Founder & CEO
VictoryTales with its objective to bring more and more meaningful and powerful inspirational stories from around the world to empower and motivate our growing community of entrepreneurs, this time introducing Mr. Tushar Kansal, Founder CEO of Kansaltancy is an accomplished professional with experience spanning multiple sectors from Venture Capital (Brand Cap), Big 4 Consulting (Deloitte & Touche), LSE-listed Sistema's India unit (MTS India) to CFO of Guggenheim Partners-owned company (DLI). He is Mentor and Judge at Entrepreneurship cells of IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Chennai, ISM-Dhanbad & such marquee Institutions. Tushar has expertise of Financial & Business advisory, Fund raising & creation of docs/ collaterals for VC Funding.
Tushar is a Venture Advisor with Loyal VC, the INSEAD-led Canadian VC Fund, having a core portfolio of over 160 investments in more than 35 countries. He is also Partner with GSD Venture Studios, a Silicon-valley based Venture Builder.
What is your educational background?
I have completed Executive Education from Harvard Business School, an MBA in Finance from University of Delhi and B.Tech (Textiles) from Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences - Bhiwani, which is affiliated to the “Textile Institute Manchester, UK” and part of the leading Industrial & Education house in India “The Birla Group”. Major part of my Schooling has been at Montfort School, Delhi.
How did you begin your career? Was it in conjunction with the present role that you have taken up or otherwise?
I was lucky enough to get campus placement from my Engineering College at Indo Rama Synthetics, a big poly-staple fibre manufacturing company at Nagpur. I was inclined towards IT sector or in Finance and after clearing MBA Entrance examination I did MBA in Finance from University of Delhi. Again, I was lucky to got campus placement in M&A division of SBI Capital.
I Co-founded an education company titled “KITES” which imparted training to high school students for IIT entrance examinations. We were having 800 students at one time which were accommodated in three KITES centres in North Delhi. In the year 2006, I sold KITES to Narayana Institute and got honourable exit from it.
For the last decade, I have been in leadership role, driving Business, with large companies and as an entrepreneur.
At Deloitte, I executed Private Equity assignments/ Valuations & Financial Advisory. At Brand Capital, I was part of the team investing across companies. At MTS India, as head of Debt division, I was instrumental in raising almost $2.5 billion of debt in 3 years and handled all round financial goals as CFO of DLI, including compliances towards the PE Fund Guggenheim, as the main investor and owner.
I am Founder of Kansaltancy Ventures, an Investment Management firm as also Saffron First, a Start-up Network/ Fund and all the roles played by me have deeply helped me in executing my present professional journey.
Tell us more about your journey?
I founded a startup Indus B2C Global in 2013. It was a startup into B2B consumer space. The product was Human Hair extensions which are sought after by mostly women of African origin. It was during my time with this startup that I realized the gaps between what startups need and what companies are offering to help the startups.
Later on, I quit full-time Management of this startup and became a financial investor. That’s when I launched Kansaltancy Ventures – we assist startups and growth stage companies with equity fundraising, debt, mergers and acquisitions and mentoring. We also help in getting business for the startups.
The large part of my work at Kansaltancy Ventures is doing webinars and helping founders and team members of aspiring startups to reach their desired goals.
Today, I have made a lot of progress in creating an ecosystem in this field. I am a Mentor and Judge at Entrepreneurship cell of IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Chennai, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT ISM-Dhanbad & such marquee Institutions. I have an expertise of Financial & Business advisory, Fund raising & creation of docs/ collaterals for VC Funding.
I am also a Venture Advisor with Loyal VC, the INSEAD-led Canadian VC Fund, having a core portfolio of over 160 investments in more than 35 countries. I am also partner with GSD Venture Studios, a Silicon-valley based Venture Builder.
Over the years, I have arranged Funding for startups & growth-stage companies in diverse sectors like, EdTech, FinTech, Consumer B2C, B2B & D2C, AgriTech, Disruptive & DeepTech as well as non-Tech sectors. The full list of 40+ Recommendations are on LinkedIn.
I feel privileged to apprise that my expert opinion is often sought by leading business news channels and publications like CNN-News18, VCTV, Business World, Business & Economy, Qrius and Digital Market Asia. I have come on 150+ talks - Just check on YouTube, VCTV streaming site https://latoken.com/vctv/investor/1040 & Kansaltancy.com!
What are the offerings of Kansaltancy Ventures?
Kansaltancy Ventures (Kansaltancy.com and https://www.linkedin.com/company/kansaltancyventures) is an investment management and advisory firm into Equity fund raising, fund raising for VC Funds, Debt and Mergers & Acquisitions. It has developed years of experience in Growth Companies to prepare for the unknown while meeting their Needs. Our verticals are as follows:
Funding: Equity & Structured Debt Planning & Pitching to Investors
Mergers & Acquisitions
Pitch Deck Preparations & Presentations
Business Plans & Project Plans Preparations
Start Ups & Growth Strategies & Planning
Go-To Market & Digital Marketing Strategies
Financial Strategic Planning & Analysis
Strategic Planning & Execution Advisory
Business Valuations Advisory
As an independent Growth delivery firm, we can access many different Funding Options so that the customer can get the right Funding and services.
Saffron First (https://www.linkedin.com/company/saffronfirst) is a Global Crowdfunding/ Angel Network & Fund, headquartered in Singapore, crafting investments in APAC/ India & providing domain specialists, capital & an ecosystem of strategic partnerships
What attracts you towards entrepreneurship instead of a corporate career?
I chose entrepreneurship over my corporate career because I always wanted to make an impact. I have always been intrigued by entrepreneurship and read success stories of all the successful entrepreneurs. You see – It’s fascinating how you build something from the scratch to an empire around it and this is not everyone can do it. It takes a lot of courage, planning, perseverance, hard work, teamwork, combined with good strategy & execution skills.
