From the Himalayan Foothills to Financial Heights:
Like many born in the 1970s in India, my father had a government job. He was an engineer from IIT Delhi, working at UPPWD (Uttar Pradesh Public Works Department). We moved around due to his transfer postings, and my childhood was spent in small towns amidst the Himalayas and lush nature. In places like Roorkee, we had gushing streams, abundant fish, mango and lychee orchards, and farmhouses with nests made by Baya birds. Those were simpler times, and I imbibed middle-class values like hard work, simplicity, leading a straightforward life, and aiming for improvement during those years.
In 1982, we moved to Delhi, and I began my schooling at Montfort School. After completing my 12th grade, I followed my father's footsteps by pursuing engineering. However, my voracious reading habits led me to realize that my true calling lay in either Technology or Finance.
Ultimately, my career path led me to the field of finance when I joined an MBA program at The University of Delhi. I gained my financial expertise through work experiences at Deloitte and Touche, a global consulting firm, and Brand Capital, which is the venture arm of the Times of India Group. These experiences laid a strong foundation for my future endeavors.
Riding the Waves of Life: Setbacks to Success:
My career has been influenced by both macroeconomic factors and my personal affinity for finance, which led me to pursue the necessary training and expertise in this field. Ups and downs are an inevitable part of life's journey.
1. It occurred during my 11th-grade year. After a year of coaching at Vidya Mandir, a newly established IIT entrance institute, I had to quit due to poor academic performance. This setback not only affected my confidence but also caused significant mental stress, negatively impacting my performance in both my 12th-grade studies and subsequent entrance exams. Despite these challenges, I eventually pursued engineering.
2. It came when I passed the written
examination for the IIT-Delhi MBA program but failed to clear the interview.
Nevertheless, I fulfilled my dream of studying Finance by obtaining an MBA in
Finance from the University of Delhi.
3. It occurred during my MBA journey, where I faced numerous challenges. However, I persevered, working diligently at Deloitte & Touche until 2 am, becoming an expert in Finance, and ultimately overcoming these difficulties.
Throughout my career, my candid
and outspoken nature caused some difficulties, but life taught me valuable
lessons. I learned that we are all a work in progress, and perfection is
elusive. Moreover, I realized that in life effective interpersonal skills are
more crucial than the acquisition of knowledge itself.
The launch of my company, Kansaltancy Ventures, initially faced setbacks during the first 1-2 years. However, this experience taught me that if I offer something of high value, success will eventually follow. Therefore, one's focus should be on the value they provide rather than comparing themselves to others or fearing failure.
In essence, adopting a "Horse-mentality" is essential in life. When faced with challenges, it's crucial to learn from them and keep moving forward.
From MBA to CFO: A Journey in Education, Finance, and Venture Capital:
After completing my MBA, I joined my father's educational institute, specializing in IIT entrance exam preparations. Between 2001 and 2006, I expanded the business to three centers with 800 students. However, as competition grew in North Delhi, I faced a crucial decision: inject more capital or exit. Eventually, I sold the business to Naraina Institute at a favorable price.
During the global market boom, I
secured a position at Deloitte & Touche. My corporate journey commenced,
leading me through roles in investment at Brand Capital, where I managed the VC
arm of the Times of India Group. Subsequently, I served as the head of central
treasury at Aircel and also raised USD 2.5 billion for Russian telecom firm MTS
in my capacity as head of treasury and corporate finance. I culminated my corporate
journey as CFO at a company owned by Guggenheim Partners, worth USD 200
Kansaltancy Ventures emerged from my comprehensive finance experience, encompassing Deloitte & Touche consulting, Brand Capital's buy-side investments, Aircel's treasury operations, MTS's corporate finance, and CFO duties at INR 1500 crore firm DLI.
