Public venture capital markets specialist and director at Varshney Capital Corp. Praveen Varshney joins Jason Butcher for this week’s Off the Ledger to share his views on social impact investing, achieving success through integrity, and the true value of crypto.
As an early investor in Bitcoin and successful venture capitalist, Praveen has a seemingly natural ability to identify a good thing. “And what urged you to make that early play in BTC?” asked Jason in this week’s episode. “My son,” says Praveen, smiling, who apparently made a pitch to his parents with a powerpoint deck and all. Family, legacy, and values are themes that continue to run throughout the discussion, as Praveen offers his brilliant insights on subjects ranging from social impact investing and the importance of integrity, to entrepreneurialism and his views on the true value of crypto.
When it comes to the latter, Praveen offers his explanation of why BTC beats gold as “good” money. “Gold’s been this store of wealth for many years,” he says, but crypto is arguably as good as an asset. According to Praveen, while crypto is “too volatile to be a currency right now…everybody should have a slice” as a long-term investment, and stablecoins are the way to go.
It would be difficult to have a conversation with Praveen and not talk about social impact, which has shaped his career for many years. “Through age and experience,” he says, you learn that “just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right.” Thinking about future generations and personal legacy now underpins Praveen’s business and investing decisions, and he firmly believes that “using business as a tool to create stable change” will solve the world’s most pressing issues. “It’s super rewarding to do good, and do well,” he says, emphasizing the point that sustainability is not divorced from profitability. He says:
“I truly believe that we shouldn’t even differentiate between business and social impact, ESG business. By definition, all business should be ESG. If not, we’re all screwed.”
Another important element of paying it forward for Praveen is providing advice and guidance to entrepreneurs. “How can entrepreneurs be prepared?” asks Jason, after observing that there is a tremendous amount of innovation and change out there to navigate today. For Praveen, it’s all about seeking mentorship. He says:
“There is money for the sake of money, but generally I advise entrepreneurs to default to smart, strategic value-add money that’s going to provide you with a lot more than just a cheque”.
Praveen also offers his advice on building a personal brand with integrity as the cornerstone. For him, there are two types of integrity: internal (being true to yourself and your values) and external (keeping your promises to others). He says:
“I’ve found that’s one of the things that’s really helped me to have business success, that’s led to financial freedom, that’s led to time freedom: Being a man of integrity.”
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