Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.
She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business‘ by Fortune India for 4 years, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.
She is Co Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalised IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country. Padmaja is also the Founder of BioAngels, India’s only sector focused angel investor group, in partnership with BIRAC, the innovation arm of the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.
Padmaja has been nominated as Co Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the Government’s NEAC the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association) and Co Leading the LP / Family Office Council.
Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures. She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.
Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalised the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies.
She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council. She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.
In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key memberof the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.
Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business. A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).