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Jyotsna KrishnanManaging Partner

Jyotsna is Managing Partner at Elevar and a founding team member at Enmasse. She leads the firm’s investing strategy and priorities in India, along with driving the overall fund performance globally. While building Elevar’s investing practice in India, she has closely partnered with entrepreneurs building transformational business models in sectors such as agriculture, MSME services, affordable education and quality healthcare. 

Jyotsna’s capability to build core operational systems that scale impact and her ability to form deep bonds with underserved customers, have helped define and shape the Elevar Method of investing. Her admiration for the entrepreneurial spirit of low income households regularly takes her into the field to gather customer insights, which entrepreneurs find invaluable as an input into strategy and organization building. 

Jyotsna has ~20 years of work experience spanning banking, retail financial services, strategy, business finance, sales and operations, business intelligence, training and development, in addition to working with entrepreneurs to achieve scale. Prior to Elevar, she was at HSBC and worked directly with the bank’s India leadership in multiple roles. Jyotsna is a Commerce graduate from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University and completed her MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst®.

Jyotsna will be found in her free time enjoying yoga sessions, or walking around her little green neighborhood listening to music. She also has a personal blog that brings her different worlds together, with perspectives ranging from ground up insights on entrepreneurial households to challenging stereotypes about the workplace. She enjoys her time with her hyperactive son – whose life moments she chronicles if only to embarrass him when he grows up.

What kind of experience did you have before Elevar?

In terms of my career – a generalist banker – spent close to 8 years across multiple functions in retail banking operations, strategy and finance, analytics and learning and development. Personally, travelled to several smaller towns and cities and connected instinctively with families in underserved markets, their aspirations and drivers of decisions.

What are the most and least favourite parts of your job?

Most fav: the conversations with entrepreneurs where you know discussions translate into magical execution – with near unlimited capacity to drive change through their leadership, and equally, the sparkle in the eyes of families in underserved communities – a sparkle that comes from them relating to a world they may not have seen, and engaging / exchanging notes, sharing stories of their entrepreneurial resilience and tenacity – conversations in the midst of utmost warmth and genuine hospitality. Have to add, food / local meals during field visits is a big attraction. Least fav: seeing experienced entrepreneurs have to deal patiently with less informed / far less experienced professionals representing (much needed) capital, exerting capital influence without necessarily understanding customer / ground up business context.

What is your Elevar career highlight so far?

Spending 14 days – living out of the staff quarters of a rural hospital to understand business dynamics combined with realities of providing healthcare in underserved markets after being challenged by the team on the ground for forming judgement as an Investor without knowing ground realities.

Tell us one great thing you’ve learnt from your colleagues at Elevar?

The courage to have an honest and really tough, blunt conversation – in a way that it helps build further trust instead of breaking relationships – because you care.

Reflections on the nature of entrepreneurship.

The ability to be the source of inspiration and figure out their own sources of inspiration somehow – to (almost) remove capacity constraints by attracting phenomenal talent. Also, the ability to connect and relate to individuals from field staff and customers to upstream capital sophistication with similar ease.

The field visit that made a difference.

Too many – but specifically one where I bonded very well with a woman (farmer community) who was on the board of a farmer producer organisation and was very excited to spend time with yet another woman who was on the ‘board’ of a company.