It's not the only time Anupam
didn't hit the bull's eye.
Back in 2000 and then again in 2008, he
was close to being penniless thanks to a global market crash.
"I had made a lot of money from the dot com revolution, but since I hadn't cashed my stocks and had debt to pay, I lost most of it.
Then in 2008, there was a global meltdown.
We were setting up multiple online verticals and expecting capital from an equity investor who backed out at the last minute.
It was the second time I was close to being penniless," says Anupam
, who looks at the incident as a learning process in hindsight.
Citing Steve Jobs as an inspiration he
adds, "More than capital or intelligence, it is the perseverance and tenacity of an entrepreneur that leads to a successful venture.
Take a look at the most successful entrepreneurs.