CIO: A report recently revealed that some of your competitors are eyeing IPO in 2014. When do you plan to go the IPO route?
Anupam Mittal: One always should be aware of what the competition is doing. But to be very honest, we don't really care of competition, and we don't pay attention to them. We only care about creating great solutions for our customers. As far as going IPO is concerned, it's not a milestone for us. Today the world is at a place where a business doesn't have to go IPO just for the sake of it. In fact, look at companies like Uber, Facebook, or Twitter who took a lot of time to go IPO -- only when they were 100 billion dollar businesses. It's just in India that we feel compelled to go IPO. I feel no such compulsion. We will do that when we are ready. Our businesses are doing really well. All the capital that we need is available to us. If our investors need an exit, we can always let them go and bring new investors. So I don't see IPO as a compelling need, but if we feel that the time is right and we are mature enough, we may choose the IPO route.
CIO: You are also a venture capitalist/angel investor with investments in a number of startups. How did that happen?
Anupam Mittal: The consumer Internet, cloud, and SaaS, excites me a lot. Now you know I said in the beginning, as entrepreneurs, our blessing is our curse. Our blessing is that we are opportunists and we are able to identify them, but at the same time, it becomes a curse because it distracts you. So while I have been building these businesses, my focus lies in scaling all the three businesses such that we can top in all the three categories.
So while I have enough on my plate, the least I can do is I can invest in ideas and entrepreneurial ventures that excite me. Till now, I have invested in over 40-45 companies and have got incredible returns of 100 percent year-on-year. In our industry, we always run the risk of being obsolete, because ideas become rusty and we don't have that much energy. So, meeting all these young and talented entrepreneurs keeps me on my toes which is good for me and my business.
CIO: Do you think there will ever be a time when arranged marriages will cease to exist?
Anupam Mittal: We don't think of Shaadi.com as an arranged marriage platform. To explain further, let's go down to basic human attributes. Human beings are social beings and they have a very inherent need of belonging. Right from childhood, we innately evolve with such a strong sense of belonging that marriage becomes such an integral part of who you become. Frankly, marriages won't cease to exist, because the way we perceive it today is unsustainable. Instead, marriages have to be reinvented and expectations will have to be redefined.
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