Suraj Rajwani is one of the leaders of DoubleRock, a venture capital firm specializing in SaaS (Software as a Service) firms, Internet of Things firms, and big data. The company provides early-stage venture capital and is highly skilled at choosing new companies that will eventually succeed and turn a large profit.
According to Suraj Rajwani, VC firms should be willing to take a chance on startup companies with principal team members who have all experience levels, not just highly seasoned professionals.
Rajwani is originally from Singapore. He received a business degree from the National University. He credits his educational background with opening his eyes to the possibilities of the business world.
Suraj Kumar Rajwani enjoys helping startup companies overcome the challenges they face in their early years of operations. He believes in the power of a great idea and is focused on adding value through brand-building, finding talent, and helping with operational issues.
Suraj Rajwani is a valuable member of the venture capital community. Through his work with DoubleRock, he has helped dozens of tech startups conquer their early challenges and become profitable investments. Having a strong understanding of the industry’s fundamentals has helped Rajwani build a successful career of his own. Young business people who want to enter the world of venture capital would do well to emulate his example in their own endeavors.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
I saw a void in the venture capital field, where the industry was not supporting certain types of tech companies. My number one priority was to deliver VC services to data-driven companies in fields like big data, SaaS, and IoT. I have always been fascinated with how these companies work, and I have done a lot of research to familiarize myself with how they do business.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love helping startup companies go from a few principles and a great idea to a flourishing early-stage company. It is incredibly satisfying to know that your investments have made a difference in helping a young company succeed in such a competitive business area.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
One of my professors from the National University of Singapore has remained influential in my life. I enjoyed his classes and hearing his perspective on the venture capital community. He has influenced the type of companies DoubleRock works with and helps me turn my dream career into a reality.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
This is always a tough one. My career can be all-consuming at times, but I try to preserve as much time as I can to work out, read a book, and visit my friends and family in Singapore. Working out has been a huge help when it comes to achieving a work-life balance. It helps me center myself and work off negative emotions. It also gives me the stamina I need to complete a hard day’s work.
What traits do you possess that make a successful leader?
I believe in the power of research. Right now, I have employees who do a lot of the early-stage research for me, but I always do a deep dive into the company I am planning to help. I am a firm believer in collaboration as well. I think that every business would be enhanced if its leaders had a true spirit of working together rather than competing with others in the office. I always encourage my employees to exhibit this team spirit.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
Make sure that you understand the industries you want to work with. If you do not have an intimate level of knowledge of the sector you want to fund, you will not pick winners. You will make many unwise investments and waste your own or your company’s money on companies that will fail eventually.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
Moving from Singapore to the United States was difficult. The working cultures of the two countries couldn’t be more different. I had to learn to work at an American pace and take part in the collegial atmosphere of my firm
Other than that, I haven’t faced that many challenges in my industry unless you count the inevitable events that happen when my investment fails for some reason beyond my control. I always do a lot of soul-searching if this happens and try to pinpoint the mistakes I made that led me to such a low point.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
My strong personal family connections help to define me as a person. I believe that I carry an exceptional sense of loyalty to my family and friends, including my fellow principals in my company. I love working in my field, but I believe that it can’t be the be-all and end-all of my life.
What trends in your industry excite you?
The trend toward funding smaller enterprises without much experience in the field is exciting. This is where my company gets most of its business. Companies providing automation solutions are among the hottest VC targets today, along with autonomous vehicles and infrastructure.
Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
When my first successful early-stage company sold and received its cut, I was incredibly proud of myself, my company, and our VC investment. I love launching companies into the later stages of development.