Straight talk > Angels: What's hot...and what's not

Angels: What's hot...and what's not
What sectors hold the most promise for entrepreneurs? Are you looking at anything in particular? NEN asked its Angel Experts.
Pradeep Gupta, Cyber Media and Indian Angel Network
Pradeep GuptaThe hot areas, currently?

One has to do with Web 2.0, so a whole lot of consumer plays in terms of technology - very interesting and very exciting.

The other area in India which is growing very rapidly is infrastructure. A lot of opportunities in infrastructure require big money - for example, building so many kilometers of roads - that's a different kind of thing. But alongside that, a number of support players will be needed, and in those areas would be very good markets.

Another great space is entertainment and media. Very clearly this is an area where a lot of growth is taking place, because of more consumer spending, because of increasing literacy. Also, with the general expansion in the economy there is more and more call for specialized knowledge.

Finally, another good area is retail. Lots of opportunities there.

I'll give you an example: we got a business plan where this person wants to set up beer pubs. But not just another pub. He actually wants to have the whole beer-making process on site and serve different kinds of specialty beers. A micro-brewery. If you can have multiple varieties of coffee, then why not beer?

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Sridar Iyengar, former head TiE Global
Sridar IyengarFor the moment in India, anything to do with you, the end customer, be it retail, be it Web 2.0, I think is exciting.

When you are saying that you will be selling to an individual, you can actually put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and ask, would I use this service? And I think I find that personally a lot more exciting than a business-to-business play.

NEN: And what's not hot?

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Pradeep Gupta
Pradeep Gupta

Let me define what will not be done by Band of Angels (Indian Angel Network).

If it's an area we don't understand we will not go there. If it is something that is at the trailing edge then we would not go there.

What's trailing edge?

Suppose somebody says, 'I want to set up a software services company', we will not partner.

Suppose somebody comes and says, 'I want to set up a BPO' - we will not fund it.

But if somebody came and said that he wants to set up a BPO which has this differentiating factor then we would consider it. For example, Band of Angels invested in a BPO company in intellectual property, Sanshadow.

Sanshadow is building complete service around intellectual property. They have got scientists, PhDs, lawyers. And very clearly we could see that it is something different and we went ahead and put in money.

NOTE: Some of the comments may have been edited for clarity, without changing emphasis or meaning.
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