The Venture capital sector is the most vibrant industry in the financial market today. Venture capital is money provided by professionals who invest alongside management in young, rapidly growing companies that have the potential to develop into significant economic contributors. Venture capital is an important source of equity for start-up companies.
Venture capital can be visualized as “your ideas and our money” concept of developing business. Venture capitalists are people who pool financial resources from high networth individuals, corporates, pension funds, insurance companies, etc. to invest in high risk - high return ventures that are unable to source funds from regular channels like banks and capital markets. The venture capital industry in India has really taken off in. Venture capitalists not only provide monetary resources but also help the entrepreneur with guidance in formalizing his ideas into a viable business venture.
Five critical success factors have been identified for the growth of VC in India, namely:
• The regulatory, tax and legal environment should play an enabling role as internationally venture funds have evolved in an atmosphere of structural flexibility, fiscal neutrality and operational adaptability.
• Resource raising, investment, management and exit should be as simple and flexible as needed and driven by global trends.
• Venture capital should become an institutionalized industry that protects investors and investee firms, operating in an environment suitable for raising the large amounts of risk capital needed and for spurring innovation through start-up firms in a wide range of high growth areas.
• In view of increasing global integration and mobility of capital it is important that Indian venture capital funds as well as venture finance enterprises are able to have global exposure and investment opportunities
• Infrastructure in the form of incubators and R&D need to be promoted using government support and private management as has successfully been done by countries such as the US, Israel and Taiwan. This is necessary for faster conversion of R&D and technological innovation into commercial products.
With technology and knowledge based ideas set to drive the global economy in the coming millennium, and given the inherent strength by way of its human capital, technical skills, cost competitive workforce, research and entrepreneurship, India can unleash a revolution of wealth creation and rapid economic growth in a sustainable manner. However, for this to happen, there is a need for risk finance and venture capital environment which can leverage innovation, promote technology and harness knowledge based ideas.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The story of venture capital is very much like the history of mankind. In the fifteenth century, Christopher Columbus sought to travel westwards instead of eastwards from Europe and so planned to reach India. His far –fetched idea did not find favour with the King of Portugal, who refused to finance him. Finally, Queen Isabella of Spain, decided to fund him and the voyages of Christopher Columbus are now empanelled in history. And thus evolved the concept of Venture Capital.
The modern venture capital industry began taking shape in the post World War 2. It is often said that people decide to become entrepreneurs because they see role models in other people who have become successful entrepreneurs. Much the same can be said about venture capitalists. The earliest members of the organized venture capital industry had several role models, including these three: American Research and Development Corporation:
Formed in 1946, whose biggest success was Digital Equipment. The founder of ARD was General Georges Doroit, a French-born military man who is considered "the father of venture capital." In the 1950s, he taught at the Harvard Business School. His lectures on the importance of risk capital were considered quirky...