Priya Oberoi Podcast Transcript

Priya Oberoi Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here

Priya Oberoi: [00:00:00] Having gone through the cancer, I then went through I V F with my husband as well and the complications with that, and then I have an autoimmune disease as well. It was like, hold on a minute, why aren't there solutions for people like me? Or you know, what happened? Well, why am I not important as a woman?

Priya Oberoi: Well, it's a $1 trillion tab. It's bigger than global crypto market. Why aren't people investing in it? Why shouldn't women have precision medicine catered to them because they diff, have different hormones and chromosomes?

Amardeep Parmar: Hello, hello and welcome to The BAE HQ where we inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of Brirish Asians. Smash that subscribe button if you watch on YouTube, and it's a five star review if you're watching Apple or Spotify. Today we have with us Priya Oberoi, who's the general partner and co-founder of Goddess Gaia Ventures.

Amardeep Parmar: They're a fund that invests in women's health in both the UK and Europe. How are you doing today? 

Priya Oberoi:  I'm good. Thank you for inviting me. 

Amardeep Parmar: So we've had a [00:01:00] good chat before we started recording here. And like you've got so different parts of your journey.. 

Priya Oberoi: right? 

Amardeep Parmar: But when you were growing up, like, did you ever think you'd get to where you are today?

Priya Oberoi: No, probably not. I, I wanted to, I mean, so I grew up in Southall. I went to a state school, saw I guess the lifestyle that I have now on TV and I thought, God, I would love that. But you do, I just, I, I didn't, you know, envisage it being the way it was at the time. But yeah, when I had the opportunity to go to university, so I went to Oxford and, and then I, when I left Oxford, I mean, that's when the world really opened up for me.

Priya Oberoi: You know, just the idea of traveling, you know, I loved getting on a plane. I really wanted to be successful. Everyone has their dreams, right? But when you've grown up in that environment, there are not that many role models around you. So that you can say, Hey, I wanna do what you are doing, basically. But yeah, I mean, yeah, it's not, it is always very strange when you go back to my mom's house and I think the journey's been so long.[00:02:00] 

Priya Oberoi: But it's not really that long in time, but it really has been a very different trajectory to how it could have turned out, right?

Amardeep Parmar: You're saying there, by that you wanted to be successful once you left university. What did like success mean to you at that point? 

Priya Oberoi: So, at the time, I think it meant what my parents wanted it to be, right?

Priya Oberoi: Was sh was, you know, Be a city lawyer and um, be a professional. And it's really interesting 'cause if you think about it all, or at least my parents, they were entrepreneurs and in those days it was a bit of a dirty word, but today it's like the word to be like, Hey, I'm a startup, uh, founder. But yeah, I mean I think for them it was, you know, be a professional work in the city, then you've made it.

Priya Oberoi: You know, I went off and I was a lawyer for 12 years. I was very good at it. I, I did actually enjoy it. Things happen to you along the way, don't they? And you are allowed to change. You're allowed to pivot. You're allowed to do something else. And I think once you know yourself, you, you can change a little bit more easily.

Priya Oberoi: I think when I, I mean, you go into law [00:03:00] right at 21. I mean, how well do you really know each other yourself at that stage and how Well you know, especially if you've grown up in an Asian household, at least my quite protected you, you are shielded from a lot of things. You don't really know what you want to do basically.

Priya Oberoi: So yeah, I mean I did, I did enjoy that period of my life, but I was really excited to build my own company as well. 

Amardeep Parmar:  And look, in that period that you were doing, I said, you said you enjoyed it. Yeah. Did you ever think, oh, one day I do want to start a company? Or was it something which just totally outta your mind until like later on?

Priya Oberoi: You  know, so when I was a lawyer, so I worked in Moscow, Dubai, Kazakhstan, the US, Geneva, Paris. So, you know, I traveled around a lot and you know, I loved the traveling bit and meeting lots of new clients. And I was also part of, I was one of the pioneers of Islamic finance as well. So that was really exciting 'cause you were creating something new.

Priya Oberoi: I don't think I ever thought, Hey, I wanted to run a new company or a firm or a startup. But what actually happened was I got [00:04:00] cancer and at that time I was preparing myself a partnership. And I guess that was like a real pivotal time in my life where I thought to myself, you know what? One side I could work here for 90 hours a week and climb this ladder, and once I've gone up one side of the ladder, I'm gonna have to climb another ladder and another ladder.

