A friend, who was earlier an investment banker and was trying to start her own business, had introduced Ritesh Aggarwal to me.
Ritesh was thinking of starting Oravel back then. He forwarded me his brief CV with a few references and shared his passion and idea to start his own service-based hospitality business.
Frankly speaking, I was very sceptical and thought that he was too young—with little or no experience—and barely qualified to work on an idea that could eventually succeed.
Though I liked the idea, I was somehow reluctant to go ahead with it, as I was not sure how the company would execute it and utilize the infrastructure.
I liked Ritesh, but was not serious about investing in his idea, even though I offered him one of my properties to carry out a trial and see if he can monetize his idea.
But, unfortunately, I hugely missed out on making an investment in his company as too much analysis led to a decision paralysis.
Thereafter, we kept on meeting at various startup forums and the valuations he was getting from other investors at that time always appeared too high for me to make any investment, until it became so big that it went out of my reach.
That day, I realized that age, qualification, experience or soft skills do not matter.
Now, I focus majorly on a founder’s passion and willingness to work relentlessly to make it a success by making various hypotheses regarding the business and testing them out from the early stage.
My key takeaway from this missed opportunity is that you need to see the young founders eye to eye, and judge their confidence and passion to work for their ideas.