• How often and sincerely do you help someone for free?

    Moreover when it's related to building/growing their business?

    Only some of us can confidently say yes to the above questions. However today we have Manish Pandey, who heads Culture and Brand at Josh Talks.

    Coming from Silvassa (i.e. headquarters of the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu), Manish had very humble beginnings.

    He’s been featured on Josh Talks series - #RagsToRiches and Ranveer Allahbadia’s #TheRanveerShow, Ranveer also referred to Manish as his mentor for career and spirituality and also credits him for helping to build and grow Beerbiceps and Monk entertainment.

    Similarly, Manish has selflessly helped several solopreneurs and founders in building and scaling their brands for free.

    During the episode, Manish shares with us what drives him to help other entrepreneurs grow, his recommendations for building a personal brand and more.

    Notes -

    02:50 - Helping Entrepreneurs and Content Creators

    07:49 - Introspecting life backwards to 5th standard

    16:04 - Meeting Ranveer Allahbadia

    21:12 - Advice to 100xEntrepreneur to build its Social Media Brand

    23:44 - Putting out one’s vulnerability

    26:08 - Manish on Spirituality

  • In whichever industry or ecosystem you are, there are some people you just can’t not know about, because they are the ones who have either -

    # had a major role in shaping the industry as it is today

    # or achieved something at such a massive scale that no one can miss to notice it

    The guest of our today’s episode Vani Kola, founder and managing director of Kalaari Capital, is one such person. She was listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian business by Fortune India in 2014.

    She started her career in the silicon valley, as a serial entrepreneur and spent close to 22 years. While in silicon valley, she founded an e-procurement company RightWorks, which was later sold for $657 million.

    After returning to India in 2006, she founded Indo-US Venture Partners (IUVP) in 2006, which was later rebranded as Kalaari Capital.

    Some stats around Kalaari Capital -

    # 188+ Investments; popular portfolio companies are Dream11, Myntra, Cure.fit, and Snapdeal
    # 23+ Exits; most notable exits include Workday, Milkbasket, and Simplilearn

    During the podcast, Vani shares with us how she approaches any new investment, how she suggests the founder to treat any failure, how yoga and meditation have positively impacted her life and more.

    Notes -

    02:50 - “What you can’t dream, you can’t achieve.”

    10:32 - “What didn’t work can give you an actionable insight.”

    18:09 - Assessing a founder’s potential vs pedigree

    23:12 - Having a depth of clarity rather than just being a good storyteller

    38:54 - Balance to life: Meditation & Yoga

    41:05 - CXXO Initiative: $10 million fund for women founders

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  • Did you used to get pocket money before the age of 18 to manage your expenses? I personally used to get a fixed & tiny pocket money after 10th, thanks to my parents.

    When I was in college, I stayed away from my hometown, in a PG with a roommate, unlike me, he didn’t had a fixed or tiny pocket money, he used to get an X amount from his father whenever the previous X amount got over.

    I was always a bit envious, as to why he has a free flowing pocket money, whereas I have to manage everything (Travel, Accommodation & Misc expenses) in a fixed amount.

    Fast forward 7 years, I’m a lot thankful to my parents for both -

    # giving me pocket money, and

    # keeping it fixed (mostly) on a monthly basis.

    This helped me in learning how to manage my finances better, which definitely helped, once I got into a job.

    Btw this is exactly what Sambhav Jain, guest of our today’s episode is trying to do with his company Fampay.

    Fampay, being a virtual card prepaid card for teenagers, enables them to do online transactions and manage their finances, eventually educating them to be more financially aware down the line as grown-ups.

    Recently after adding 2 million+ registered users on platform Fampay raised USD 38 million in funding from Elevation Capital and others.

    During the podcast, Sambhav shares with us how he came across the idea behind Fampay, what were the initial challenges when they approached several banks with this concept and more.

    Notes -

    02:02 - Graduating from IIT Roorkee and working in Product roles

    06:28 - Concept of pocket money in western countries

    09:14 - Problem statement of financial literacy among kids in India

    16:25 - Initial discussion with Elevation Capital & achieving PMF

    20:05 - Driving hyper-growth with campus ambassadors

    28:14 - Building the product like a community rather than a transactional app

    30:02 - Initial response from traditional banks

    32:53 - Working of a Fampay wallet

    34:48 - Adoption of technology among teenagers

  • Data access for App development for startups and enterprise is very complex and has a lot of security concerns. It gets even worse when you plan to scale the product.

