We have known Japan and his team for over 5 years from the time Japan led one of the earliest PE investments in our bank. They have a very professional approach to investing and working with founding teams. Through the period of their investment in us, they had a consistent dialogue and engagement with our team to understand performance and execution of the business plan; new challenges and opportunities, and; market benchmarking. Their experience in consumer and financial services (including being one of the early proponents of digital payments through their investment in Paytm) especially helped us in gaining wider perspective of the market.
Japan and his colleagues at IDFC Investment Advisors became our significant shareholders before we went public. In our first meeting itself he was quickly able to establish trust and confidence with his affable nature and quick grasp of our business drivers. The speed of execution and professionalism displayed by his team left us pleasantly surprised. During their time as investors with us we looked forward to engagements with them to discuss opportunities, challenges and business environment. Their experience in infrastructure investing, equity markets and governance insights were very helpful for us. Over the years of knowing him, I have appreciated his focus on the long term, ethics and helping founders build business from the ground up.
Japan and his team at IDFC Investment Advisors backed us at a stage when we were a young Company and the infrastructure sector was out of favor with investors. They quickly grasped that we can have an edge over the competition due to our strong execution capabilities and cash flow management thus allowing us to grow exponentially in a stressed sector. Their ability to turn around the transaction quickly within the institutional frame work they were operating in while at the same time conducting an extensive diligence, made it a pleasure working with them during the transaction. His win-win philosophy, ability to build personal relationships and taking decisions keeping long term interests of the Company in mind made their association with G R Infraprojects valuable for us.
It has been a pleasure working with Japan when we got our first investment from Sixth Sense Ventures. His vast experience in negotiations and closing transactions was most needed in a multi-party deal like ours. His ability to take a win-win approach and seek solutions to assuage everyone's concerns was much appreciated by all of us. Given his long years in the infrastructure and logistics sector, his inputs during our strategy and board meetings were valuable. His ability to get people to zero in and focus on key business drivers convinced us to prioritize the liability side of our balance sheet. I am sure we will find more opportunities to work together in the future.
Beyond the foresight of a seasoned investor and possessing multi domain expertise, Japan’s ability to motivate, nurture & advise companies at various stages is an invaluable asset an entrepreneur seeks in an investor. We are no longer his portfolio company but he is among the first few I call even today for seeking opinion on strategic decisions. I am sure we will carry forward the relationship we have forged from the time he invested in us and Grab.
When I first met Japan I instantly got a good feeling and I typically follow my gut instinct in key decisions. I knew he will - how so ever unpleasant - give me the “right advise”. In fact, I started seeking his suggestions even before he invested in us – he doesn’t make it transactional but builds long term relationships. His suggestions to consolidate our brand and product portfolio and restructuring our business were very pertinent and at the right time. He did this with persuasion and dialogue getting me to buy-in and eventually own the decision instead of trying to preach us from a high horse. We are seeing the benefits of the journey we embarked on together and looking back, I don’t think I would have been able to do certain things without him by my side. I cherish his friendship and look forward to a long association with him and his team.
I engaged with Japan when Sixth Sense Ventures was investing in Soothe Healthcare. What made an immediate impression was the fairness and win-win approach with which he participated in discussions. Moreover, behind his poker face is a guy whose value system drives his interactions and engagements and is rare to find in investors today. I value the strong bond we have forged and he remains one of my first ports of call when I need to seek an opinion or an advise. I wish Japan and Roots ventures the best.
Japan has been our go to person at Sixth Sense - to seek all business and personal guidance. He was instrumental in convincing us to move our organization from an asset heavy to fully tech enabled market place model. His zen like looks can comfort thousand angry elephants which were most helpful during heated discussions and negotiations. We had the first hand benefit of his timely interventions at critical moments and gained immensely from his counsel and strong interpersonal skills. It was a great pleasure working with him and I wish him all the best for his future endeavors.
Though Japan has been our investor, to us he is like our co-founder, mentor and an elder brother. He invested in us even before the Company was formed and has backed us to the hilt so that we are able to come up with breakthrough technology which is world class. He shared our vision for "Make in India for the World". He has always been available to us to brainstorm on our strategy or show us the way forward on the business plan or even attend client and vendor meetings. He readily provides us access to his network and makes introductions where necessary. He has been our champion with the investor community and I am sure his support and advice will be available to us in the future too.
I have know Japan for over 4 years now, been into debates and arguments on various topics. I have referred lots of startups to him and several of them are proud to be in his portfolio today. Having known him closely (as well as whole lot of other angel invests in Indian startup ecosystem), I can say confidently that he is one of the most under-rated investors. His knack of picking up businesses to invest in is amazing. He is someone who isn't swayed by bubble and froth, he is someone who hardly get into FOMO mode and someone, who is not afraid of picking up unusual businesses to invest in. BTW, his was one of the first cheques to hit our bank account in Remitr, even before we had the product. I can say for sure, he'll always be the first one to get my pitch for all my future ventures as well.
Japan was the first investor who believed in our vision to change thousands of lives in the country through good, honest food. A business which is trying to solve a problem of rural supply chain, operates in the so-called complicated agriculture space and wishes to create positive impact for it's stakeholders is something that most funders in India are afraid of. Japan not only showed his belief in the idea and team through financial investment but helped us grow in the process through active participation, realistic business advise and opening up his intensive network. Japan more than an investor is like a mentor and friend who will tell you when your face is dirty.
Some journeys have no ending they lead to new beginnings , these are the journeys that lead to great adventure ! My relationship with Japan is very similar – our association started at one of his portfolio companies, I was uniformly impressed by his business grasp and ability to make quick judgment calls amidst great complexity. Over the course of the years Japan has been a supporter, devil’s advocate and a good friend, our relationship continues today and I look forward to being part of his journey over the next few years with much excitement.
Japan has been immensely involved in making the dream of Dimension NXG take shape. I am not sure we would have been able to embark on this journey without his support and guidance. To me he is more a family member than an investor whose advice I deeply value. I cherish our association with him and look forward to having him by our side for a long time to come.