Priya Oberoi: And it's like, do I want that for my life or do I want something else? And I really think that that's what made me change, you know? And I remember being in the hospital and I just thinking like, what do I like to do? What do I want to do? And I love traveling. I love meeting new people, and I wanted to do business.

Priya Oberoi: But I didn't know what that really meant, if I was honest with you. So honestly, when I got better, I just started my own company and not really thinking it would turn into anything, if I'm honest with you. But, you know, 10 years on and it, you know, did you know, knock on wood rather well. I loved it. It allowed me to meet my [00:05:00] husband, you know, allowed me to travel.

Priya Oberoi: It allowed me to meet some really interesting people as well. But yeah, if, if you had asked me while I was a lawyer, did I want to be running my own firm and my own business, I would probably said no, 'cause I didn't know any different.  And actually moving from a professional job to a startup is actually quite hard.

Priya Oberoi: 'cause you've got everything done for you in a professional law firm, right? You've got your PA, your computer people, you know all this support people, and then all of a sudden you're on your own. It's like, well, how does the printer work? You know, like really basic stuff. You don't actually know how, how it works and, and you've gotta humble yourself a little bit to say, okay, I'm gonna start again.

Priya Oberoi: And I think to start again, you do need a little bit of tenacity and belief in yourself, right. E courage to do it. 

Amardeep Parmar: What  was that? First idea then that you came up with were, when you're in the hospital, what was the 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah, so, so..

Amardeep Parmar: business idea. 

Priya Oberoi:  So, so I had done a lot of work, obviously through Islamic derivatives and Islamic finance in the Middle East.

Priya Oberoi: So, and you [00:06:00] know, they were, you know, I think there's like 400 family offices out there and, you know, institutional investors and I thought, Hey, you know, how do, how do I connect them? To all the private equity guys that we work with basically. And I just thought, right, I'll be an introducer. And it doesn't sound very complicated, but like no one had mapped out the world at that stage.

Priya Oberoi: You know, this is 2009, 2010. And actually there was a lot of insights that I had because obviously working in different places. And so, yeah. You know, people started paying me for, for those introductions, I started growing the team. Uh, and it was a very interesting kind of life for 10 years because you were doing lots of different projects.

Priya Oberoi: So one day is oil and gas the next day, healthcare the next day, I don't know, mining and you meet really interesting people. And I actually loved being on the road because I didn't have children at the time as well. So you know. Why not? Right? So, and that, that I find really refreshing, 'cause [00:07:00] you, your, your brain expands so much by meeting so many different people.

Priya Oberoi: So, yeah. I mean, but honestly it was more like, what do I like doing? And, and  I did actually try and find a job in that called private placement, but nobody would give me a job because they were like, well, you're a lawyer, so you know, they've given you, they've given you a label. And it was like, well, you know, sold that.

Priya Oberoi: I'll go build my own company then. And that's exactly it. And you know, I enjoyed it. I loved it. And then, you know, obviously when Covid hit, you know, I decided right, I'm gonna pivot again and build the fund then basically. But yeah, I mean it's, it's very much being born out of personal circumstances why I've changed.

Amardeep Parmar: So you mentioned humbling yourself as well. 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: What were some of the difficult things you had to go through? So it's like one thing is like laying out the printer works. 

Priya Oberoi:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: But in terms of the shift from the corporate mindset to the entrepreneur mindset. 

Priya Oberoi: So when you are, when you are working for a big firm, you have their reputation and their kudos as you walk into a room, right?

Priya Oberoi: It's like, Hey, I'm Priya who works for X? [00:08:00] You don't have to be that good 'cause you are working for X, right? Whereas when you run your own company, it's you, people are paying you for delivering something. And at the beginning, you know, obviously there's no track record as well, so you have to build it and, you know, we did a lot of stuff for free at the beginning, you know, really have to prove ourselves.

