April 02, 2018



Sunil Rao, Partner, Business Services at Lightspeed India Partners Advisors talks about his experience on Business Networking. 

If I count on all the aspects of business where i am involved with either our portfolio companies or in the startup ecosystem in general, One thing stands out loud and clear that we are in a relationship driven business and the ability to influence, move the deal faster, have a positive outcome is all dependent on the personal rapport that you have built with the other party.

Here are few of my own personal learnings which have worked beautifully well for me

  1. Take 3-5 mins of your first meeting to know the person and do not dive into business from the very first second you meet the person. 
  2. Be humble inspite of who you are and your achievements. Keep your own introduction short to about 30 seconds. 
  3.  There are instances where a vendor / partner might be undercutting/ giving you unreasonable discounts to secure your business and in such cases do understand that it is your duty to see to it that he doesn't get a overall raw deal.
  4. Your vendor needs to make money and be happy with you if you are thinking about a long term partnership which is a win/win for both the parties.
  5.  If you want to consider yourself a ecosystem player/enabler, 9/10 times you just go out of your way to help a person without expecting anything in return. #relationshipfirst

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Sunil can be reached on Linkedin 


The Good City Guest Column 

SunilRaolightspeedventures.jpegSunil Rao, Partner, Business portfolio services and community at Lightspeed India.

Lightspeed is a top notch global VC firm operating out of US, China, Israel and India. It is an early stage fund with offices in Delhi and Bangalore. Some of their investments include OYO rooms, Freshmenu, Udaan , Byju's  and more.

Sunil is a veteran in the startup ecosystem where he started Symbian in India which was later acquired by Nokia where he was leading the Nokia app store post which he joined Google to lead multiple programs and for the startup ecosystem like Google launchpad, accelerator and the sandhill program. He was also heading the Android communities and set up Google business groups and the largest student ambassador program for Google globally.