    This has vastly changed since Hasura came into existence. Founded by the guest of our today’s episode, Tanmai Gopal, Hasura provides an open-source engine for developers to streamline data access in a secure and scalable way to make app developments easier.

    Started in 2018, it has seen adoption from thousands of developers across fast-growing startups and Fortune 500 companies.

    During the podcast, Tanmai shares with us how they ideated Hasura as an open-source engine, and when did they realize the right opportunity to monetize it by launching a commercial model.

    Notes -

    01:22 - Hasura in layman’s term

    03:56 - Early childhood and graduating from IIT Madras

    10:21 - “Until you build a product and take it to market, you actually don’t know anything.”

    13:11 - Launching Hasura as an open-source engine; 2 Mn+ downloads in first year & 100 Mn+ downloads in the second year

    14:34 - Changing perspective from being bootstrapped to raising VC funding

    21:23 - Shifting from free open-source to a commercial model

    25:38 - Milestone around Mission Critical Adoption

    34:02 - GTM strategy - Free adoption followed by commercial conversion

    38:50 - Hiring for the Non-dev team

    41:33 - His advice to entrepreneurs building open-source products

  • Venture Capital or Angel investments aren’t a must have, to make your startup successful. This has been demonstrated again and again by several bootstrapped startups which have been very successful, namely - GrabOn, Zoho, Zerodha, Wingify & others.

    The guest of our today’s episode Rajdip Gupta, CEO & Founder, Route Mobile, similarly has an exquisite journey of taking his company from being completely bootstrapped to getting listed in the share market and growing to a market share of Rs.11,000 crore+.

    Just to understand the faith amongst retail investors in Route Mobile's strong growth potential, you must know that in September 2020 its Rs 600-crore IPO was oversubscribed 74 times. It made a stellar debut with a 105% rise on day one of listing.

    As a niche player operating in an extremely dynamic, high-growth segment of the cloud-communications space and catering to the digital user engagement needs of enterprises, Route Mobile has a limited number of competitors and no publicly listed rivals.

    During the podcast, Rajdip shares with us, what are the various offerings Route Mobile has for its enterprise customers, where it stands against its Indian competitors and how he personally tackles things to bring a work-life balance in his daily life.

    Notes -

    01:53 - Creating a story & value from India

    04:17 - Solutions for enterprise customers

    10:02 - Scale & revenue breakup across geographies

    12:25 - Benchmarking against Indian competitors

    16:07 - Challenges during the early phase of building Route Mobile

    22:19 - Work-life balance and unavoidable circumstances in a startup journey

    36:11 - Future plans for Route Mobile

  • Today most companies around us follow two approaches to presenting their user data via Ads -

    # Company A - We have 60% of our users coming from Tier-I cities with greater than Rs.50,000 monthly income.

    # Companies like Uber - Rahul & Rashmi, a couple from Gurgaon take an Uber to their office everyday and get a background verified driver, with a well-sanitized car, at an affordable price.

    # Companies like Meesho - Sarah, a housewife from Lucknow wanted to support her family, she started her online store with Meesho and now earns Rs.25000 from home.

    Now which of these companies will you feel more attracted towards? Very like towards Uber & Meesho right, because they showcase real people instead of just numbers.

    Well, this is exactly what the guest of our today’s episode, Roshan Abbas also tries to emphasize upon.

    Throughout his career he has focused on being best at storytelling for various brands. As per him, in order to be a good storyteller, you need to wrap your data with a real person’s journey & life experiences, rather than making it less life-like and treating people like Cohort A, B & C.

    Roshan has been a radio jockey, theatre actor, TV anchor, writer, director, angel investor & entrepreneur over his career.

    He credits this to his attitude to - “Listen, Assimilate & Action”.

    During the podcast, he shares with us how he kept successfully surfing across multiple roles throughout his career, how he picks the companies he wants to invest in, and how he enjoys life along with constantly achieving his goals.

    Notes -

    03:23 - Mastering multiple skills; Creators are curious people

    05:37 - Scale & opportunities from Radio to Television

    06:10 - Identifying the next step

    11:21 - “You can’t have every skill, then you hire for the right skill.”