Priya Oberoi: But, you know, uh, during that journey we did, but yeah, that's a huge difference, 'cause you don't have any, any reputation to rely on. It's just yourselves and people have to like you to pay you. Right? That's, that's tough. And it's the same thing now with building the fun. You know? So obviously I had done, I had, I had, uh, run my own business for

Priya Oberoi: over 10 years. But then when building the fund, we had to like start again. It's like, well what do you know about women's health? Why is this even a, a thing? You know, how are you guys gonna do it? 

Amardeep Parmar: That question right there. So why is this even a thing? Why are you looking at women's health? 

Priya Oberoi: Well, it's a $1 trillion tab.

Priya Oberoi: It's [00:09:00] bigger than global crypto market. Why aren't people investing in it? Why shouldn't women have precision medicine catered to them? Because they diff have, different hormones and chromosomes. Traditionally, healthcare has been built by men for men. You know, if you look at the science side, the res, research side, people always go in via the male route.

Priya Oberoi: Most clinical trials are done on, on white men. You know, I think people of color and women were only allowed in the US to be included in clinical trials post 1993. That's crazy. So everything pre 1993 had never been tested on women and people of color. So we don't know how those medicines interact with us.

Priya Oberoi: So that is why, you know, I was so excited by it. Um, so there's obviously the upside on the monetary side, but obviously as well, having gone through the cancer, I then went through I V F with my husband as well and the complications with that. And then I have an autoimmune disease as well. It was like, hold on a minute, why aren't there solutions for people [00:10:00] like me?

Priya Oberoi: You know, what happened? Why is it so difficult? You know, if I, I always joke if I'm was gonna set up a, a men's healthcare fund, I bet you I would be funded by tomorrow. And, and it's like, well, why am I not important as a woman? Why shouldn't my healthcare needs be, be put at the forefront? So yeah, I'm a real believer in that.

Priya Oberoi: And yes, there are nuances according to race, to gender, to your, uh, epigenetics and those things need to be taken into consideration when you are building out solutions. 

Amardeep Parmar: So you've obviously got co-founders as well. 

Priya Oberoi: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: How did that team all come together? What was that origin story there? 

Priya Oberoi: We've all got kids in the same school.

Priya Oberoi: Right. No, so, so, you know, it's quite interesting. So I have, I have, we've known each other as friends. But we all have kids of the same age as well. Right. So I guess there's a little bit of bonding going on there as well from that side. But, you know, it was really interesting, you know, it was my, my original [00:11:00] idea to like, build the fund, but then, you know, I couldn't think of better people to build the fund with.

Priya Oberoi: They're my co-founders, 'cause I just thought, guys, you need to come in. And they were like, yeah, we want in. And you know, it was just about being excited about something, you know? I mean, if you remember back in Covid and we all stuck at home, you don't know what the outcomes were gonna be. You know, it's quite a scary time, especially if you'd been ill before.

Priya Oberoi: You know, I mean, it's like where are we in the world? And you know, I think a lot of people wanted to do something radical and different and make a difference. So yeah. You know, we, we just thought, right, let's, let's do this. And we are still together, we're still building it and we've invested together as well.

Priya Oberoi: And you know, we've had our ups and downs as well, but I think as a team we work really well. And, and what I need to know is that they have my back. You know, I have theirs. And so that's quite unique to find, but it takes time to build that. And that's [00:12:00] very different to my original firm, um, which I started in 2010 because I was the only co-founder, right?

Priya Oberoi: I was running it by myself. So you take all the responsibility on your own head and that's scary. And you have no one to talk to really. And it's quite a lonely journey. 

Amardeep Parmar: That's one of the things that a lot of people think about, where it's lots of people wanna start comments by themselves, but I just said there's so much pressure.

Amardeep Parmar: You've also got to wear so many different hats. 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. Too. 

Amardeep Parmar:  And with the co-founders you've got now, what's kind of the nice thing about that in terms of like what do you try to focus on or where do your skills lie in the team and what's some of the stuff that you maybe don't have to do as much of anymore that you're really happy they have to do?

Priya Oberoi: Yeah, so, so like for me, like. For example, Ire is brilliant at like organizing and operations, and I've always found that slightly challenging. It takes up so much of your time, like a two days a week, and you think to yourself, right? And she loves it and she's brilliant at it. Right? You know, Marissa, she, she lives in New York, so she can do all the US [00:13:00] side of things, and she's a badass, you know, like, I wouldn't have a fight with her, so that's great.

