Alok, we'd love to know more about your journey, and first let me introduce you the set of companies that you have invested in.. Vogo, MamaEarth, Signzy, Munch, LoadShare, Shop101, NoticeBoard, Whatfix, Mfine, Wider. We are going to discuss this further in the podcast. But Alok We'd love to know more about your journey first. Fantastic. Thank you so much Siddharth. Maybe just one point of clarification. Those are all the companies indeed that we have invested in from Stellaris. Not all of these are my personal investment, in the sense that we have three partners. So some of these are invested by my partners as well. Right? But to go back into my journey Siddharth So I guess like it's for most people, it's been a journey of self-discovery and therefore it's been a bit of a Brownian motion as ideas about what I wanted to do in life have changed over a period of time. So I graduated from IIT Delhi in computer science in 1992. And at that time the only thing on my mind was that I wanted to be a professor and do research. Was actually very keen on speech recognition as an area of research ended up at UT Austin, started research in a couple of different areas. Somewhere during that path I got the bug that I want to be an entrepreneur and thought that I need to be back in India. So moved back to India, 94 tried building an IT services company that went nowhere, became a developer in a company called Cadence Design Systems for a couple of years that I didn't particularly enjoy and then entered the realm of management consulting for six years initially with Mackenzie in India and a firm called Mechana group in the Bay Area. And in between also went to INSEAD in France to do my MBA. And post that spent 10 years selling software, bulk of that was with a company called SAP, the German software company, I was with them in U.S and also in India and post that early 2013 is when I entered the realm of venture capital, which is when I joined Helium and three years later is when I started Stellaris along with two of my colleagues Rahul and Ritesh. Alok what's your purpose in life? So purpose is a hard one for me to define to be honest. I personally don't have any particular professional ambition. There is no specific destination I'm trying to reach. I would maybe rephrase your question in terms of three objectives I would say that I have set for myself. Number one being at all points in time I want to pursue what I like and not work for money any longer. I know it's a bit of a luxury but that's one of my.. sort of defining principles. The second one is to have a balanced life. Which is that I enjoy my work and I actually love what I do, but there are lots of other things I love as well. For example, I love Indian classical music, I love running, I love solving mathematical puzzles, I am involved with a.. with an NGO and I need to be able to find the balance across these things, not when I'm 65, but I need to find that balance today itself. And that balance is very critical to me and the third being just continuously improve whatever I do. There is no specific destination or no particular goal that I'm looking to achieve at this point. And how has been your transition to VC been? What motivated you to switch from, you know CEO role in SAP to being a venture capitalist in 2013? So that itself has been part of the journey of self-discovery for me Siddharth. Back in 2012 I was still at sap I was the chief operating officer for SAP India. That's a time at which SAP was keen to move me back to U.S I was not keen to move back for personal reasons. And I realized that when you are part of one large MNC in India, you hit the ceiling at some point. Most MNCs give or take, do one to two percent of their revenues in India and you can shift from one MNC to another with fancy titles, but in the end the job does not significantly change in those situations. And I was trying to figure out what is it that I want to do with my life for the next 15, 20, 25 years. And that led me to take a step back and I work with an executive coach to try and figure out what is it that I want to do next. It was a year-long process, involving lots of my friends, the coach, my wife in particular and I went back to basic saying what is it that I enjoy at a very micro level? What are the jobs are kind of things professions that can give me flavors of what I truly enjoy doing or what gives me energy and it was a very bottoms up process of arriving at Venture Capital dude to be honest, I never invested even in stocks. I didn't know the name of a single startup in the country and I effectively through you can say bottoms of problem-solving came to the conclusion that early-stage tech investing is what I would like to do and before I realized entered the world of venture capital. And what got you introduced to Helion? What got me introduced Helion? So there was a very close friend of mine. She had known Helion for a while and she introduced me to.. initially to Kamal who was one of the founding partners at Helion and that's a time I was still trying to figure out the profession. So I had gone to her to get her advice on different professions that I was exploring at that point. And she said that you know what you should do in speak to Helion as well just to get their take on venture capital and I met with Kamal in Bangalore I remember this was sometime in the second half of 2012. One thing led to another and what was meant to be more of an informational session for me to understand the profession led to an offer from Helion. Actually pretty rapidly. Well, that's quite a dream sequence. No I truly.. I was very fortunate it's only after entering the profession that I have