Since then, our journey at Kansaltancy Ventures has been nothing short of remarkable. Today, we are recognized as the leading investment bank for venture capital, debt, mergers, and acquisitions. We have proudly supported over 5,000 startups since our inception and received numerous accolades, including an award presented by Dr. Kiran Bedi, India's first female IPS officer.
Investing in equity, whether in private companies or listed entities, has become a lucrative business avenue due to its potential for high returns and favorable capital gains tax rates worldwide. Additionally, the loose monetary policies of major economies have attracted significant capital seeking investment opportunities.
Navigating the World of Finance: A Knowledge-Driven Approach:
With experience on both the Buy-side and Sell-side, as well as serving as a consultant in between, I have honed my expertise, shaping what I can offer to my clients today. Our company is knowledge-driven, boasting a wealth of talent, deep sector-specific knowledge, and effective operational processes. We specialize in assisting startups and established companies. Startups typically require capital, management expertise, and a network to support their business and investment needs. I'm pleased to say that we are well-positioned to provide a holistic solution to these startups. Additionally, we help companies become funding-ready and prepare them to become industry leaders of the future.
Navigating the Future: Insights for Next-Gen Business Leaders:
I've conducted webinars, talks, and events covering a wide range of topics including Entrepreneurship, the Global Economy, Startups, Funding, the Indian Economy, and Leadership. These are all critical areas where one must excel or face consequences. You can find over 300 videos of my talks and podcasts on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@TusharKansal.
I believe that the next generation of business leaders must have a strong grasp of diversity, technology, insight into consumer behavior, and an understanding of the challenges ahead. For instance, consider the significant amount of time people spend on mobile devices, often exceeding 10 hours per day. Ignoring customers who primarily use mobile devices could lead to business failure.
One of the most crucial aspects is
data analysis and data-driven decision-making. Today, businesses that do not
collect and analyze data from their customers to understand their preferences
are at a competitive disadvantage.
Mentors and Wisdom that Shaped My Journey:
My earliest mentor was my school English teacher, Ms. Sasmita Satpathy. She consistently encouraged me to develop my skills, maintain a joyful outlook on life, focus on the positive side of things, and cultivate a good sense of humor. Upon entering engineering college, I formed a deep friendship with Manu Taneja, who has been my best friend for the past 30 years. He has consistently provided guidance, mentorship, and a profound perspective on life.
During my various jobs, I received significant support from individuals like Vijaydeep Singh, Suraj Kalra, Ilya Kosolapov, and Sergey Savchenko. However, the most profound mentoring I've experienced comes from spiritual texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism, the teachings of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadhguru, Sister Shivani, Thich Nhah Hanh, and the works of Eckhart Tolle. Reading and listening to the wisdom of these great Masters have helped me achieve my goals and objectives, including finding peace and happiness in my personal life.
Unveiling the Multifaceted Journey of Silent Blogger:
known, but I used to run a blog called "Indus Churning," which
garnered 2.6 million hits and featured 59 articles authored by me. Its
popularity surprised me, especially when a school friend recounted a
conversation on a flight where a fellow passenger recommended my blog for
political insights. This incident led to an unexpected invitation from the
producer of a prime time show on CNN News18 to participate in debates. I ended
up on many panel discussions on the channel. I had no idea my blog had gained
Additionally, I host two podcasts: "Right! by Tushar Kansal" in the corporate realm and "Aradhya by Tushar Kansal" in the spiritual domain. I firmly believe that introspection and self-understanding are vital in navigating the uncertainties of our times. Spirituality, I believe, is essential for people from all walks of life, as it leads to contentment, peace, bliss, and happiness—universal desires. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar often emphasizes, "Joy is our essence, Joy is our breath."
I also attend Bhagwat Geeta classes conducted by Guru Ms. Shubha Kulkarni, who received training at Gita Press, Gorakhpur. These classes are free and provide profound insights into the extensive spiritual and religious work done by our Gurus.
To continue reading timeless literary works with powerful inspiring stories and people, check out these top women leaders stories