Paurush Sonkar, the Founder and CEO of Stallions Capital, discusses his success story, mastering the fundamentals of investment banking and progressing on to a powerful domain!
Paurush, a curious and dedicated individual, entered the business world back in 2004. Having worked with multiple financial companies over the years, he states, “I fortunately gained knowledge in 2 core areas; financial services & digital marketing. This is during the times when the internet was a new topic to most. This has held me in good stead as both these areas are key pillars of the economy“. Paurush subsequently pursued the start-up mentoring, funding and VC space, way back in early 2017. He explains, “I’m glad at having made that decision. Not only do I get an opportunity to interact with founders of varied backgrounds but I have also mastered the art of evaluating & investing in start-ups, whilst finding them reliable investors”.
Appreciating his journey all along, Paurush states, “I must acknowledge that it has been a super smooth journey and I was lucky to get adequate assistance from regulatory / governing bodies in the UAE”. Paurush goes on to state that the Dubai government’s policies for businesses & start-ups are a global benchmark, and confidently states, “It is the most start-up friendly government ever and the initiatives they undertake to make start-ups feel comfortable are of par excellence”. With Paurush’s astute understanding, he describes the global positioning of the Dubai Government in the corporate arena to be brave and that of a challenger, considering the dynamic vision of the Leaders. He states, “The rulers & the government with their policies have made Dubai the bedrock of innovation across sectors”. He continues, “The crypto currency sector has been booming rapidly and areas such as Web 3.0, Metaverse and many other rising start-up genres call Dubai Home! The infrastructure is outstanding & the location is just perfect to set-up base and expand globally. Remember Dubai is the gate- way to the world!”
Interpreting the true essence at Stallions Capital via this statement, Paurush goes into further detail on his viewpoint, that company founders need to be supported at every turn of their journey, from fundraising to GTM strategy, pricing model, business model and a lot more! He states, “At Stallions Capital we dedicate a lot of effort and time to ensure that the Founders get it, right before we get them onto our global network of investors”. Paurush emphasises how Stallions Capital deviates from the standards of generally providing paid services. “I must mention how these services are offered at no charge unlike the conventional model used by some accelerators. We believe that this is our way of giving back to the start-up fraternity, building great start-ups and value for the long term. We work with start-ups that call Dubai home and see this as a great value creation across stakeholders”.
When reflecting on his choice of making Dubai the hub of Stallions Capital’s operations, Paurush mentions the city’s exceptional importance! He answers, “This is an easy one, but if I were to answer it to my heart’s content, it would take me hours to explain my love for Dubai! Keeping it simple, I believe Dubai strengthens the fundamentals of a business environment. Comparing my geographical experience, I can confidently assure you that I have never witnessed such an energetic approach in any of those countries. The world-class infrastructure, the absolute contentment in engaging in business, the global representation of diverse nationalities and the access to a huge talent pool of young minds & experienced people, can never be undermined! I also cherish the ample sunshine and the soothing winters, to add that extra balance to one’s lifestyle”. Paurush is also certain that Dubai and the UAE citizens are given the highest degree of safety and security, which plays a significant part in empowering people to focus on their jobs!
Paurush outlines the qualities of Dubai’s ambiance while focusing on the thriving stakeholders connected to Stallions Capital! “The UAE is home to some of the finest family offices. Meanwhile, the domestic arm, the international presence and the enriched diversity has been a great influence on us. At Stallions Capital we work with a mix of VC’s and family offices. Beyond the UAE, we have a network of investors from other geographies who do not want to miss out on the UAE start-up ecosystem, which has taken off at a breakneck speed”, Paurush adds. Before on-boarding an investor at Stallions Capital, according to Paurush, a few key factors are taken into consideration. He adheres firmly to the notion that the relationship between them and their investors must be sincere and open, reinforcing shared vision, respect for the founders, a truthful portrayal of value, and most importantly continues an extended bond with Stallions Capital. “We work for the longer run, and not to take quick exits. As I always say, great brands & companies don’t get built overnight. It takes dedication and time!”
Paurush takes pride in thriving through the MENA region; it entails a grouping of nations positioned in and around the Middle East and North Africa. Stallions Capital, maintaining a keen interest in exploring the MENA region, has embraced their services wholeheartedly. Paurush elaborates, “We have our hands full considering the in-flowing deals. Our unrivalled services have expanded our operation towards a global network of investors. Like they all say, we are building more!”. Defining the future of Stallions Capital, Paurush expresses his interests in two tertiary markets; Pakistan and Turkey, whilst also transitioning from MENA focused to MENAPT focused. “We have started building our relationships with the founders in Turkey and Pakistan. These companies are of significant brilliance, they are like hidden gems waiting to be discovered!”, Paurush states. He also outlines Stallions Capital’s future goals, which include diversifying and expanding to other continents. “Our sole aim is to position Stallions Capital as the UAE’s No. 1 I nvestment Banking firm, offering in-depth coverage across the MENAPT region”, says Paurush.
The common quote goes, ‘Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create’. An enthusiast at heart, Paurush maintains the perfect equilibrium of work and life, taking time to indulge in things that matter. Concluding his statement, he shares a glimpse of his lifestyle stating, “Dubai is all about an active lifestyle and a perfect blend of finding time from work for oneself. I work only 4 days a week and that gives me ample time to tend to my garden, walk my dog, host BBQ evenings in the winters and participate in my weekly Golf sessions”.