Equanimity Entrepreneur - Samant Sikka, Co-founder, Sqrrl

July 2018

We would like you to meet Mr. Samant Sikka, Co-founder, Sqrrl, one of our portfolio companies.

Sqrrl is a mobile only app based investment platform, available on the Android & Apple App stores that went live in March 2017. It allows users to invest in top performing mutual funds based on their investment needs, risk horizons & goals. Through Sqrrl, you can invest as little as INR 1 in the best performing funds. Further, with a feature to round up your spending to INR 100 or INR 500, Sqrrl automatically invests the leftover amount, making it extremely convenient for the young generation to save whenever they spend. This fresh infusion of funds will help Sqrrl pursue aggressive growth and add to its product and technology prowess. Sqrrl aims to invest in new age technologies, particularly machine learning and artificial intelligence, to sharpen its product recommendation and further smoothen its on-boarding process. Here’s the unplugged Mr. Sikka for you:

Equanimity: Tell us about your best and worst days at work?
Mr. Sikka: Entrepreneurship is a very lonely journey. I use the not so good days to validate the choices that one has made, course correct the path and use these opportunities to re-coil and come back with a renewed energy. The days I like best are when we get some really uplifting comments from our users.

Equanimity: What do you do when you’re not at work?
Mr. Sikka: I am fairly obsessed with Golf and try to sneak in a round every week. It seems to be the meditation that works for me.

Equanimity: What is unique about your business?
Mr. Sikka: We derive satisfaction by working for the long-term success of our users. While most businesses provide short-term gratification, we believe in helping our users to invest for their future.

Equanimity: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Mr. Sikka: One thing that I can share from my experience is that anything that promises quick results is a GAMBLE - be aware about it. As in the world of investing, “Generating high returns by taking HIGH RISKS is not investing. Good investing is generating high returns, taking low risk, which is an output of discipline and patience

Equanimity: How do you define success?
Mr. Sikka: To me success is overrated & transient. The best part is the journey. Most times one has an utopian image of a destination that one wants to reach which once reached one realises it is not the same and the mind seeks something else. So, better enjoy the journey!

Equanimity: What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Mr. Sikka: I think the best part is the freedom to fail. What one learns in the corporate environment is to chase success, at any cost. What I have learnt from being on my own is to embrace failure, take in stride and move forward.

Equanimity: What is your favorite book?
Mr. Sikka: A few of my favorite books are Small Is Beautiful by E. F. Schumacher and The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

Equanimity: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Mr. Sikka: I have been very fortunate to have worked with some amazing people and learning from each of them. I  thoroughly enjoyed my career and the firms that I have worked for. If I had a chance to do it again with the benefit of hind-sight I would take the entrepreneurship plunge a bit sooner.

Equanimity: Where you see yourself and your business in next 5-10 years?
Mr. Sikka: I think with Sqrrl we seem to be at the right place at the right time. If we are able to stick to basics, keep our eyes and ears closer to our customers, keep tight focus around execution to create unprecedented value for all stake holders & society.

Equanimity: How did your first client win feel?
Mr. Sikka: I think the first ones are never wins, they are always feedbacks on what went wrong or what can be done better. But I love it when we hear positive reviews from our customers.

Equanimity: Thanks a lot for your time, Mr. Sikka. We look forward to work with your team to make Sqrrl the go-to destination for young Indians to manage their savings, investments and broadly all their financial needs. The future belongs to us.