    13:17 - Importance of accountability in creativity

    17:53 - Being a seller of dreams

    22:34 - Be interesting or be interested

    26:46 - Building Kommune for young creators

    28:56 - Being militant with removing distractions

    42:15 - Future & the change in media consumption

    48:12 - Importance of having a great hook in storytelling

  • During the pandemic & lockdown since last year:
    # Initially people weren’t able to visit a doctor personally;
    # And, currently both the patient & the doctor try to avoid meeting physically unless it's absolutely necessary

    During this period, Telemedicine has grown silently and rapidly, revolutionizing Indian healthcare.

    Recent report by EY, has predicted robust growth in the country’s telemedicine (e-consults & e-pharmacy) sector between now and 2025 – at a 31% compound annual growth rate, securing up to $5.5 billion.

    And today we have Prasad Kompalli, CEO & Co-founder Mfine, which is acing this tailwind with an over 8x growth in users, and adding 250 hospitals to its platform, taking the total partner hospitals to over 550, in just the initial months of lockdown.

    Mfine, which was started in 2017, is enabling doctors to diagnose more number of patients, with higher accuracy, thanks to its AI & ML integrations.

    During the podcast, Prasad talks about their learnings of a customer’s journey on product, his view on the future of telemedicine in India and his advice to first-time entrepreneurs entering this sector.

    Notes -

    02:23 - Growing up in Vijayawada; Engineering background at family

    10:06 - Key learnings from working at Myntra

    13:59 - mfine thesis: Power of mobile & healthcare being a data-driven business

    16:54 - Current Scale: Monthly transactions & Customer journey

    18:36 - Early investments from Stellaris & Prime Venture Partners

    29:42 - What worked: Primary care & Digitizing specialist care

    32:39 - What didn’t work: You can’t inflate the demand

    37:55 - Advice to first-time health care entrepreneur

    46:34 - Being a Calm vs Aggressive startup CEO

  • How often do you see an entrepreneur’s last employer putting equity in their idea?

    Well, this is exactly what happened with the guest of our today’s episode, Shantanu Deshpande, Founder - Bombay Shaving Company.

    In 2015, when Shantanu decided to dominate the men's grooming space and he was quitting his job at McKinsey, then his peer’s and seniors didn’t just allow him to leave but decided to back him up with an initial Seed funding.

    Last year when the country went into lockdown, the company’s revenues increased by 3x. One of the interesting driving factors behind this was the women employees at the company.

    Their perspective was very straightforward:

    # Problem Statement: During the lockdown, there was a shortage of women's hair removal products and razors.

    # Opportunity: They were working for a company, which made razors for a living.

    # Solution: These women employees then decided to coordinate with the product designers, test the product on themselves, put in their inputs, and get their own women’s razor out in the market.

    With this the Bombay Shaving Company, which earlier had 27% women customers buying their products for the men in their life (i.e. partners, father, brother) as a gifting option, now had 50% orders coming in from women with a major share of them buying women’s hair removal products.

    During the podcast, Shantanu shares with us what other tailwinds he leveraged during last year’s lockdown, how he believes in enabling his investors to partially exit from the brand from time to time, and how he derives the best value from his large institutional investors.

    Notes -

    01:38 - Growing up in Florida (US) and moving back to India

    06:50 - Leaving McKinsey & starting Bombay Shaving Company

    09:18 - “The richest source of information is a conversation with people who are in it all the time.”

    17:13 - Tailwinds which enabled 3x revenue post-lockdown in Mar’20

    19:50 - Channel-wise revenue break-up

    21:47 - Raising initial seed-round from McKinsey

    23:30 - “My belief was always, that we should never raise money to buy revenues, we should always raise money to build a brand.”

    26:24 - Core-target metrics since launch

    30:02 - 3 Crucial things to winning customers early-on

    33:07 - Enabling exits for early Angel investors

    39:57 - “Having good organic traffic is a proxy for brand strength.”

    44:32 - Deriving best value from financial investors

  • # Saffola - Cooking Oil

    # Parachute Advansed - Hair Oil

    # Nihar Naturals - Hair Oil

    # Set Wet - Hair Gel

    # Livon Hair Serum and many more...

    You must have seen or used at least one of these names in your house, on TV, or in Newspaper Ad right?

    Do you know what connects all these names? Its Marico Ltd, one of India’s leading consumer products companies operating in the global beauty and wellness space.

