Sid Talwar


Sid moved to India in 2001 to found Evolv, a vocational training company. Evolv was funded by Singapore Technologies - their first early stage investment in the sub-continent. Over the next 6 years, Sid grew Evolv to 300 employees training and assessing over 20,000 people a year across 200 cities in South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East. In 2007, he sold Evolv to NIIT - Asia's largest training company. Sid worked with NIIT for the next 3 years, heading Evolv, as well as Litmus - NIIT's foray into assessments and Uniqua - NIIT's joint venture with Genpact. In 10 years of leading Evolv, Sid became a master in education technology (and continues to explore advancements in this market at Lightbox.)

An entrepreneur at heart, Sid left NIIT to get more involved in the start up community in India. Over the next few years, leading up to Lightbox, Sid advised several startups, angel funds, and a very special NGO called Magic Bus.

As enterprising at play as he is at work, Sid recently launched a new restaurant, The Hungry Monkey. Brown Paper Bag says "one step in and we realised, this was a hipster kid, the kind who'd look good on our Instagram feed." Check it out if you're in Delhi.

Q & A

What does failure mean to you?
Failure is inevitable. I accepted that early in my life. Luckily, over time, I've seen it's also the only path to success. And that's what failure means to me - a path to success. But to travel that path, you must recognize your mistakes, handle them psychologically, learn from them and then act accordingly.

What’s your super power?
I'm a reader. I love reading. That's my super power. The more I read, the more perspective I get, the more curious I get and that makes me a better investor and a better person. It's a habit I picked up from my grandfather. He read anything he could get his hands on. He read to me all the time. I'm proud to keep the tradition going. Speaking of reading, here's one of my favorite quotes from Charlie Munger: "In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn't read all the time - none, zero." I agree.

Which is your favourite city in the world?
I always fall in love with the city I live in - and at the moment that's Mumbai. And it's pretty amazing. I love the sea. I love the energy. I love the people. I love our office. This is where I want to be.

Favourite books this year
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou and Becoming by Michelle Obama

If you weren’t a venture capitalist, you’d be?
Hands down, a theatre actor. I still might do day.  Being on stage, in front of a live audience is one of the most exhilarating experiences I know.