Manish Kheterpal
Managing Partner

Market forces and business models change. I spend most of my time understanding ‘why is an entrepreneur doing it’ and ‘why now’?

Building a lasting business is never a straight line effort especially in emerging markets like India. It may not be enough to do just one thing right. It’s like downhill skiing where your success depends on the difficulty of the slope (opportunity size), and multitude of externalities like snowfall (market readiness), temperature (inflection points), visibility (regulatory aspects), other skiers (competition) on the slope etc. I am therefore looking for versatile founders who have a habit of creating an unfair advantage

I aspire to bring a rare perspective to the trade of company building. Having been an operator for half a decade, an institutional investor for over a decade, and a failed entrepreneur (which btw taught me more about myself than ever), I try to appreciate both the forest and the trees. My biggest asset for our entrepreneur partners is my high-trust eclectic network across sectors and continents

At WaterBridge we don’t evaluate a start-up from any template. We believe in horses for courses, that only a certain founder is suited for a certain opportunity. There are no hard rules for single vs. multiple founders, consumer vs. enterprise businesses. We believe if a founding team has the right combination of passion, experience and expertise, you have hit the jackpot!

I advise founders to think big and make the right people decisions early in the company’s lifecycle. One of my favourite quote goes, “C companies hire behind the curve; B hire ahead of the curve; and A hire & fire ahead of the curve”

Value-add is a 2 way street. If an investor cannot meaningfully help the entrepreneur, then he/she has not earned a seat on the table. Similarly I tell founders to step into an investors’ shoes and ‘help them help you’ i.e. build trust in the relationship, communicate (both wins and losses) frequently

Founders can expect me to respectful but direct. My daily humility dose is that our success is entirely dependent on the passion and drive of our founder partners

Current Investments

Exited Investments

Previous Affiliations
Providence Equity Partners
Actis Capital
Rho Ventures
Ciena (Cyras Systems)

Stanford GSB
IIT Delhi