    Marico touches the lives of 1 out of every 3 Indians, through its portfolio of brands.

    In today’s episode, we have with us Harsh Mariwala, the man behind building Marico over 30+ years, with a Market Cap. of 68,000cr+ and making it a common name in every Indian home.

    During the podcast, he shares with us how he experienced the Ins & Outs of business from childhood at family’s dinner-table discussions and how he joined the family business - Bombay Oil Industries at an early age, and built Marico, a Fortune India 500 company.

    Notes -

    02:02 - “When business topics get discussed in your presence, then even if you may not be able to add value, you’ll get a good understanding of the business.”

    04:15 - Early exposure to the brand & business at the age of 20

    06:02 - Forming Marico as a separate entity in the 1990s

    11:27 - Building the team at Marico

    13:50 - “Involvement brings in commitment, and you have to involve people in some organizational issues if you want their commitment.”

    17:46 - Thought process behind Brand-Building

    19:54 - First taste of success with Parachute & Saffola oil

    22:15 - Personal Social Responsibility initiatives by Marico

    26:19 - Reduction in entry barriers for consumer brands

    27:47 - Levers of growth as an individual

    30:11 - Treating your employees as Brand Ambassadors

    34:33 - Advice to entrepreneurs to pioneer in their segment

    36:11 - Source of learnings: Books & Thought leaders

  • In a recent report as per KPMG, “Online gaming industry in India is going to be worth Rs.29,000 crore by FY25.”

    Have you heard about Nazara Technologies?

    Probably Yes, when its IPO came in March 2021, as it was very well highlighted in the News, being one of the portfolio companies of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.

    Nazara’s founder and the guest of our today’s episode, Nitish Mittersain probably saw this coming much early, almost 20 years back.

    With its IPO, Nazara gave 80%+ as listing gains to its IPO applicants, this reflects how well the Indian stock market has reacted to a gaming company, and also highlights the potential of India’s gaming industry in years to come.

    During the podcast, Nitish talks about his journey of building a gaming company in India, when no one believed that gaming as a domain was properly monetizable.

    He also shares how Nazara got listed in NSE & BSE and how it impacts the company's future growth plans.

    Notes -

    01:14 - Textile business family background; coding games in BASIC

    02:33 - Started Nazara in 1999 while he was 1st year in college

    04:27 - 2000 Dot-Com Bubble - “I often say, I did an expensive but enriching MBA, sitting here in Bombay.”

    06:54 - Focus on Cash Flows; not chasing vanity metrics

    07:13 - Raising funds & Friends of Nazara

    07:59 - Acquisition since 2015 - NODWIN Gaming & Nextwave Multimedia among others

    08:44 - Synergy between the acquirer & the acquiree company

    10:14 - “Over a 20+ years journey gaming always looked like a mirage in the desert.”

    13:10 - “Just trying to run a profitable business today may not be good enough.”

    14:56 - Advantage of being the only listed gaming company

    20:09 - Source of Revenue: In-app purchases vs Advertising

    20:51 - What convinced Rakesh Jhunjhunwala to invest?

    24:53 - Getting listed in Indian markets being a startup

  • Would you dare to create a TEDx version from scratch for the Indian audience
    -Right out of college?
    -Without any good-paying job?
    -And living on a shoestring budget?

    Well, that's the story of Supriya Paul, Co-founder, Josh Talks, and the guest of this week’s episode of 100x Entrepreneur.

    She along with her Co-Founder, Shobhit Banga started Josh Talks in 2015, with a vision to bring access to the right role models for the audience in Tier-II & Tier-III cities.

    She wanted to create an Indian version of TEDx, that could be accessible in multiple regional languages and bring such stories on the platform which could be easily relatable by their Indian youth.

    Today Josh Talks has grown leaps and bounds and some of its milestones include -

    # 2000+ stories
    # 10 vernacular languages

    # No-cost career-guidance under Josh Kosh to 500000+ people/month
    # 1 Mn+ app installs & 100k+ paid users of their e-learning platform, Josh Skills

    During the podcast, Supriya talks about her journey of building and growing Josh Talks over the years and also shares her insights on what keeps her team aligned and focused on delivering their best.

    Notes -

    02:18 - Starting Josh Talks straight out of college

    05:27 - Revenue growth over time

    10:13 - “I think vulnerability & purity in storytelling is what has gotten us this far.”

