2001 dotcom bust. At, we had 2 months of cash left to survive. I was desperate. I knew I had a great idea and had to ride out this storm. So I assembled my core team and requested a meeting with Renuka Ramnath – then CEO of ICICI Venture – our principal VC for financial help. I was going to beg her for money.

We met in the lobby of the Oberoi (now the Trident) in Mumbai – the sofa was small and so I was sitting facing Renuka, with my team members standing.

I started mumbling about more money and rambled on for a few minutes. Renuka looked at me, smiled and said, "Alok, when we have children, they need to fall to grow up. As parents we can easily hold them but don’t. Allowing them to fall is what is good for them."

That’s all she said. The message was clear. Fall. Stumble. Get hurt but get strong.

My team and I were shattered as we walked out. Yet something had been triggered inside.

We struggled, beat ourselves to death and survived. Almost 10 years later, we are miles ahead of those horrid times, and that advice remains unbelievably hard to beat.


Originally posted on Feb. 21, 2010 on

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Respect for Renuka...

:) again one of the best conversations :)

When you are short of finance you work harder & you get more ideas & methods, ways of improving your business.You become strong & business gets the polish which it needs. If finance is easily accesible, you become laid back.

Wow!! just wow to both Renuka ji and Alok ji!!


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