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A Sporting VC’s Journey from BITS

A Sporting VC's Journey from BITS

Arvind Singh graduated from BITS Pilani in 2015 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He was a part of his college basketball team and debate team, as also being in the Placement Unit and Quiz Club. He then went on to do an MBA from IIM Shillong where he continued to be a part of the basketball team, this time as captain. After graduating, Arvind worked a number of jobs and internships before landing the role of manager of operational excellence at GMM Pfaudler. After 2 years, he took up a job at Takshashila Consulting as a business associate for 3 months before finally working at Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited where he works now as a Senior Manager in corporate development and investor relations. Here, as a VC portfolio manager, he helps entrepreneurs streamline, strategize and create operational plans for the visions that they have for their organizations.

How has your background in Chemical Engineering and your MBA from IIM Shillong contributed to your success in the corporate world?

No knowledge you acquire gets wasted. Although I’m more of a fund manager for one of the most famous women angel investors in the country, the technical knowledge of chemicals and engineering comes in handy in doing a deep dive into certain industries. I have been in the chemicals/pharma or allied industry and the engineering degree has complemented my MBA to view from a techno-commercial angle.


Your professional journey includes roles at GMM Pfaudler, Takshashila Consulting, and now Emcure Pharma Ltd. Can you tell us about your transitions and the unique experiences you gained at each organization?

Every role is different as you are dealing with different people. I have been lucky enough to work with the CXOs in all three of my stints post-MBA. My role at GMM was to be the voice of the MD in our manufacturing facilities, making sure his vision was being fulfilled and he had complete visibility of what was happening in all his facilities. Takshashila Consulting was more about giving our clients a roadmap to do a disintegration and divestiture of their business. Emcure has been a roller coaster ride. It started with the launch of our IPO, to launching our OTC product range online, then to SHARK TANK and now I’m finally settled into corporate development and M&A role which I think is where my calling is.


What are some of the key responsibilities and challenges you face as Senior Manager of Corporate Development and Investor Relations at Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited?

Evaluation of Inorganic growth opportunities or M&A in different geographies, and portfolios is where most of my time is being spent. Apart from that Investor relations, competition benchmarking and performance reviews is the other aspect. The fun aspect is VC investments predominantly come from shark tanks because seeing, evaluating and eventually investing in these startups is a fun experience.

Working in the pharmaceutical industry involves navigating a complex and ever-changing landscape. How do you stay updated with the latest developments and trends in the pharmaceutical sector?

Read, read and read. There are no shortcuts, and I read industry research reports, news from credible sources and newspaper articles. It’s important to filter the content coming at your way and then read, digest and analyse it. Apart from that meeting people, and going to seminars, and industry events help along the way.


Sports seem to have played a significant role in your life, as you were an integral part of the college basketball and badminton teams. How do you think your sportsmanship and team spirit have influenced your professional career and your approach to working in corporate environments?

Sports is very close to my heart, and I love playing and watching sports to date. My weekends are incomplete without playing basketball. The biggest thing I learned from sports is competition and sportsmanship, once the game has started it does not matter if you are my friend or enemy, I’m going to try and beat the hell out of you but as soon as the whistle is off, it’s over and win/lose does not matter as I know I gave it all and never cheated the game with effort.


As an alumnus of BITS Pilani who has been a part of various extracurricular clubs, how do you think your time at BITS has benefited you in your professional journey?

BITS is a great place to explore yourself. You have the freedom that no other institution provides and if you use it wisely that’ll be a great boost for you. Secondly, you are competing with the best of the best in the country who have joined purely on merit, and competing with them in studies, sports, and co-curriculars helps you refine yourself and be prepared for the outside world.


What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are seeking venture capital funding? What are the best ways for them to reach out to you and present their proposal?

Don’t do a startup just because you need to do one because others are doing it. Do a startup because you want to do it and you have found a problem for which you have a solution and you are convinced that it’s the right one. Secondly, keep upgrading yourself as the journey from 0 to 1 is very different from 1-10 and 10-100 and each stage requires a different mindset, thought process and skill set.