Priya Oberoi: Basically. And Alex, you know, she's, she's a real numbers girl. She, you know, give her a fun model and she's like, oh, I'll come back in 10 minutes. And I've just revised all of that. It's, it's, we can all do those things, but we all have our specialties and we can all rely on each other. And I think that's the big difference to O C P, my first company because, It's, it's so much more enjoyable having partners actually.

Priya Oberoi: And actually, like you said, you can rely on other people as well. Right? I also think diversity of thought is really important, right? You're not always right. You actually need people to challenge you to go in the right direction. And, and actually, if you've got people around you who actually want the best, so think of the company or the fund as, as our baby together.

Priya Oberoi: You want the best for the baby. You know, you need to challenge each other. Right. And, and I think that's the biggest difference with, with O [00:14:00] C P when I started it, because I think it came out of a very personal journey and you know, the cancer and stuff, it was for me it, I didn't really want to share that with anyone as well.

Priya Oberoi: It took me a while to want to open up and share that company as well. And I felt so much. And whereas this time round, I feel so much more comfortable sharing it. And also I know we can do more together as well. Right? So that's also very important. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you also did Angel investments before starting this, you got, right?

Amardeep Parmar: And that's something which you do too. And it's obviously when it's a fund, right? It's difficult to start a fund and raise money if you haven't got a track record. 

Priya Oberoi: Yep. 

Amardeep Parmar: And when you put the Angel Track record, it helps. Right. And that..

Priya Oberoi:  Definitely. 

Amardeep Parmar:  So what's some of the angel investments you made beforehand and..

Priya Oberoi: and during the, during the time of the fund?

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. Yeah. You can't say one baby is more important than the other. Right?

Amardeep Parmar: What was the very first one? I guess the very first investment , Angel investment.

Priya Oberoi: God. Well, so out of the fund, which is a very women's healthcare theme, so was, was Natal, which has just been [00:15:00] acquired by Maven. So that was our first exit this week, which is brilliant.

Amardeep Parmar: Congratulations

Priya Oberoi:. So thank you. Um, so I met Kate, uh, who's the founder of, of Maven, and, uh, And Layla on, on Tuesday for, who's the founder of, uh, Natal on Tuesday for dinner. And it was so nice just to see like, strong women sort of around the table and they made this happen. And you think you, i'm a small part of that, and that's really cool, actually.

Priya Oberoi: But Yeah. You know, I mean, I love Aura. You know, I love Lache Chen. You know, she, she started to build a, a, a company for the first thousand and one days, uh, post having a baby. And, and it came out of her own, you know, issues of breastfeeding and she used to work in films and you think to yourself, that's so cool that you managed to do that.

Priya Oberoi: There's Angela who runs Planet Nourish, which is for diabetes, for a Southeast Asian population, and you know, she's like a total badass. She just keeps going and I, I really admire that. There's [00:16:00] Anya or Serona, which is a building an online clinic and your ex Goldman Sachs banker, but you know, she's got it.

Priya Oberoi: She's, she's got what it takes, you know, to, to get to that unicorn status. So, yeah, I mean, a lot of the people we've invested in, we, we personally like them as well as founders, but also we see something special in them. But you know, sometimes they don't fit the traditional pattern recognition mold, you know, and that's probably a good thing,

Priya Oberoi: 'cause you know, the ones that do have started to blow up things, right? So it shows you that you don't have to fit the mold. And I think we take a lot of pride and most of our first, most of our founders are first time founders, first and foremost. But secondly as well, you know, they, they've had to go through a lot of adversity.

Priya Oberoi: So they're quite strong people and I really admire that. And you know, obviously by us putting our money in them shows that we believe in them, right? And that's what we want people to put money to us so that they [00:17:00] believe in us as well. Right? So for me, the money is like a recognition of yeah, we believe in what you're doing.

Priya Oberoi: We're backing you basically. But yeah. You know, they, they, it's so interesting. You know, we've met so many founders in the last, you know, like two years and definitely outta, at least outta women's health. It's mostly people who've had a personal journey and just thought, I can't find a solution. I'm gonna go build one myself.

