“Oftentimes, the biggest barriers to success are internal and I derive a lot of meaning from helping founders overcome their fears and self-doubt to dream bigger.”
1991 was a special year: the World Wide Web was made publicly accessible, and India finally opened up its economy following the liberalization reforms. It marked India’s first generation to grow up ‘on’ the internet, modest in means owing to their small-town roots but unconstrained in ambition given the exposure to all of the world’s information.
Born in Kanpur, raised in Ahmedabad, and then traveling across India, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States for work and education – Shuvi embodies this New India – aspirational yet grounded, starry-eyed about building for India yet pragmatic about the constraints that come with operating in a country of 1.3 billion people. “Having been a part of the tech ecosystem for over a decade, I’ve seen first-hand the value of technology in democratizing access to products and services reserved for the ‘privileged’, and the value of venture capital in amplifying these products to impact hundreds of millions of people,” says Shuvi.
At Lightspeed, she looks at internet-first businesses and is especially excited about the financial services sector given the potential of technology in serving the credit and investment needs of the retail user currently ignored by the large financial institutions. Previously, she was also a part of the investment team that deployed the first Lightspeed India fund across consumer and enterprise companies. Outside her investing career, she’s been a consultant across consumer and IT with Bain & Co., managed BD and operations at an early-stage venture-backed computer vision startup Drishti Technologies in Silicon Valley, and run a labs venture launching multiple products and services before coming back to her roots in venture investing. “My time in the Bay Area helped me appreciate the value of human networks which inspired me to build a similar community in India where knowledge, connections, and resources are shared abundantly.”
Having been a founder who didn’t get to product-market fit, she deeply understands the psychological price of entrepreneurship. “As a result, even as I help founders with strategy, partnerships, fund-raising, and recruitment – I think the most important and fulfilling part of my role is being a part-therapist part-coach as they endure the ups and downs of their often isolating journey,” says Shuvi.