Quona Capital partner Ganesh Rengaswamy speaking at IIM-Calcutta, 2019

Ten Pieces of Advice to Wrap up 2019

By Ganesh Rengaswamy

I recently had the great honour of delivering the keynote speech at the Annual Entrepreneurship Summit of my alma mater, IIM-Calcutta. In preparation for this event, I started by reflecting on the passage of time since I’d been in school — trying to find the threads from who I was back then to what I have become, what I’ve stood for, and what I’ve learned along the way. I was determined to share the more nuanced lessons that I wish someone had taught me 20 years ago. What came out of this exercise was as much advice I’d share with my own daughter (who inspires me every day) as it was advice for an audience that I hoped to inspire.

First, a simple beginning: I did not expect to be here and I am grateful for where I am. If you had told me when I was growing up that my life would contain half the wonder and magic that it does these days, I would not have believed you. I come from simple origins, after all.

But there are a few core beliefs and key lessons (learnt from my friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs I work with, peers and family) that have led me to this unpredictable place, and here they are:

And one final thought: Your attitude is everything. As Kahlil Gibran said, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

Ganesh Rengaswamy is a seasoned entrepreneur and venture investor who leads Quona Capital’s investments in India and Southeast Asia. His venture investments include Coins.ph (sold to Go-Jek), CreditMantri, Fisdom, IndiaMart (IPO’d), JULO Finance, KoinWorks, NeoGrowth, Shubham (exit to Premji Invest), SMEcorner, Sunday Insurance, and ZestMoney. More about Ganesh can be found here.

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Quona Capital is a venture firm specializing in financial technology for inclusion in emerging markets. Learn more at quona.com.