‘Kansaltancy Ventures’ is such a unique name; talk us through more about it, please. Our audience would also love to know what kind of problem you are solving with the help of your startup?
Kansaltancy Ventures is an eponym from surname in my name – Tushar Kansal. A large part of our work in assisting startups and companies and working closely with them, mentoring them on various aspects, like getting business for them from our relationships, management concepts and providing a way forward. Because of the Consulting nature of this engagement which we have with companies, I thought that having “Consultancy” rhyming first word as the first name, would be very suitable.
During this COVID-19 crisis, what are the measures you have undertaken to continue your business without disruption?
As the business faced Covid, each measure is taken to ensure that the model aligns with challenges of the pandemic.
Our business model consists of a lean team which is not at all resource-heavy and has minimal overheads.
The freelancer model ensures each work can be handled remotely, where we don’t need to do physical meetings
Every aspect of the business is online and tech-enabled to ensure automation as much as possible.
How do you manage yourself and keep on going despite the challenges? What drives you?
I always try to make sure that I empower the right people for the right work. This way I do not feel overburdened with work that leads to stress. In my free time, I try to travel, spend time with my family, and try to maintain my work-life balance as much as possible. Travelling helps me clear my mind and focus on issues that need my attention.
I am also into Yoga and Pranayam, which keeps my whole energy system balanced. I also learnt much about Naturopathy, which my family follows in the past 30 years. Being in naturopathy has kept me away from too much hard medicine and instead relying on nature cures.
In your opinion - what is more necessary: Idea or a good team for a successful startup?
I have seen companies with very innovative ideas with niche market segment fail just because they lacked proper team spirit in them.” To be successful, you should team up with co-founders who share your vision behind the idea, and you also need to hire the right people for the right position so that it gets implemented in a proper way.
The Investors always bank a lot on the team – they believe that if the Team is good, even if the product is not perfect, it can be made perfect. Even if the Business Model is not good, the team will pivot to the right one eventually.
You are always positive and motivated, what keeps you going?
I love my work. Anything you do in life you have to have a passion for it and should not feel like working. I am also the eternal optimist and like to see the Glass half full!
Your ability to do something in the world essentially depends on the extent to which you can harness your body and mind towards your goal, and after that, harnessing the situation in which you exist. But the most fundamental things are that your body and mind function not only to the best of their ability, but the way you want them to.
If you bring your mind to a certain level of organization, it in turn organizes the other three dimensions of your system – your body, emotion, and energies.
We would love to know your advice for all those starting out as an aspiring entrepreneur?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and see them as an opportunity to learn.
#1 Before you leap, look! - Many possibilities always mean trouble. To be able to identify which one of these possibilities you should go with is a certain exercise. The problem is people jump into something and then exercise their mind – no. Before you jump into something, it needs to be looked at with enough attention because once you jump into something, there should be no looking back. If you are constantly looking at the rearview mirror, you are not going to go forward.
#2 Enhance your perception – See life the way it is. If you are born afresh, that means you have no conclusions about anything. You are willing to look at everything like you are just born. If you can see life just the way it is, you have the necessary intelligence to conduct it well. If you are not able to see life the way it is, your intelligence will work against you.
#3 Your ability to pay attention is key. If a human being has to break through their limitations, the most important quality is steadiness of attention. Your ability to manage anything is directly proportional to the level of attention and observation that you have.
#4 Put your life into whatever you do - Whatever the path you jump onto is not the best thing to do. You can never do the best thing in the world. Whatever you jump into, if you really put your life into it, it can become a great thing. Do not ever try to do the best thing because if you try to do the best thing, you will waste your life trying to be better than someone else.
#5 Take charge of your inner situation - Either you allow your destiny to be an accident, or you allow your destiny to be your intent, that is a choice you have. Either you allow the situations to make you something or you make the situations the way you want them.
What are the business mantras you have embraced as you sought to establish your success story?
Getting the right opportunity and performing to the best of your capability when you get that opportunity. To get that opportunity, I present myself as a brand. I prepare myself to give in my best shot at each and every opportunity that comes my way.
"People who are right a lot listen a lot, and they change their mind a lot. People who are right a lot change their mind without a lot of new data. They wake up and reanalyze things and change their mind. If you don’t change your mind frequently, you’re going to be wronged a lot. People who are right a lot want to disconfirm their fundamental biases."
What are the three most important lessons you have learned building your startup?
I’ve learned to not compare myself to other successful men who seem to have it all together. Invariably, things are not always as they seem, and no one has it all together.
I have also learned how important it is to embrace change because, at any given time, you will need to shift strategies due to circumstances beyond your control.
Lesson 1: Approach your relationship with your founding team as you would a marriage
Lesson 2: Your startup has limited eggs, don’t place them in so many baskets
Lesson 3: Only hire those you could see yourself working for
Given the rapid pace at which the world is changing, what are the leadership traits that are necessary for success?
I firmly believe in the 14 Amazon leadership principles:
Customer Obsession - Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
Ownership - Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job."
Invent and Simplify - Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here." As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.
Are Right, A Lot - Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.
Learn and Be Curious - Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.
Hire and Develop the Best - Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
Insist on the Highest Standards - Leaders have relentlessly high standards — many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
Think Big - Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action - Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Frugality - Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.
Earn Trust - Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odour smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
Dive Deep - Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are sceptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit - Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
Deliver Results - Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.
Please share with us - What has worked well for you so far?
One thing I would say that helped me and my company grow is the ability to listen to our customers. We believe that customers are not interested in products but in getting their problems resolved. The more we listen to them, the problems they face in their business, the more efficiently and effectively we can resolve them. We believe that we are capable to do that, and it is the only reason for our growth.