    11:52 - What works on YouTube: Consistency, Authenticity, & Packing as per its algorithm

    14:55 - Moments of self-doubt

    20:11 - Core metrics for Josh: Talks, Skills & Kosh

    24:12 - Business targets over the next 2-3 years

    25:23 - Hiring & retaining quality talent

    26:01 - All You Need is Josh: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Conviction in 21st Century India

    27:58 - Defining work-culture & core values at Josh Talks

    29:25 - Strengths & weakness of both the co-founders

    31:26 - Connecting with Ankur Warikoo as Mentor & Investor

  • Have you ever heard about Infotel Broadband Services Limited (IBSL)?

    Even if you haven’t, I’m very much sure that you can’t deny that you don’t know its current rebranded form.

    I’ll give you a hint; this company currently has the largest market share in terms of wireless subscribers (i.e. telecom) in India, even greater than Airtel.

    Yes, you’ve got it right, it's Jio.

    Before getting rebranded as Jio, the original company IBSL, was the only company that won broadband spectrum in all 22 circles in India in the 4G auction in 2010.

    And later that year Reliance Industries acquired the company.

    After Jio’s official launch in September 2016, it gained the first 50 million customers in just 83 days of launch and currently has an overall subscriber base of 414.9 million customers.

    “That’s the Reliance way of doing things”, quoted by Farooq Adam, during the podcast.

    What he means is that at Reliance, just the sheer scale at which they launch and operate their product and make their marketing strategy, ensures the success of the product.

    And when Reliance approached him in 2019 after he had raised the Series-C led by Google, this is exactly what convinced him to combine Fynd with Reliance and support the rollout of JioMart.

    During the podcast, Farooq talks about the early days at Shopsense (rebranded as Fynd), getting rejected by investors during the first round, and his experience being an Angel Investor.

    Notes -

    01:18 - Early childhood in Kuwait; getting into IIT Bombay

    05:01 - Initial stint with Adsale; adding another sale by recommendations & coupons

    10:12 - Visiting Diesel (clothing store) on Juhu Tara Road (Mumbai)

    14:58 - Problem statements solved by Shopsense

    17:24 - Getting benchmarked against Capillary Technologies by investors

    22:40 - Rebranding Shopsense as Fynd to cater to hyperlocal marketplace

    31:26 - “How & when you collect your NPS is very interesting.”

    32:08 - Acquired by Reliance after getting Google-led Series-C funding

    51:39 - Experience as an Angel investor

    52:10 - Co-investing with First Cheque VC

    57:47 - Advice to his portfolio companies

    59:44 - Book recommendations for founders

  • Venture debt was introduced in India 15 years ago. However, it has gained traction in the last decade.

    In the last 6 years itself, approximately $4 bn of debt has been deployed across 150+ deals in India.

    But, not very often you come across an investor talking proactively about both debt & equity investments in the startup ecosystem!

    That’s why in this episode we’ve brought Ashvin Chadha from Anicut Capital.

    During the podcast, Ashvin talks about the various debt funding deals he came across at Anicut, and while he considers debt funding to be lucrative over equity investments over a short period, but for people who are willing to stay invested for over 10-15 years, he points out how we are in the golden age of early-stage investing.

    He also talks about how a lot of VCs in the Indian Startup ecosystem are already getting 100x returns on their equity investments, we shouldn’t be surprised to see 1000x returns becoming normal in years to come.

    Notes -

    01:56 - Setting up Anicut Capital

    03:24 - Initial equity & debt investments

    04:51 - Structuring debt investments by setting up an AIF in 2015

    06:04 - Investing in Sharechat during an internal bridge round

    09:19 - Exits & thesis with debt investments

    10:52 - “In my view it takes 10-15 years to build brands in India and if you don’t stay the course, your compounding doesn’t happen.”

    13:55 - Parameters & mental models while making equity investments

    15:56 - Learnings from portfolio companies hitting a roadblock

    24:12 - “We are in the golden age of early stage investing.”

    26:56 - “A good company will last even in a bad market.”

    27:07 - Backstory & thesis of investing in Bira 91

    30:51 - Backstory & thesis of investing in Wingreen Farms

    42:02 - Backstory & thesis of investing in Neemans

  • “We don’t think of ourselves as fund managers. The fund manager is someone managing 100s of millions of dollars, your job is largely doing money management.

