infoDev's Oltac Unsal remembers Rahul Padwardhan
I spent an hour on the phone with him talking about how to manufacture wind turbines in India combining the technology of an infoDev portfolio company and capabilities of an IndiaCo portfolio company. It was 3am in Pune. Next day, I got the surreal and unbelievable email that stated Rahul Padwardhan's passing away. I did not believe it. I still don't.
I traveled with Rahul to more places than any other colleague despite living in two opposite parts of the world, spoke more about entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, religion, philosophy, entertained a thousand ideas and managed to achieve a few, all in a lifetime of two years.
His sense of genuine gratitude for the opportunities he turned into amazing achievements made a lasting impression on infoDev. Building IndiaCo into an exchange-listed investing powerhouse from the humble beginnings of our incubator grant propelled him to offer help and advice to us at every turn (we traveled together because we asked him to come and he showed up in Washington, Helsinki, Astana and Istanbul). He participated in all our access to finance and market activities, and helped tremendously. He pushed our thinking with his own concrete activities in crowdfunding (growvc.com), gamification of education (evoke), technology opportunity analysis (ipinsite). He was instrumental in the "Helsinki Consensus" (an informal pact at infoDev's Global Forum to bringing global investors under a single umbrella to do seed stage financing) and demonstrated his commitment by traveling to and partnering in Argentina.
He said "remember, we are all gods and must live in accordance to the power and responsibility" as he gifted me a golden Ganesh. I will remember, Rahul, and you will never be forgotten.
Photo: Mr. Patwardhan at the Global Forum 2011 organized by infoDev
Oltac Unsal leads global Access to Markets and Finance programs at infoDev.
Brief bio of Mr. Patwardhan from Bloomberg Businessweek
Mr. Rahul Patwardhan was the Founder of Indiaco Ventures Ltd. and served as its Vice Chairman and Managing Director from June 2006 to July 1, 2012 and also served as its Chief Executive Officer until July 1, 2012. Mr. Patwardhan was also the Chief Mentor and Chairman of IncuCapital Advisors Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Patwardhan was a Member of Investment Committee of IncuCapital Fund I.
He had over 14 years of experience in the Venture Capital, General Management, and Technology Product Management and has personally invested, mentored, and advised several mid-sized and large corporations. Mr. Patwardhan had international experience and expertise in manufacturing, engineering, and software sectors. He had extensive international experience with companies in Business Planning and Strategy and held positions in Operations Management, Finance & Investment Analysis.
Mr. Patwardhan served as an Independent Director of Geodesic Ltd formerly Geodesic Information Systems Ltd) until April 28, 2008. He served as a Non-Executive Independent Director of Visesh Infotecnics Ltd. from December 30, 2005 to July 1, 2008. Mr. Patwardhan served as a Director of Indiaco Ventures until July 1, 2012. Mr. Patwardhan served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Department of Science and Technology (STEP), and the Chairman of the Incubation Committee of the NIF (National Innovation Foundation) of India.
He had several International Awards and recognitions from institutions like, Wharton Business School, Indian Economic Development Association (IREDA) for contribution towards nation building, IIM Ahmedabad, etc. Mr. Patwardhan earned an M.B.A. and a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pune University. He passed away on July 1, 2012.