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Creating Opportunities Through Investing In Startups

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Aditya Kanoria, CEO, Red Ribbon Advisory Services

Aditya Kanoria is an enterprising professional with an experience of over a decade in the realm of financial services. His expertise spans across financial markets and he has the credit of delivering significant profitable success stories that serve as examples to professionals. His innings with entrepreneurial life started at an early age with his family teaching him the nuances of profitable ventures. Hailing from a family of businessmen, it was only natural for him to establish, grow and sustain new businesses with ease. His meticulous approach and well laid planning made him spearhead various verticals in financial services, while working in the capacity of senior management at organisations like Motilal Oswal Financial Services, and Capital First in the past. Today, he is better known as the Co-Founder of Red Ribbon Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.; an organisation with a vision to take start-up equity to public. Here, he has orchestrated processes in establishing distribution network, business & marketing strategy, brand & product development, financial modelling for new brands. He credits his success to the affable amalgamation of moral values and ethics, which he feels are essential to run a successful enterprise. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, he reveals how the fast growing financial services sector is becoming an essential component of personal finance

What drives you?
Red Ribbon is an Impact Investment company that follows the guidelines of The Global Impact Investment Network (, which is about making investments that deliver a measurable social and environmental impact, whilst giving market rate returns. Otherwise known as the ‘Triple-P’; Bottom-line of People, Planet and Profit. The shareholders and directors of Red Ribbon are passionate about these values and give natural clarity and drive to the organization.

How big is the potential for a business like yours: Any statistics to compare with international standards?
The Indian economy, which is only 25 years old, as a free trade market is evolving constantly and is in a phase where startups and SMEs are going to develop further and become the backbone of the growth and development. Investing in startups is therefore creating an opportunity for Indians to reap benefits from this growth story. The Directors believe that there isn’t a company that specialises in offering investment in a startup as a financial product and distributed in Tier II and Tier III cities, which is a great opportunity for Red Ribbon. It offers opportunities only to traditional, ‘brick and mortar’ businesses. We offer these opportunities as a structured product for angel investors. It enables the investor to be free of the hassle related to identifying, vetting and engaging with the start-up. So far, we are incubating two start-ups:

Modulex: India’s first full fit-out steel modular buildings company, offering flexible and tailored modular buildings.  Modulex India plan to raise Rs 40 crore from investors.

Eco Hotels: World’s first carbon neutral hotel brand with a plan to create 10,000 rooms by 2023. Eco Hotels aims to become the single largest organized budget hotel brand in India. This will help address a significant market need for hotel rooms in India. Eco Hotels is in talks to raise Rs. 20 crore.

We are aiming to bring about an investment of Rs 4,000 crores into startups over the coming decade.

How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
We are a firm believer in sustainable long term growth and that requires us to be patient, desist from greed and be responsible to our stakeholders mainly our employees, clients and the community we operate in. We would choose the best options for growth as and when the opportunity arises so long as they are compatible with our values as above.

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
Any individual who has disposable income and is compatible with our Treating Customers Fairly (‘TCF’) policy is our target audience. We follow UK’s TCF policy whereby an investor is advised not to invest more than 10% of their total portfolio in angel investment products. So our target group is people who have a portfolio of Rs. 50 lakhs plus - so 10% is Rs. 5 lakhs. We intend to develop a network of angel investors across India with a special focus on Tier II and III cities.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We are aiming to be one of India’s leading startup investment firm, voicing strongly the values of Impact Investment and bringing about measurable changes to the way business is done in India.

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