    Our job is not to do money management, our job is to look at the new trends, try to meet the smartest of the smartest guys, and somehow try to convince them to take out money, and be a good part of the ecosystem and make other good people within the ecosystem come and talk to us.”

    Can you ever imagine someone who has been an NGO worker for a long time, suddenly switch careers and;
    # Setting up a VC firm
    # Raising $120.9M+
    # Investing in 102+ companies
    # Getting 11 exits

    Well, that's the story of Madhukar Sinha, Co-founder, India Quotient, and the guest of this week’s episode.

    Most of us get comfortable in our jobs post the age of 30, let alone the thought of setting up a VC firm. But that’s exactly what Madhukar, along with his Co-founder Anand Lunia did, back in 2012.

    During the podcast, Madhukar talks about his first experience with 3G, how he didn’t let his NGO background limit his career choices, and much more.

    Notes -

    01:12 - Early life: Growing up in Jamshedpur to working in NGO

    06:14 - Understanding what India really is, not only in metros, but in terms of Tier-II & Tier-III cities

    06:47 - NGO background stereotyping & limiting his career choices

    07:12 - Completing his MBA and joining Aavishkaar

    10:55 - Experiencing the potential of smartphones after getting his first 3G phone in 2011

    12:32 - Co-founding India Quotient in 2012; at the age of 35

    15:51 - Being more of Entrepreneur, less of Fund manager

    26:18 - Not continuing what you aren’t comfortable with

    32:35 - Making investment decision for early stage companies

    43:05 - Talking about portfolio companies - Sharechat, Lokal & BharatAgri

    50:28 - Fund return expectation in 5+ year period

    57:54 - First Cheque: Investing in unique ideas that don’t directly match India Quotient’s thesis

    1:02:34 - Getting personalised deal flow via founders of portfolio companies

  • “Financial independence is nothing but freedom of thought, freedom of action, and I think that’s invaluable. If you have to constantly work in your life to live, then you’ll have all sorts of restrictions.” - quoted by Paras during the podcast.

    The term “Financial independence” has gained more popularity in Google searches (i.e. Google Trends) post-2020, and we all know why that is.

    When Covid-19 got widespread last year & brought chaos and anxiety in our lives, then a lot of people experienced job losses, business-shutdowns, which as a ripple effect lead to non-payment of loans, and monetary crisis. This represents making the wrong decisions with choosing where to spend your money.

    During this period, there was another set of people who were able to save more as a result of working from home (i.e their native place) and not having to pay regular expenses like - house rent (of living in a metro city), groceries, commuting costs, etc.

    And if you’re wondering, what did most of these people choose to do with their savings?

    As per CNBC’s recent article -”15% of current retail stock investors began investing in 2020.”

    Probably because as per Paras, “For most people, the way to becoming financially independent, is to hit a jackpot or lottery.”

    During the podcast, Paras talks about the money-related choices he made early on in his life. And he doesn’t hesitate to openly talking about the bad choices he made while making his investments and warns our listeners to be cautious of the same.

    At the same time, he also recommends how one can educate himself/herself in the right way to build a mindset for achieving financial independence.

    Notes -

    02:09 - Meaning of “True Wealth” for him

    05:15 - “Money creation is obviously not a trivial thing. It requires a non-trivial amount of commitment, intellect, passion, and so on and so forth.”

    05:40 - Wingify: 4th attempt of trying to build a startup

    06:59 - “If money was a primary motivator, I imagine, I would have gone ahead and we would have raised some funding, but we didn’t.”

    10:15 - His definition of financial wealth

    13:29 - #1 mistake in investing: Real estate

    15:31 - “Chasing safe assets like FD early on is a big mistake.”

    18:34 - Having 70-80% asset in equity markets

    22:56 - “Diversification is the only free lunch, in finance.”

    24:02 - Advice to a 25-year-old on “spending wisely”

    26:31 - “If you have to constantly work in your life to live, then you’ll have all sorts of restrictions.”

    27:55 - ULIPs: “The more complex something sounds, the riskier it is.”

    31:23 - Investing in Index funds

    34:37 - His ideal investment: being passive, no speculation, & growing faster than inflation

    35:50 - Treasure to read: Warren Buffett's Annual Letters

    37:17 - Focusing on what new to do at Wingify

    39:59 - Following Deep work principle

  • In this episode, we chat with Amit Kumar Agarwal, NoBroker.

