Paurush Sonkar, Founder & CEO, Stallions Capital

Paurush Sonkar is a seasoned digital marketing professional and a successful investment banker. He is the Founder & CEO of Stallions Capital, Dubai. At Stallions Capital, the core purpose is to assist founders from the MENA region to raise funds from VCs and investors at the pre-seed and seed stages. Paurush has been at the forefront of assisting entrepreneurs under the Stallions Capital brand and is also an avid Investor himself. He guides and mentors startups and allows them to grow and become brands that are not just profitable but also credible.


When we speak about the start-up sector the usual themes & topics of discussion are Founders, Passion, Boot strapping, Fund Raising, etc.

Ever wondered what is missing in the conversation? The simple answer is ‘Corporate Toxic Bosses’

As Founder & CEO of Stallions Capital I meet founders all the time & have detailed discussions with them on all aspects of their start-up journey and what they did before they decided to take a plunge into entrepreneurship

A substantial chunk of the Founders across geographies have said that one of the main reasons of why they decided to quit their job at large corporates & become an entrepreneur is they had a toxic boss.

Before we go further let us understand who a Boss is and then who is a Toxic Boss

Boss – Someone who is supposed to Guide the employees & team members on what needs to be done.

Toxic Boss – Someone who is more inclined to show the team who is the BOSS, it’s all about ME.

Some of the known reasons why founders have quit their role in the corporate sector:

  1. No Authority – Toxic Bosses like to retain control with themselves even for the smallest task thereby leaving subordinates wondering how to grow their career.
  2. Not open to Feedback – Toxic Bosses do not like to hear what their employees have to say.
  3. Personal comments – In a few rare cases Toxic Bosses tend to comment on the personal traits of employees which not just brings down the morale but in fact turns an employee against the brand itself.

I could list many more, but we all know how this works.

A large chunk of start-up founders took the leap of faith as they largely could not hang on to their corporate jobs and in a way, start-ups offered all that they wanted (Well not always though.)

Some of the benefits that start-up founders have observed are:

  1. A sense of self-empowerment
  2. The power to take a decision – Something everyone yearns for
  3. Founder Equity, Equity, ESOP – Need I say more?

The list is endless.

On a lighter note,

  1. I think each founder must give a small percentage of equity to their ex-boss when they turn founders, after all it was their Toxic Bosses who turned them into entrepreneurs.
  2. Maybe VC Firms could allow Founders to list Toxic Bosses on the Cap Table & allocate a better valuation to such start-ups as the Founder has hopefully learnt how NOT TO treat his colleagues & team members.

As I sign off, here is a twist to the tale – Unfortunately employees in start-ups in most cases face the same fate as employees in big corporates & the story keeps going. 

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