This Investor turned Entrepreneur is Redefining Indian Fantasy Sports
By: WE Staff
Kejal Shah poetically summarises her journey as ‘From Investing in Dreams to Building One’. From an angel investor turning others' dreams into reality, Kejal made her entrepreneurial dreams come true by co-founding fantasy sports platform BeBetta. She has carved her niche in several male-dominated sectors and this is her success story!
Kejal Shah is a known name within the startup investment landscape, boasting an illustrious eight-year career as a seasoned angel investor.
With a wealth of experience in the angel investment space, Kejal's journey intersected with the inception of BeBetta. She saw the perfect opportunity to co-create a platform that would not only resonate with sports enthusiasts but also offer brands a genuine avenue to connect with their target audience.
Kejal's eight-year tenure as an angel investor has equipped her with invaluable insights into the complex tapestry of the startup ecosystem. This experience positioned her to recognize the unique promise of BeBetta and the transformative impact it could have. Guided by their shared passion for sports and an unyielding belief in the platform's potential, Kejal partnered with Meet to embark on a journey that would reshape the landscape of sports engagement and brand interactions.
In an extensive conversation with Women Entrepreneur India magazine, Kejal takes us through her journey as an investor, and entrepreneur and shares the key lessons she learned through the journey. She also sheds light on the Indian fantasy sports sector.
You were an angel investor before turning into an entrepreneur yourself. Tell us about your 8-year-long experience as an angel investor?
My eight-year journey as an angel investor was nothing short of transformative. During this time, I had the privilege of being part of numerous startup ventures, and each experience left an indelible mark on my entrepreneurial spirit. As an angel investor, I quickly learned the critical importance of thorough due diligence. It's not just about spotting exciting opportunities; it's about understanding the fundamentals of a business and its market. The process of analyzing a startup's potential, financial health, and competitive landscape was an invaluable learning experience.
One of the most significant takeaways from my angel investing journey was the significance of team dynamics and company culture. I witnessed firsthand how the right team, motivated by a shared vision, could overcome formidable challenges, and steer a startup to success. On the flip side, I saw how internal conflicts and cultural misalignment could hinder progress. Being an angel investor provided me with unique insights into market dynamics. It was like having a front-row seat to observe how consumer preferences, industry trends, and technological advancements were shaping the business landscape. This perspective proved invaluable when making strategic decisions later in my entrepreneurial journey. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of my angel investor journey was witnessing how innovation and determination could mold businesses. Startups, often driven by a compelling idea and unwavering determination, demonstrated that the entrepreneurial spirit could turn dreams into reality. This experience instilled in me a deep respect for the power of innovation.
The transition from angel investor to entrepreneur was a natural progression for me. I carried forward the wisdom gained from my investing years, implementing it in building BeBetta. My journey as an angel investor provided a strong foundation for understanding the startup ecosystem, the risks and rewards, and the strategies that drive success. It was a valuable chapter in my professional life, one that continues to influence my approach as a co-founder of BeBetta.
What led you to take the leap of faith and come onboard BeBetta? Was it an easy decision for you? Take us through the initial days of the journey.
Transitioning from an angel investor to an entrepreneur marked a significant, although challenging, leap into the unknown. The decision to join BeBetta was not a simple one, but it was fueled by a profound passion for sports and a compelling vision. In the early days of this entrepreneurial journey, we confronted the typical hurdles that startups face. The driving force behind this transition was a deep-seated love for sports. It was not merely a casual interest; it was a profound connection that had always resonated with me. This passion provided the impetus to create something exceptional within the realm of sports engagement.
BeBetta's vision was the pivotal factor that made this leap worthwhile. The concept of crafting a platform that not only catered to sports enthusiasts but also offered a unique opportunity for brands to engage with their target audience was deeply compelling. It aligned seamlessly with my belief in the untapped potential of the sports engagement industry. The transition from an angel investor to an entrepreneur brought its fair share of challenges. It was a shift from the familiar and relatively stable role to the dynamic and unpredictable world of startups. It meant embracing increased responsibility and risk.
