Startup for startups

Startup for startups

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

268 week ago — 6 min read

Enterprise: THE GAIN

Founder: Poornima Shenoy

Industry:  Digital & Technology

Year it was founded: 2018

Based out of: Bengaluru, India


The terms accelerator and incubator are increasingly earning a soft spot within the startup ecosystem in India. And why shouldn’t they? Startup accelerators and incubators provide the much needed growth environment for SMEs and startups. They not only focus on providing mentorship, resources and advice to these companies but handhold entrepreneurs through the initial process of developing the company and revenue generation to final stages as well. This SME Inspirations features a story of one such accelerator that has been helping technology startups with funding and go-to market strategies. 

Meet Poornima Shenoy, the CEO and co-founder of THE GAIN. Their specialised programmes like the Access to India (A2I) and Excellerate offer unprecedented access and support for innovative technology startups. Let’s delve deeper into Poornima’s story.

Born into a family of engineers and mathematicians, Poornima was determined to break out of this mould to do something different. Not getting hampered by pre-conceived notions and doing everything with passion and commitment, fuelled her desire to start this company. "I chose not to be an engineer in a family filled with engineers and mathematicians. In the west many top notch engineering firms are not led by engineers," says Poornima.

 Women need to be less sensitive and be prepared for failure and disappointment as much as for success. They should be willing to move out of what are typical women’s roles and expected behavioural norms.

Poornima shares that she and her co-founder Mr BV Naidu realised the need for cross border startups to get acceleration support and investment. Since India is a big and complex market, they wanted to help startups and SMEs go-to-market in India. Together, they put forward their experience, knowledge, connections and most importantly their dream of supporting startups to take their first flight into starting THE GAIN. With nearly 12 companies in their portfolio that THE GAIN has mentored, they have scaled their business in a very short span of time. When asked what is the strategy they follow, Poornima says, “We choose our companies, whether Indian or global startups, with care.” Their process is quite simple yet effective. They analyse their needs and work at providing support solutions. Poornima believes that in early stage companies, it is the team and the entrepreneurs who make the big difference. The best of ideas can fail if not well executed.

Poornima feels that Globallinker as a platform has helped her view the opinions of other SME business owners and understand common themes important to them. This in turn has also helped her improve her business and mentor startups better.


THE GAIN's long term goal is to provide returns to their investors and stakeholders by helping startups grow and by espousing the cause of entrepreneurs and their needs. Poornima believes that strong entrepreneurs will be the builders of our economy and creators of jobs in the coming years. She says, "Diversity of thought is an important ingredient for success. All kinds of people are needed for an organisation to grow." People learn from each other and varying viewpoints are absolutely essential. There are few women leaders in this industry and it is important to have faith in your convictions which may not align with others at all times.


“Women need to be less sensitive and be prepared for failure and disappointment as much as for success," says Poornima. She believes women should be willing to move out of what are typical women’s roles and expected behavioural norms. "One should be prepared to work harder, longer and be more resilient,” she adds.


No doubt, her bold decision to step out of her comfort zone to conquer something new has given her life a new dimension. But behind the face of THE GAIN is the woman who like any other regular person loves doing things other than work. “I love cooking, binge watching select TV shows and catching with my friends when I’m not working,” shares Poornima.


As an entrepreneur, you have to take a lot of risks and the one of the most courageous things, as Poornima recalls, to have done as an entrepreneur is to “be without the fear of failure." We ask her if she had to go back in time, would she do anything differently. "I would take it easy!” says Poornima candidly. She suggests reading the book ‘Only the paranoid survive’ by Andy Grove where he reveals his strategy for braving the nightmare moment when a massive change occurs and a company has to adapt to those changes overnight. 


Interested in reading more such SME inspirations stories? Check out our other articles here:

How one entrepreneur went from comfort zone to courageous growth- and you can too!

Entrepreneur fuses concept of co-working & incubation to help startups

Aeiforia Constructions’ INR 150 million turnover powered by the environment and women


Network with Poornima Shenoy by clicking on the 'Invite' button on her profile.


Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.

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