The Light That Never Goes Out
Lumis was birthed with the silly audacity to focus on a few of the most voracious problems that face the world, such as aging, shifting dynamics of the workplace, and disruptions in supply chain. Over the years, we have looked to India as a perfect ‘lab-ground’ to build-buy-invest in these segments before taking them global.
2021 was a bit more special to us, and here is why …
Because our “North Star” of creating purpose with returns in these segments not only became clearer as the businesses scaled, but also because we could bring real impact in the lives of the demographics that sat at those intersections.
Because we realised the true ethos of how we operate was validated and manifested in various ways across the globe, from structuring capital that financed these solution-sets to how unit-economics were compounding over patient capital.
As we sun-set 2021 and welcome 2022 with cheer, here are a few defining turns that made us believe that we are oiling the right parts of the engine.
1. PERMANENT CAPITAL BECAME A NORM
When we started out at Lumis in 2006, one thing was clear — we are here to support founders for the long run. We didn’t want to time our exits, but we want to truly solve problems. To see someone as seasoned as Sequoia and some major Investment Firms make that shift in their structure really strengthened our belief that rigid structures benefit no one, especially not for the large problems we have set ourselves to solve.
“ The best founders want to make a lasting impact in the world. Their ambition isn’t confined to a 10-year period. Neither is ours.” — Roelof Botha, Oct 26, 2021
2. INDIA’S STARTUP ECOSYSTEM BECAME A BEAST
2021 was indeed a year to be marked in the history of startups in India. From the record number of unicorns to the success of so many IPOs, it really was a matter of pride for entrepreneurs and the nation. The varied sectors that came to the forefront really excited us. What’s even more exciting is that in the future, we are confident that the next category of unicorns, categories that should see spaces like Eldercare, Health-tech, Wellness, Climate Tech.
“From 2011 to 2014, the country produced only one unicorn per year. But this figure jumped to four in 2015, further to eight in 2018, nine in 2019, 10 in 2020 and a whopping 28 in 2021 (and we are only nine months into this year). This trend, more than anything else, is indicative of the maturing start-up ecosystem of India and the investors’ faith to put their moolah in the country’s start-up.”
3. BUSINESSES TODAY ARE FINDING THAT DOING GOOD ALSO MEANS DOING WELL
With all the havoc and monumental change the world saw in the last two years, most businesses were forced to really take stock and ask themselves “are we creating something purposeful?”. We at Lumis have constantly felt that “purpose multiplies returns”. And it’s heartening to see ourselves amongst several fellow firms that have started wearing the power of purpose on their sleeves. Now, more than ever, having the “North Star” is critical to an organization’s ability to navigate disruption sustainably. Truly integrating purpose into strategic, daily decisions and actions is a critical part of creating great returns.
4. THE WORLD GAVE THE SUPPLY CHAIN CRISIS ITS LONG-OVERDUE ATTENTION
The mission of defragmenting the supply chain by supporting the best 50 supply chain startups in 5 years has only become rock-solid. Supply chain truly runs the world, and being able to work towards building robust supply chain ecosystems for us has been paramount. Watching from the front-row seat, how a lot that ails speed and responsiveness in any crisis in the world finally finds its answer in supply chain innovation, inspires us to really build for a better world.
As the global economic recovery continues to gather steam, what is increasingly apparent is how it will be stymied by supply-chain disruptions that are now showing up at every corner”. — TimUy, Moody Analytics
5. The GREAT RESIGNATION GOT EVERYONE ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Understanding and watching demographics for over 15 years now, we see how the intersection of work-health-priorities has evolved. The shift has now made us ask questions that really matter — how do you support an individual to grow and stay happy at work? And what can we do about it? Bringing employees and their families’ wellness and providing them an ecosystem to grow is of our utmost focus by building and investing in businesses like Emoha & Moment.
“Those who aren’t striking are resigning in record numbers — quitting has hit the highest level in two decades. Nearly 12% of workers have quit since April and 95% of workers are currently considering changing jobs. The biggest group is mid-level employees, ages 30 to 45.” — Entrepreneur India
As we move forward, we feel hungrier, excited and continue to sustain the childlike enthusiasm for all the problems we are headed out to solve.
Here’s to a fantastic 2022. Wishing you and your families happy holidays.