The initial days of BeBetta were characterized by the typical obstacles faced by startups. We had to assemble a dedicated and passionate team that shared our vision. Refining the concept and ensuring its resonance with the target audience was pivotal. Additionally, securing the essential funding to transform this vision into a reality was a resourceful and determined pursuit. Despite these challenges, the journey into BeBetta was exhilarating. Each day presented new lessons and accomplishments. It was a constant learning process, demanding adaptability and innovation. Every milestone we achieved during those early days affirmed the correctness of the decision to make this leap of faith. In retrospect, this was a journey marked by conviction and vision. It was about trusting in the potential of sports engagement, about creating a platform that could revolutionize how people interact with their favorite sports, and about reshaping an industry to embrace innovation and user-centricity.
Tell us about BeBetta. How does the company intend to disrupt the Indian fantasy sports industry?
BeBetta's mission in the Indian fantasy sports industry is nothing short of a game-changer. We intend to revolutionize the way fans engage with sports by offering a more immersive, engaging, and holistic experience.
The platform intends to go beyond the conventional fantasy sports model by offering a comprehensive sports engagement experience that includes elements of prediction, community, and rewards.
Our vision for BeBetta is to immerse users in the world of sports. BeBetta users don't just passively watch the games; they actively participate by making predictions, joining discussions, and enjoying a sense of belonging within a passionate sports community.
One of the defining features of BeBetta is its focus on community-building. This community-centric approach enhances the overall sports engagement experience, allowing users to form connections and relationships based on their shared enthusiasm for the game.
BeBetta's disruptive power lies in constant innovation and unwavering user-centricity. We're dedicated to enhancing the sports engagement experience through advanced technology, personalized recommendations, and a deep understanding of our users' needs and preferences.
The fantasy sports industry in India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing markets across the world. What market opportunity do you see for BeBetta in this burgeoning sector?
In the rapidly expanding Indian fantasy sports industry, BeBetta has identified a significant market opportunity, poised to bring a unique and innovative approach to sports engagement. India's deep-rooted love for sports, ranging from cricket to kabaddi, has contributed to the remarkable growth of the fantasy sports sector. This fervor has created a fruitful landscape with immense potential, where fans are seeking interactive and engaging ways to connect with their favorite games. BeBetta's distinctive approach sets it apart from traditional fantasy sports platforms, focusing on real-time predictions, a free-to-play model, and community interaction. BeBetta's emphasis on real-time predictions is a game-changer in the industry, as it allows users to actively engage throughout a match, making predictions as events unfold. This dynamic, interactive approach deepens the bond between fans and the sports they adore. Additionally, BeBetta's commitment to a free-to-play model removes the financial barrier, democratizing sports engagement and making it accessible to a broader and more diverse audience.
The platform's dedication to fostering a vibrant sports community adds a social dimension to the sports engagement experience. It acknowledges that sports fandom is a shared passion, providing a virtual space for fans to connect, discuss, and share their love for the game. BeBetta doesn't merely aim to enter the market; it aspires to lead transformative change within the fantasy sports sector. The platform sees an opportunity for continuous improvement, user-centricity, and technological advancement. With cutting-edge technology and personalized recommendations, BeBetta is well-positioned to spearhead innovation in the industry.
BeBetta's mission in the Indian fantasy sports industry is to bring a more immersive, engaging, and holistic sports engagement experience to fans across the country. The fantasy sports landscape in India is primed for transformation, and BeBetta stands at the forefront of this exciting journey, ready to redefine how fans connect with their favorite sports and teams.
Be it the world of investing, entrepreneurship, or sports, each of these sectors has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. Can you tell us about your experience as a woman leader navigating through these male-dominated industries.
In sectors as traditionally male-dominated as investing, entrepreneurship, and sports, my role as a woman leader has been both a testament to resilience and a catalyst for change. The reality of these industries' historical gender imbalance has presented its own set of challenges, but it has also revealed a promising shift towards greater diversity and inclusion. My experience as a woman leader has, undoubtedly, come with its share of obstacles. In these traditionally male-centric realms, there has often been scepticism about the capabilities and potential of women leaders. I've encountered moments where my competence was questioned, and my voice was overlooked. However, each challenge has fortified my determination to break barriers and redefine stereotypes. What is heartening is the palpable change taking place within these industries. Over time, we've seen a growing recognition of the immense value that women leaders bring to the table. The world is awakening to the notion that gender should not be a determinant of leadership potential.
