Building an $80 Billion Dollar Company from India: The Story of BVR Mohan Reddy
Engineered in India
We hosted BVR Mohan Reddy on Network Capital. He built an $80 Billion company in India serving the country and the rest of the world. Here are key takeaways from our discussion. You can also watch the entire conversation on Network Capital TV.
Mohan started his entrepreneurial venture at the age of 40 after donning several intrapreneurial roles in DCM, Bosch and HCL. Starting young, “30 under 30”, “40 under 40” are all fashionable. Of course Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates dropped out from prestigious universities in their early 20s but that does not mean you should too. Every person has a different style and take towards entrepreneurship. You should discover that, do your own readiness assessment and then take the leap.
I embarked upon my entrepreneurial journey while at Microsoft in the form of a side hustle that lasted almost 5 years before I decided to quit and focus on it full time. One year after quitting Microsoft, we got funded by Facebook and a year after that, had a blockchain unicorn acquire a stake in the company. I don’t consider myself successful or unsuccessful. I am just a person trying to solve a problem I care about with the help of a community. I find it energizing so I do it. Simple.
Know the edge of your competence. Mohan figured out that digitization of mechanical drawings was an unmet market opportunity and he was uniquely suited to solving it given his mechanical engineering background and experience working at IT companies in the pre-liberalization era. At the time, India was different and there were massive barriers to entry. Mohan and his team leveraged that competitive edge to build a strong moat. The company went public 6 years after founding.
Serendipity works for a prepared mind. One of Mohan’s most loyal customers (still going for 20+ years now) happened over a dinner his friend invited him to. Mohan had half a mind to avoid it but he went nonetheless. The person sitting opposite to him happened to the SVP Engineering of a large mechanical engineering firm. They struck up a conversation about Indian wines of all things. Next day the person came to meet Mohan who took him to the shop floor and demonstrated the capability of his team. The contract was signed 2 weeks after that.