Priya Oberoi: I mean, that takes in itself courage to do. Right? And, and maybe they don't even come from the industry. So that's really impressive. Right? But yeah, I definitely think, you know, being a woman and being a woman of color is much harder to raise either as a startup or as a fund manager basically. And you know, if you haven't been to the right schools or have the right networks, it's going to be harder.

Priya Oberoi: But that doesn't mean it's impossible and it doesn't mean you don't deserve it. 

Amardeep Parmar: We've like, I've seen a lot of founders that you haven't invested in too. 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: What are some of the things that you, like people listening right now, maybe trying to raise money or want to raise money in the future? [00:18:00] What advice would you give them in terms of how they frame themselves or how they pitch?

Priya Oberoi: Okay, so my, my personal view right now is try and, and stay alive. Honestly, I think after Silicon Valley Bank, credit Suisse, I don't think the best environment to go and raise it. If you can extend your runway to as much as possible and be lean, that's gonna serve you better, 'cause it's never good doing a down round.

Priya Oberoi: It really isn't. Not in any environment, especially not now. So, you know, that's my honest opinion. Right? I think things will start to improve post September onwards. But we've still got a bit of a rocky patch. You know, like Silicon Valley Bank hasn't really been sorted out in the US. You've still got First Republic, you know, credit Suisse, it was bought for a steal.

Priya Oberoi: I mean, who knows who's next. I was reading on the way here about Deutsche Bank. I'm thinking, oh God, what's going on now? Basically. So, yeah, I mean I, my, my [00:19:00] suggestion would be, be lean and, and actually extend that runway to as much as possible. But, you know, keep talking to investors, but not with the idea of raising, but to build relationships.

Priya Oberoi: You know, be with the right people, you know, and, and actually get yourself out there as much as possible. And then, you know, obviously staying alive is the most important thing. Then it's about not only growth, but also profitability. That's a big thing that's changed over the last couple of years. You know, we've had so many aggressive growth metrics when actually it's about bringing in revenue and being profitable.

Priya Oberoi: I mean, if you think about our parents, when they were building their businesses, they weren't looking at growth metrics and we're look at, well, can I pay the bills? Right? Can I bring revenue in and am I making a profit? I think back to 1 0 1. That's how you need to run a business basically. And I think, you know, these valuations all need a little bit of a rethink basically going forward.

Priya Oberoi: So [00:20:00] my personal view would be, Hold on a bit. Stay alive, stay me, stay lean and, and, and just wait it out a bit and, and definitely have more than one bank account, right? Because that's for sure. I think people have realized, like, you know, treasury and governance. You really need to be taking those things seriously.

Priya Oberoi: Right? 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. It, it's amazing what some people have got a wave in the last couple years. 

Priya Oberoi:  Totally.

Amardeep Parmar:  Instead having like shambolic systems basics here and you look at it and you think, I think from the outside perspective.. 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Sometimes some people listen around and now think, oh this person got this company must be run really well.

Amardeep Parmar: 'cause it's so big. It's like you'd be really surprised about how big some companies can get with really bad internal processes. 

Priya Oberoi: Totally. And you know, sometimes a left hand doesn't talk to the right hand. You know, I mean, one of the good things about running a small firm, you know, is that, you know what, what is going on everywhere?

Priya Oberoi: And you know, for someone like me, That makes me feel comfortable and I need to know, and I feel happy knowing. But yeah, in a big company, as you [00:21:00] scale, it's virtually impossible. So you are relying on those processes, right? And sometimes those processes go amiss. And so I think it's really important now for all of us to be more clear about what we're trying to do and actually build processes that we can manage, which aren't overly complicated as well.

Priya Oberoi: So you actually know where your money is. You know, it's really basic stuff, which sometimes, you know, people use fancy words that don't actually get you to where you need to get to. Ultimately, business needs to bring in revenue and hopefully make a profit. You know, I mean, it's great to have growth metrics and that's fantastic, but for God's sake, you know, stay alive first.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And so you mentioned there as well about you raising your own money as well, and I guess some people might not know how the VC world works. I say you get the limited partners at Tops, it seems to be pension funds, huge amounts of money. 

Priya Oberoi:  Institutional money.

Amardeep Parmar:Institutional money, who then give it to venture capital firms to deploy and those venture capital firms, then they're trying to [00:22:00] find usually high growth companies that can then give a return.

