For Akshay, growing a business is a lot like his favorite winter pastime. “In skiing, the first thing they teach you is to look at the slope far ahead of you and see obstacles well before you reach them,” he says. “Venture is the same. Short-term execution can be bumpy but the long-term vision should be sound.”
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs during the IT boom of the late ‘90s, Akshay knew from a young age that he wanted to drive economic impact. Prior to Lightspeed he was a senior leader and a founding member of the corporate development team leading strategic investments & acquisitions for Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace with a registered customer base of over 100 million. Before that he co-founded the shopper engagement platform Whalelogix while pursuing his MBA from Wharton, and was also a consultant at Bain, where he was a founding team member of the Atlanta Private Equity Practice. He also spent time with the early-stage investment team at Accel Partners India.
A self-described data junkie (and, he says, likely the only Lightspeed partner who still knows how to code), Akshay keeps his eye on consumer research to stay ahead of the trends. He looks for founders who will seize opportunities, and markets, with passion. “I’m particularly excited about the next billion Internet users—predominantly from emerging markets like India, Southeast Asia, and Africa—who are coming online for the first time,” he says. “I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for entrepreneurs to shape the user journey with technology, and a chance to reimagine their experience.”