Valuations a tricky game, don't get carried away: Gururaj Deshpande


NRI tech billionaire and startup evangelist, Gururaj Deshpande, believes that bubbles manifest as the world at large sees the potential of a huge promised. "Every time you see a mad rush in a big way happens because people see a big promise and then it gets to be like a mad rush. Everybody wants to get into the play," Deshpande tells Fortune India's V Keshavdev in an exclusive interaction. However, the 72-year-old believes that within the mad rush, founders who focus on fundamentals and don't get carried away stand to win. While there are a lot of concerns over valuations being out of whack with reality, Deshpande believes that it's a necessary evil. "It's a tricky game. You know, you do have to play the valuation game because that's what gets you the resources. But at the same time, if you start believing in it, you can get carried away and if you don't manage your cash flow, you will get into trouble," says the brother-in-law of Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy. Drawing inference to the fact that there were sceptics even when Google had begun, eventually the business turned out to be a money spinner. "It is a real cash machine today, right? But when it started, it was hard to believe that a business giving access for free would make money from ads and survive, right? So, every time there's a bubble, right now it is AI, it's, usually, a graveyard along the way as a lot of companies will not make it. Some of them will go bankrupt, some of them will get merged, some of them will get acquired, but a few will emerge, and those that emerge is what I think are, are built on fundamental values and strong technologies," says Deshpande, who runs Deshpande Startups.

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