Arvind co-founded 21Dojo with Varun & Sandeep with a very specific three-point plan in mind – to cut out the unnecessary obstacles to innovation that exist within the Indian startup ecosystem, to create a communication framework for key stakeholders of the industry so that the right ideas reach the right people at the right time, and to make fundraising advisory services more accessible to all startups and budget-friendly. Having begun his career in HSBC’s Private Banking division, Arvind soon moved into the technology team of Deloitte’s investment banking department to gain hands-on experience with the startup fundraising process. Passionate about the journeys that founders and early-stage startups take to find a foothold for their ideas in the real world, Arvind then branched out and set up Synacrity Advisors, a management consultancy exclusively focused on hand-holding startups from their prototype stage right through to their first round of major institutional funding. This experience exposed Arvind to the intricacies of growing a profitable business in India and the inherent problems that exist in the industry, and all this was eventually condensed, distilled and hardcoded into the current 21Dojo system. Arvind holds a BCom in Economics & Finance from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a MSc in Finance & Investment from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom.
Varun is a cofounder at 21Dojo. Armed with an ACCA qualification and a BSc in Applied Accounting, he comes with a strong background in finance and accounting and a keen interest in the running of sustainable, financially stable companies. Varun’s career found its roots in the corporate audit teams of both Ernst & Young and Deloitte, where he gained deep experience in multiple industries such as automobile, mining, manufacturing, retail, IT and banking. He later joined Arvind as a Partner in Synacrity, a startup-focused management consultancy that helped early-stage businesses with both debt and equity fundraising. This gave him the opportunity to jump headfirst into the Indian startup ecosystem, and after interacting with many passionate and brilliant startup founders and learning about their challenges, an obsessive need to contribute towards positive change was born in him. Thus, 21Dojo was born and there’s been no looking back ever since.
When Sandeep joined 21Dojo as its CTO, new technological life was breathed into the company. A second-time entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in the IT sector. Sandeep completed his B.S. in Computer Science, from the University of South Carolina, and he's also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). He began his career as an Application Developer for Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the USA, where he worked on building the company’s internal Identity Management (IdM) system. Three years later, Sandeep joined a boutique SAP Security Consultancy to further specialize in SAP IdM consulting in the US. In 2010 Sandeep returned to India, and joined Accenture as an SAP IdM SME (Subject Matter Expert). During his seven-year stint in the SAP IdM space, he continued to work on several side projects including a video game (RunCal) and a music sharing app (Groovit), both of which he co-built. In 2015, Sandeep left the corporate world behind and started his first venture – Groovli – a social jukebox platform that leverages individual musical tastes to form social networks of like-minded people. As a solo founder, Sandeep created the entire platform, algorithm and mobile app on his own, and continues to maintain it even now. A chronic creator, Sandeep appreciated the problem 21Dojo was looking to solve and shared Arvind and Varun’s drive to get the solution out there as soon as possible.