    NoBroker, as the name suggests eliminates the middle-man/broker most of us have to go through when we look out for our buy/rent a property.

    NoBroker handles $2 billion worth of transactions on its platform every year and claims to have helped save brokerage worth Rs 1,100 crore last year.

    During the podcast, Amit shares how he built NoBroker while facing troubles from local brokers and brought it into realization as a broker-free platform at a time when larger competitors like Housing.com and Commonfloor still had brokers on their platform.

    Notes -

    01:39 - Family background & childhood, shifting cities too often

    06:36 - Challenges while beginning with your Startup in your 30s

    09:54 - Ideating the concept of NoBroker

    13:25 - Approaching VCs for initial funding

    14:37 - Investors seeking the existence of a US/China counterpart

    22:18 - Choosing BTL advertising over ATL considering the ROI at a premature stage

    26:02 - Not expanding too fast to multiple cities

    37:43 - Listening to what your customers want

    42:58 - Bringing premium Add-on services

    47:01 - Changes in his personality as a founder in 0 to 1 & 1 to 100 journey

  • In this episode, we chat with Sanjeev Kapoor, the famous Indian celebrity chef, Padma Shri-awardee, entrepreneur and television personality.

    He rose to fame after hosting Khana Khazana (an Indian cookery show) in the early 90s. It was the longest-running show of its kind in Asia with over 649 episodes over 19 years.

    He also holds a Guinness World Record for cooking 918 kg khichdi live at World Food India 2017. In 2017 he was the only chef in Forbes ‘top 100 Indian celebrities’.

    Sanjeev’s business ventures range from premium cookware and appliances brand Wonderchef to TV channel FoodFood and 65 chain restaurants under different brands in nine countries.

    During the podcast, Sanjeev talks about creating the content that he personally enjoys and running multiple ventures with partners he trusts and is comfortable with.

    This conversation is pure gold for someone who’s either currently in or planning to enter the food industry to get a top-level perspective of how things work and what all should you consider and various stages in your journey.

    Notes -

    02:30 - Getting nostalgic with the Khana Khazana show

    04:54 - Being a content person at heart via books, website, social media, & TV channel

    07:48 - Working with Pharma companies to bring nutritional foods of medicinal value

    08:21 - KitFresh via Amazon: Ready to cook fresh meal kit

    09:19 - 4000+ employees under Sanjeev Kapoor’s Brand

    11:12 - Family background & early career

    16:38 - Being comfortable with discomfort

    18:57 - Drive to start working on something new

    23:45 - “If you continue to do things that give you pleasure, satisfaction, & purpose then it's not work, it's something that you’re enjoying all the time.”

    26:34 - Deciding ownership of actionable in a partnership

    33:43 - Understanding numbers and building scalable businesses

    36:55 - Building comfort & trust prior to entering into a partnership

  • In this episode, we chat with Karan Bajaj, Founder, WhiteHat Jr. From being the CEO at Discovery, to being an author with Penguin Random House & HarperCollins Publishers, to curating his Edtech venture Karan has donned many hats.

    Founded in November 2018, WhiteHat Jr is focused on helping children between 6 to 14 years in developing commercial-ready games, animations, and apps online using the fundamentals of coding. In August 2020, Whitehat Jr was sold to Byju’s in a $300 million all-cash deal.

    During the podcast, Karan talks about how he took 3 breaks in his professional career and how they impacted him as a person, he also talks about what roles should a founder play at various growth stages in a startup’s journey.

    For anyone looking to make a planned approach & setting outcomes for sabbaticals, or for any founder confused with prioritizing the impactful things in their journey at various stages, this conversation can be of great value.

    Notes -

    01:03 - Early childhood & career prior to WhiteHat Jr

    03:49 - Taking breaks in a professional career

    04:10 - Becoming consistent with writing - “Natural consequence of living what I thought was a very interesting adventure, an experience that I thought that many people should do.”

    07:04 - Major career sabbaticals throughout his journey

    14:24 - Impact of 1st Sabbatical: Understanding that the world is very boundary-less

    15:06 - Impact of 2nd Sabbatical: Productivity as an individual

    15:41 - Impact of 3rd Sabbatical: “If I pick up something, I just have to keep at it every day.”