My journey as a woman leader has taught me the power of resilience. In the face of gender-based obstacles, I've persevered and remained steadfast in my pursuits. I've found strength in resilience, and the ability to rise above challenges has been a defining feature of my journey. Networking has been another cornerstone of my experience. Building a robust network of both women and men who share a vision of equality and inclusion has been a source of support and strength. Connecting with like-minded individuals who believe in the potential of women leaders has been invaluable.
In navigating these traditionally male-dominated industries, I've embraced continuous learning and adaptation. Staying attuned to evolving industry trends and remaining committed to personal and professional growth have been essential for success. Challenging stereotypes and dismantling preconceived notions about leadership in these industries has been an ongoing mission. It's a commitment to proving that competence transcends gender and that leadership is defined by capabilities, not by traditional expectations.
Tell us about the key lessons you have learned over the years as an investor and as an entrepreneur.
My journey from investor to entrepreneur has been a transformative experience, accompanied by a wealth of invaluable lessons that have become the cornerstones of my approach in these diverse roles. The paramount lesson that I've embraced is the significance of adaptability. Both in investing and entrepreneurship, the landscape is ever-evolving, demanding the ability to pivot swiftly, modify strategies, and embrace change. This adaptability has proven crucial in navigating the dynamic terrain of these industries.
A lesson that has consistently resurfaced is the courage required for calculated risk-taking. As an investor, I witnessed the correlation between well-considered risks and substantial rewards. This realization emboldened my transition into entrepreneurship, where the uncertainties and challenges necessitate a fearless approach to risk-taking. It's the unwavering resolve to persevere through setbacks and hurdles that defines success in both realms. The ability to keep moving forward, undeterred by adversity, is a quality that continues to drive my journey. Innovative thinking has emerged as a central theme. Whether in the realm of investing, where identifying and investing in innovative ideas can yield exceptional returns or as an entrepreneur, where creativity and originality drive product development and problem-solving, innovative thinking is a force that propels endeavors. The indispensable role of teamwork is another lesson that remains deeply ingrained. No significant achievement is realized in isolation. Collaborative efforts, shared visions, and a harmonious work environment are fundamental to achieving ambitious goals.
These lessons learned in my transition from investor to entrepreneur have not only shaped my path but continue to guide me in my pursuit of success. Adaptability, risk-taking, determination, innovative thinking, and the power of teamwork are principles that remain at the core of my endeavors. These lessons not only define my journey but continue to propel me toward new horizons, innovative ventures, and success in the ever-evolving landscapes of investing and entrepreneurship.
If you had to sum up your professional journey so far in a phrase or sentence, what would it be? What take-away from your journey would you like to share with aspiring women leaders?
If I were to encapsulate my professional journey in a single phrase, it would be "From Investing in Dreams to Building One." This phrase beautifully illustrates my transition from the world of investing, where I supported and believed in the dreams of innovative entrepreneurs, to becoming an entrepreneur myself, where I embarked on the challenging yet immensely rewarding journey of building a dream from the ground up.
As an aspiring woman leader, my primary takeaway from this journey is to view challenges as opportunities. Every obstacle and setback can be a stepping stone to growth and achievement. Embrace them, learn from them, and use them as catalysts for progress. It's in overcoming challenges that we discover our true potential and resilience.
Another crucial lesson is the importance of cultivating a strong support network. Surround yourself with individuals who believe in your capabilities, both women and men who share your vision of equality and inclusion. A supportive network can provide guidance, encouragement, and the strength to navigate male-dominated industries.
Lastly, never underestimate your potential to drive change and make a difference. Aspiring women leaders should recognize that they possess the power to shatter glass ceilings, challenge stereotypes, and redefine leadership in traditionally male-dominated sectors. Believe in your competence, creativity, and capacity to bring about positive change.
In essence, the journey from investing in dreams to building one has taught me to embrace challenges, seek a strong support network, and never doubt the transformative impact that aspiring women leaders can have on the world. Your journey may be unconventional, but it carries the potential to inspire and lead change for generations to come.