realized for several how small this industry is, how few senior level openings in general exist. I was based in Gurgaon. So if you.. and I actually could not move from Gurgaon at that point. So if I limit my opportunity set to just early-stage tech venture firms only in Gurgaon to senior roles you're actually down to literally a few options that get created every four or five years. So I was very fortunate in hindsight. And let us take back your journey, What were the companies you led investment in Helion? So at helion, I led Investments.. So first of all, I was leading the investments in enterprise software and services. That's the role I was actually hired for. All put together I led four deals at Helion. There was a company which was building a language management platform called Lingua Next essentially allowing any application to be rendered in any language without actually re-writing the code. There was a company called Whatfix, this is a company that is redefining support essentially allowing users to rapidly adopt new enterprise solutions. There is a company by the name Pipemonk which was doing integration of different SAS applications. And the last one was an analytics company called Extria. So these are the four investment that I led while I was at Helion. And what are the sectors you are specifically looking at Stellaris and for the listeners what are the sectors different partners looked at? Got it. So at Stellaris we are.. we are a broad-based tech investor. We invest across different areas in technology as long as it's early stage. I personally look.. I continue to look at SAS that I was doing at Helion as well. I'm also focusing on a few other areas that include logistics, automotive with a particular emphasis currently on I would say electric vehicles, recruiting and anything to do with the industrial space. So those are the spaces I look at but my colleagues.. Ritesh looks at health care, financial services, travel and transportation, gaming. My colleague Rahul he looks at everything to do with commerce and e-commerce, education, agri, food, content, so those are the spaces that we.. that we probably focus on. And any decision at Stellaris is a IC decision between you three? So our IC process is a little bit different. First of all the entire firm participates in the IC process. We do feel that early stage investing is a bit of a, you know, trying to peek through a lot of haze. You are trying to predict what's going to happen to the world in eight to ten years and nobody has frankly the absolute truth in their mind on that front. It's a small team. So we are a team of eight people. Six of us are investment team members, we have one of our colleague who heads finance, in addition so the seven of us are part of the IC process. Everybody will give their votes and the reasons behind the vote as well. And those reasons actually formulate a very important part of the deal team trying to eventually formulate whether they want to do the investment or not do the investment. And so if it's a majority vote, then the investment goes through? Is it like this? So ours is a slightly more complicated process than just a majority vote. What I will rather than going into the nuts and guts of the voting process, what I will say is that we try to balance our process for two things. Number one is that we believe that early stage investing in tech, is about backing the conviction of the deal team. It's high-risk Investments by definition given that different people focus on different spaces. Nobody will have the level of depth that the deal team does on that particular deal and therefore by large our gut is to back the gut of the deal team. That being said we are also a fund and it's a common pool of capital that we are deploying across different areas, we want to be conscious of our overall portfolio construction. And therefore we do have certain checks and balances that we put in place, in addition to more often than not trying to back the gut of the deal team. And which are the deals among the one we discussed that you led? So at Stellaris I have now actually done five deals. I first invested in a company called Whatfix which was my portfolio company at Helion as well and literally as we started out the fund we let series A from Stellaris. And this is a company in the digital adoption solution space. That's one. Essentially targeting large enterprises when they deploy enterprise solutions, how do thousands of users adopt that enterprise solution is what Whatfix helps with. I next invested in a company called Notice Board, which is a communication and collaboration solution for the blue collared or the desk-less workers at large. That's a second one I backed. Thereafter I invested in logistics company called Loadshare. This is a company that is using small and medium-sized logistics service providers throughout the country and building a country wide network by using technology on top of their operations. So they are not only asset-less but even the operations are franchised across these small and medium-sized LSPs throughout the country and they do both B2C and B2B logistics. And the fourth one is a company called Signzy, this is a company that is providing trust services to large financial institutions as an EPI and are going to market both in India with large financial institutions and now also outside the country. And the last one which is not announced yet is a company which is indeed I would use two buzzwords, it's in the space of big data as well as artificial intelligence to solve top of the funnel problems for outbound marketing for large enterprises. So those are the five that I have done at Stellaris.