    17:00 - Growing leaps and bounds in corporate career after 2nd sabbatical

    18:30 - Self-doubts while writing and publishing his books

    22:04 - Accepting and realising that growth isn’t linear

    28:43 - Ideating and pursuing WhiteHat Jr

    34:46 - Initial scale, revenue, and metrics tracked at WhiteHat Jr

    38:17 - Top mistakes at WhiteHat Jr while blitzscaling

    41:45 - Being mindful as a founder while facing criticism

    43:15 - “The founder in a blitzscaling phase has to let some fires burn.”

    45:41 - Byju’s & WhiteHat Jr deal: Startup economics for Acquirer, Acquired & Investors

    51:19 - Enabling 11000+ women teachers on the platform

    52:07 - Karan’s perspective on the Wolf Gupta’s Ad

    1:00:14 - WhiteHat Jr’s journey in a book & chapter names for each phase

    1:04:32 - One major personality change while building WhiteHat Jr

  • Ranjeet Pratap Singh is the Co-founder & CEO of Pratilipi. Prior to Pratilipi, he worked at Vodafone with stints in Marketing, Retail, and Channel Sales.

    Pratilipi, is the largest vernacular Indian story-telling platform with over 320,000 writers in 12 languages and over 25+ million Monthly Active Readers.

    There are several sub-categories and sub-products within the brand such as - Pratilipi Literature, Pratilipi Comics, Pratilipi FM & their latest acquisition IVM Podcasts.

    During the podcast, Ranjeet talks about simplifying the creation of online consumer internet companies, creating their own definition of growth, giving ownership to employees to define their plan of action, and set their individual North star metrics amongst other work culture practices followed at Pratilipi.

    Notes -

    01:03 - Pratilipi - Vernacular self-published content platform

    02:53 - Problem statement behind starting Pratilipi

    05:04 - Onboarding first set of users & building traction on the platform

    06:11 - Current scale in terms of authors, stories, & readers

    07:19 - Revenue model: Brand advertising for IVM Podcasts

    08:34 - Revenue model: Subscription & Virtual gifting for Pratilipi Literature

    10:22 - Revenue model: Early access model for Pratilipi Comics

    11:45 - Optimising your odds based on a long-term future as a founder

    12:49 - Challenges while raising initial funding

    16:12 - Transparency & Ownership amongst employees

    19:10 - The thought process behind hiring: “We don’t look at people as dots, but we look at people as journeys.”

    21:22 - Adopting things from work culture at Freecharge, CRED & Flipkart amongst others

    25:31 - Setting product-wise North-star & check metrics

    28:44 - Not following the general Growth Playbook

    31:22 - Future goals as a platform: Democratizing Storytelling

    32:33 - Thesis behind Audio Content: IVM Podcast & Pratilipi FM

    39:24 - Things that didn’t work out at Pratilipi

  • In this episode, we chat with Malika Datt Sadani & Mohit Sadaani, The Moms Co. which deals with toxic-free products for newborns and mothers.

    The Mom’s Co’s journey started from a personal experience. Both the couple’s daughters had skin conditions which made them scourge for natural products that were free of toxins and artificial fragrances.

    During the podcast, they talk about how to build trust amongst customers in D2C products, what are the things a first-time entrepreneur in D2C should consider, and how they’ve built a closely knit community to stay connected with their customers, amongst other things.

    Notes -

    01:12 - Background of The Moms Co.

    02:32 - Family & career background prior to The Moms Co.

    03:27 - Meeting each other as life partners & co-founders

    05:22 - Mindset prior to the launch of the first product

    07:47 - Raising initial funding for a D2C brand in 2017

    10:22 - Life-changing conversation & insight for Malika in the early days of The Moms Co.

    16:12 - “How do we change the definition of what mom’s skin, face & hair care look like and allowing us to play into a lot of other very large categories with a very different proposition.”

    17:32 - Consumer journey over the past 5 years

    19:04 - Close touch with customers over Whatsapp & Facebook community

    22:27 - Brand advocates, including Genelia D'Souza to build brand trust

    24:55 - Challenges while setting up distribution channels

    29:35 - Advice to D2C entrepreneurs

    31:36 - Malika’s experience shifting from a home-maker to an entrepreneur

    38:43 - Founders & Mentors they reach out to for brainstorming