Part 2: Meeting with Arjan Driessen
Ravi showed up at his office later that afternoon. Located on the Prinsengracht, which quite literally means the Prince’s Canal, the premises of Driessen and Halsema alone were very impressive.
A collection of tastefully procured contemporary European artworks greeted him by the entrance. He was guided to a glass cabin that bore huge photographs of Arjan and his team with dignitaries from African countries. He stepped closer to take a look at a framed certificate. It was from the Government of Mauritania acknowledging the path- breaking work done by D&H in facilitating investments in the country to the tune of five billion dollars. Ravi felt like a small fry, insignificant and irrelevant. It would indeed be a privilege if Arjan invested in his firm, he thought to himself.
“Hallo. Wil je een kopje koffie (would you like a coffee)?” Arjan asked as he walked into the glass cabin.
Ravi struggled for a moment to find the right response in Dutch. “Ja zeker. Ik heb altijd gevonden nederlandse moeilijk (Yeah sure. I have always found Dutch difficult),” he laughed.
“I won’t trouble you in Dutch then. Tell me more about this venture of yours.”
“At the meeting”
Over the course of the next 45 minutes, Ravi laid out the growth plans of the startup. He talked about Ayush, his key programmer and the virtues of the platform they had built so far. He also provided him a brief demo of the prototype and emphasised on how the video-on-demand segment was about to explode in India.
“I’m in,” Arjan said finally.
Ravi was esctatic. “That’s great!”
“I will give you 500,000 dollars for 49 per cent of the company.”
That was higher than the share Ravi had in mind. They haggled and Ravi ultimately agreed upon parting with 40 per cent of the equity for his investment.
“Do you have the contract papers ready?” Arjan asked.
Ravi replied that he did and handed over the documents to him.
“I’ll have my people look over this,” Arjan replied. “When do you return to India?”
“Day after tomorrow. It’s an early morning flight out of Schipol,” he answered.
“Then we’ll try to button this up by tomorrow evening. You’ll return to India with an investor for your venture.”
This was music to Ravi’s ears. He was thrilled and found it hard to contain his excitement. They were in business, his little venture was going to flourish, he would soon be rich, and other such thoughts hurriedly rushed through his mind. He instantly sent a message to Ayush through his Blackberry detailing all the events of the day. “We are on!” the message ended on that note.