Amardeep Parmar: Then that gives a return to venture capitalists and they then give a return to the limited partner. 

Priya Oberoi:  Exactly. 

Amardeep Parmar: The usually, the limited partners kind of work in the dark. People don't necessarily know what's going on there from their start perspective. And what's your challenge, obviously, is that SARS is trying to raise money from you.

Priya Oberoi:  Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: But then you're trying to raise money from the partners. 

Priya Oberoi: Absolutely. 

Amardeep Parmar: And how has that journey been?

Priya Oberoi: So that's been a very humbling journey. So, as I mentioned, my previous company, you know, I would meet limited partners all the time for, you know, big private equity firms, big venture firms. And the first thing we have noticed is the type of questions that we get asked as an emerging manager, as a new manager, which to some extent I, I, I think is correct 'cause you one has to do the due diligence properly, but also as well, it's

Priya Oberoi: like in the US for example, an emerging manager is an emerging manager for three funds. So you are basically competing as a first time manager against someone who's already run three [00:23:00] funds. That's crazy. Rightß So that definition is a little too wide, according to me. Right? But at the same time as well.

Priya Oberoi: Yeah, it's, you are gonna get. Far more Nos than you ever will Yeses. And it is very humbling and, and I think it says a lot of strength of character about how you deal with those Nos, but also, but not to be abused in the process as well. Right? Some people, you know, I. Are are just on a fishing expedition.

Priya Oberoi: So you don't open up your data room to everybody. It's really important that, um, but then other times, you know, people you think who will support you 'cause you've known for a long time aren't supporting you for whatever reason. And you know, again, you've gotta take that on the chin. And then there are people who come outta left field.

Priya Oberoi: Who are absolutely amazing. So yeah, it's a real mixed bag, but it's a very emotional journey. It's not something I think that at least we haven't been able to disassociate ourselves with, 'cause it is personal, right? You are basically saying, Hey, I wanna go set up a fund. I put my own [00:24:00] money in, so I put my own skin in the game.

Priya Oberoi: I've done this, haven't taken the salary for two years, but now I want you to believe in me as well. So I believe in me because I've done this, but now I need you to believe in me and I, I've got my numbers to prove it. But at the same time, I still need you to take a leap of faith on me. And that is hard when people say no.

Priya Oberoi: That really is. And but I think with time you take, you begin to take it slightly less personally, but it's still shocking. Sometimes you, you get like really strange responses. So for example, I remember reaching out to one very big corporate guy and he virtually wrote back on email, um, I don't believe in women's health.

Priya Oberoi: Complete rubbish. I was like, well, this is a bit crazy. You must have a compliance officer somewhere around you. You shouldn't be writing things like that anyway, but you know, people don't think sometimes what they write, Um, um, that, that is, that is a [00:25:00] little bit shocking, right? But at the same time as well, you know, like I remember we, we wanted to meet a CEO of a big bank and Marissa and I just couldn't work out how we're gonna get to him.

Priya Oberoi: So we've virtually tried six versions of his email. Right? You know, because you couldn't, you never read it. And we wrote really nice email and actually, actually two hours later he wrote back saying, come into the office, I'd love to see you. So, you know, sometimes it does work as well. Right? But you, you've got to be quite, um, sassy I think 

Amardeep Parmar: You mentioned as well, like before we started recording, but how the first six months or so was just getting all of their data 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. Totally. 

Amardeep Parmar: prove much. Right? And obviously some people won't know that. Right? So what can you tell us about like women's, like women founders? 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And how like, successful they are. And how 

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: much an out like that sometimes in terms of like you investing with found it's more likely to, well I let you finish that.What, what happened?

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. So, so totally. So when, when we, we had this lovely idea, but at the same time you need proof points and data points around it, especially when people [00:26:00] are going to ask you what those proof points and data points are. So we spent about a year building a fund as well, right. Um, with your own money and time and energy to find those proof points.

Priya Oberoi: But you know, the bottom line is, you know, women make excellent Entrepreneurs, you know, they, they burn less, they scale faster, they exit faster as well. They are more efficient use of capital as well. And yet, if you look at the data points, I think there's something in the European Investment Fund issued, and also I think it was Diversity UK as well.

