How this CS took the startup route with LetsVenture - an online platform that facilitates angel investing in start-ups

  • Hi! My name is Anshu Tiwari, a qualified Company Secretary in possession of a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB).
  • I was born and bred in Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, and I spent the last 6 years in Bangalore, India.
  • My family and relatives wanted me to pursue a profession in Engineering, but I chose to be a CS. 
  • What is unique about my journey is that I got an opportunity in Compliance early in my career at an angel investing platform. In fact, here I have had the privilege to witness almost all the stages of venture capitalism.
  • Here are some of my learnings.

Challenges in choosing a career

My family wanted me to pursue a profession in Engineering, but I knew deep down that Mathematics and Science were not my friends. Neither was Accounting. Now, what could I have chosen as a career path?

After all, I realized that I had a sharp memory and this inspired me to take the offer to study towards being a CS as I was already a Commerce student whose Accounting was shaky.

My family and relatives never tried to convince me otherwise although other people thought that I was making a big mistake. Despite it being termed a mistake, I went on with it and I do not regret having done so.

Qualifying as a CS and interning early on

In 2011, after passing Grade 12, I was late for the CS Foundation exam of December 2011 as I lacked awareness and guidance in that regard.

I subsequently registered for the June of 2012 sitting and qualified in December of 2014. What a study journey it was!

Patience and perseverance brought me through tough times as I never thought I would clear all phases on the first attempt.

By the time I qualified, I was already in possession of  2.5 years’ worth of experience in a law firm. One of the wisest moves I made was to find good grounding in the profession.

Yay! I was well above the water and convinced that I was on the right path!

Unique opportunity at an online platform that facilitates angel investing in start-ups

While working at Themis Law Firm (Themis) I got the opportunity to work closely with the American venture capital company, Sequoia Capital.

There I used to manage their investments by performing due diligence in start-ups, working on transactional documents, and maintaining the secretarial records of their portfolios.

I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I had because that is where I realized that venture capitalism was my calling.

What next?

Like any candidate, I started applying when a recruitment agency spotted my desperate strides towards building a stable career and offered me a job at LetsVenture - an online platform that facilitates angel investing in start-ups.

In addition to the duties I performed at Themis, LetsVenture offered me an even better opportunity to advise start-ups on how to safeguard their interests against the reasonable rights of investors and to help investors analyze the start-ups to ensure their investments do not fail.

It also gave me the opportunity at flexible working hours; independent decision-making power; freedom to propose new ideas; and encouragement to write blogs, articulate processes, and conduct webinars.

Hooray! I was having a time of my life as this was the start of my career in venture capitalism and I was learning a lot!

"Learnings at LetsVenture."

My normal working day involves:

  • Talking and educating founders on the deal flow,
  • Reviewing fundraising documents,
  • Coordinating with third parties on reports and agreements,
  • Managing various deals at a time (8-10 on an average!),
  • Negotiating calls with the company's lawyer, CS.
  • Collating the closure documents for the portfolio companies to create a data room
  • Apply for SEBI approval of overseas investment as an AIF and a whole lot more.

"The basic rules and roles observed by a CS."

I would highly recommend that aspiring and qualified Company Secretaries should:

  • Do proper research on the specialties of their respective organizations,
  • Keep up to date with developments in relevant Acts and Regulations,
  • Develop decent writing and verbal communication skills,
  • Always read with an enquiring mind and have an eagle’s eye, and
  • Constantly maintain professional skepticism.

"What did I learn during my CS internship?"

I learned a lot during my internship. Different organizations offer various learning platforms to their interns; but my roles included, among many:

  • the preparation and filing of documentation with the Registrar of Companies,
  • updating secretarial records and statutory registers for companies,
  • and preparing notices, agendas, and attendance sheets, and minutes for meetings.

Post-qualification experience involves, among many roles, corporate and FEMA due diligence for varied sector-specific companies, undertaking online IEC registration for unlisted private companies, term-sheet reviews, preliminary reviews of investment agreements, and so on.

Wrapping up…

Start-ups are a great opportunity to learn and occupy spaces that would otherwise not be available in big corporations. Take up space and own up to your journey!

Constant learning and education will come in handy in this profession. An LLB provided me with immense exposure to the legal side of this profession.

Explore as much as you can and convince yourself that not even the sky is a limit to your learning.

Never look at the size of an organization, but the lessons to be learned in the process. Have a bigger picture and do not be afraid of failure. This is the best teacher.

Take risks! Holding back will only deprive you of valuable learning curves. You have nothing to lose, take those risks.

Build your wealth of knowledge by constantly reading up on relevant content. And keep up to date.

Lastly, I can never fully unpack the entire journey and the fruits it bears, but I can assure you that being a CS is definitely worth it for me. And if you are a CS with a law degree nothing like it! 

Now It's Your Turn...

Have questions for me comment below and I will get back to you?

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