Priya Oberoi: 89% of money goes to all male founding teams, 10% to to male, female, sort of co-founders, and 1% to women only teams. That's nuts on, on the data. That doesn't make any sense. So what is the reason for that? Partly is to do with a lack of, I think, communities that you work with, right? So do women traditionally, even in corporates, like that's been one of the issues, like how do you get to know [00:27:00] your peers?

Priya Oberoi: You go out for drinks, right? Pretty difficult during Covid, you, you, you go play golf, you go watch some sporting event, but you do stuff together. But you know, if you are running a family as well, and you have other responsibilities. When do you have the time to do that? And I think that's the issue that women make on the data point.

Priya Oberoi: Excellent entrepreneurs. And also one extra thing as well, even though you know, we are investing in women's health. So we are looking at the, looking through the lens of women's health as a first point of contact in healthcare. It's really interesting. 20% of our founders are male. So there's more men coming into women's health 'cause they see the untapped potential.

Priya Oberoi: You know, we've been looking at stuff with, you know, AI, D two C B two B, you know, it's a huge market across different variables and they're, it's not just for women, basically. Like men are excited about it as well. 'Cause there's very few things out there where you can. You know, innovating, which is [00:28:00] actually gonna give you the upside now, right?

Priya Oberoi: So that's also very encouraging as well from my side. 

Amardeep Parmar: So really enjoy this conversation. A quick five questions now, 'cause of the time. Okay. So first one is, Who are thee British Asians love to shout out you think people should be paying attention to? 

Priya Oberoi: Oh, sure. So, so Panini, she developing cancer tech for breast cancer.

Priya Oberoi: She's a founder. Absolutely fantastic. You know, she's gone through her own personal experiences. She's already done two rounds of funding, you know, Totally. And she's, she's really funny as well. And Roy, uh, she is the co-founder of Syrona, is an online clinic. Absolutely like a badass, tenacious, you know, she doesn't give up love what she's doing.

Priya Oberoi: Went through Y Combinator as well. And Angela, you know, she is. Like an amazing founder. She, you know, created Planet Nourish from, from zero with no previous background and she has done wonderful things and she's doing [00:29:00] wonderful things and you know, always so lovely and jovial when you speak to her, but you know, is a bull to a red, red cape, right?

Priya Oberoi: She knows exactly what she wants, which I love. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, it's awesome. So if people listen right now, want to reach out to you 

Priya Oberoi: Right.

Amardeep Parmar: for helpful or guidance, what should they reach out to you about? 

Priya Oberoi: I don't know. I mean, like any, anyone, I guess you know how to start a company, right? You know, having the courage to start something.

Priya Oberoi: I think that's the hardest thing. You know, like actually to start it, once you are in it, it's very different. Right? But to start, you can think of all the things that could go wrong, right? But yeah. So maybe that, maybe. 

Amardeep Parmar: And on the other side, is there anything that you need help with right now that maybe somebody who think be able to help you with or Goddess Gaia Ventures?

Priya Oberoi: Yeah. We, we'd love like great investors, honestly, people who believe in women's healthcare, people who wanna change the paradigm, people who want to help. Women and create new solutions, we would love that. So, you know, for us that's our sort of major thing that we're, we are looking for and you know, people who add [00:30:00] value to what we are doing as well, who can then add value to our portfolio companies as well.

Priya Oberoi: So that would be amazing. 

Amardeep Parmar: So thank you so much coming on and really important what you're doing as well. And obviously as like everybody know, well I say everybody knows, but not enough people know. It's just how much innovation there can be in women's health. 

Priya Oberoi: Totally. 

Amardeep Parmar: All the, like you said, there's so much

Amardeep Parmar: space for disruption there because it's been over overlooked so much in the past. 

Priya Oberoi: Totally. 

Amardeep Parmar: But have you got any final words to the audience?

Priya Oberoi: Oh God. Yeah. Just, just keep believing honestly. Like, you know, where you start off in life doesn't determine where you're gonna end up. Right? And you know, the journey's what you make it.

Priya Oberoi: I really believe that, uh, I've seen it in my own life as well, actually. So you just gotta believe in that and, uh, yeah, kind of like, don't forget where you came from as well.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello. Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It makes a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes the world of difference. [00:31:00] And if you believe in what we're trying to do here, to inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asians.

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