Ep 66: Building Tech Over Two Decades
Join us as we talk to Srikanth Velamakanni, the Co-founder, Group Chief Executive & Vice-Chairman of Fractal Analytics about their story.
Srikanth Velamakanni completed his engineering bachelor’s degree from IIT Delhi and later pursued an MBA at IIM Ahemdabad. He held positions at ANZ Investment Bank as an associate and ICICI Bank as an assistant manager. He was also a member of the AI Task Force for Defense in India and the co-chair of the NASSCOM BPM Council. Additionally, he served as the chairman of the board for companies like Qure.ai, Crux Intelligence, and FinalMile Consulting, as well as an independent board member for Metro Brands Limited. He co-founded Plaksha University in March 2018 and Fractal Analytics in February 2000, respectively.
About Fractal Analytics: Fractal is one of the most prominent players in the artificial intelligence space. Fractal’s products include Qure.ai to assist radiologists in making better diagnostic decisions; Crux Intelligence to assist CEOs and senior executives in making better tactical and strategic decisions; Theremin.ai to improve investment decisions; Eugenie.ai to find anomalies in high-velocity data; and Samya.ai to drive next-generation enterprise revenue growth management. Fractal has more than 3,000 employees across 16 global locations, including the United States, UK, Ukraine, India, Singapore, and Australia.
Ep 65: Making The World More Data Driven
Join us as we talk to Manish Jethani, the Founder of Hevodata about their story.
Manish Jethani hails from a small town in India called Shahdol. He finished his graduation from IIT Roorkee and ventured straight into entrepreneurship. Prior to starting Hevodata Manish also founded SpoonJoy which was later acquired by Grofers (now Blinkit). In addition to being an entrepreneur, Jethani has also worked in product management for companies such as Grofers and FashionandYou.com.
About Hevodata: Hevo is an end-to-end data pipeline platform that enables businesses to easily pull data from all their sources to the warehouse, run transformations for analytics, and deliver operational intelligence to business tools.
Ep 64: Building The World’s Largest Conversation Media Platform
Join us as we talk to Ankit Prasad, the Co-Founder and CEO of Booble AI about their story.
Ankit Prasad is a lifelong entrepreneur, the founder of a tech startup, an advisor and mentor to other tech companies and government bodies, an angel investor, and a public speaker. The Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 List recognised him. Besides this, he is also recognised in the “Fortune 40 Under 40” list, “BW 40 Under 40” list, “50 Fabulous Innovative Leaders” list, and as a TEDx Youth Speaker.
Rahul Prasad is the Co-Founder and CTO of Booble AI. He pursued his computer science engineering degree at SMU. He has also been recognised by Fortune India on their 40 under 40 List of 2021 and Entrepreneur India on their Tech25 2021.
About Booble AI: Bobble AI is the world’s first Conversation Media Platform. It is transforming the interactions of over 50 million people and counting with expressive and personalised content like stickers, GIFs, and emojis; deep localization with over 100 languages; AI-based contextual recommendations; speech-to-text, and much more! Bobble Indic Keyboard, the company’s flagship product, enables real-time content creation and customization using cutting-edge AI technology. The world’s best keyboard, in terms of ratings, engagement, and retention.
Ep 63: Building a Scientific Gaming Company Out of India
Join us as we talk to Trivikraman Thampy, the Co-Founder & CEO of Games24x7 about their story.
Vikram (Trivikraman) Thampy is an Aerospace Engineer turned economist turned amateur poker player turned gaming entrepreneur. He pursued his B.tech at IIT Bombay and received his PhD in Economics from New York University. Later, he founded Play Games 24×7 in 2008.
About Games24x7: Founded by New York University-trained economists Bhavin Pandya and Trivikraman Thampy in 2006, Games24x7 is an India-headquartered online gaming company with a portfolio that spans skill games (RummyCircle and My11Circle) and casual games (Ultimate Games). Backed by marquee investors like Tiger Global and The Raine Group, the company specialises in using behavioural science, technology, and artificial intelligence to provide awesome gaming experiences across all its platforms. The diverse, talented, and passionate Games24x7 team is spread across three continents with offices in Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Kiev, Philadelphia, and Miami.
Ep 62: Building a Financial Data Company Out of India
Join us as we talk to Abhishek Goyal and Neha Singh, the Co-Founders of Tracxn about their story.
Neha Singh pursued her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in technology from IIT Bombay. Later, in 2014, she completed her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. She also served as an Associate with the BCG Group and an Investment Analyst with Sequoia Capital.
Abhishek Goyal completed his Bachelors of Technology in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur. In the IIT JEE Exam, he received an All India Rank of 60. Later, he served as a software engineer for organisations including Amazon, Yahoo, Andale, and Resume Pro.
About Tracxn: Tracxn is one of the world’s largest platforms for tracking 1.4 million entities through 1,800 feeds categorised across industries, sectors, sub-sectors, geographies, affiliations, and networks globally. It is powered by a unique blend of technical prowess and human analysts that filters through billions of data points to create one of the most useful data intelligence platforms. Tracxn has more than 850 customer accounts worldwide, spread over more than 50 nations, and is backed by investors like Accel Partners and Sequoia. The Tracxn platform is also utilised by a number of governments, accelerators, incubators, and universities to track innovative businesses and industries. Tracxn has been featured in the Forbes Top 100 Global Analytics Startup List (2015), and Fortune 40 Under 40 (2018).
Ep 61: Democratizing Global Hiring
Join us as we talk to Sagar Khatri, the Co-Founder & CEO of Multiplier about their story.
Sagar Khatri is the Co-Founder and CEO of Multiplier. He is an Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay graduate. Later, he worked as an investment banker for Nomura and served as Hmlet’s VP of Growth and Expansion. He oversaw the 40 million dollar Series B funding, expansion into Australia and Japan, and a joint venture with MEC in Japan.
About Multiplier Technologies: It is simple for businesses to hire teams abroad because of Multiplier, a top global hiring platform. It enables businesses to handle employee benefits, tax payments, and employment contracts as well as compliance with these requirements. It generates revenue through subscription-based business models. In March 2022, the company raised $60M in Series B fundraising.
Ep 60: Reimagining Software For Businesses
Join us as we talk to Abhishek Nayak, the Co-Founder & CEO of APPSMITH about their story.
Abhishek Nayak is the co-founder and CEO of Appsmith. After earning his degree from BITS Pilani in 2010, he went on to co-found businesses like Gharpay, Wise Mobile Technology, and Bicycle AI. He also served as director of product for Ezetap Mobile Solutions.
About APPSMITH: It is the first open-source low-code tool that helps developers build dashboards and admin panels very quickly. It’s a platform that helps businesses build any custom internal application within hours. The business was established in the middle of 2019, and its open-source software has been downloaded more than 5 million times by users at more than 1,000 businesses in more than 100 countries.
Ep 59: Reimagining Content Consumption
Join us as we talk to Deepit Purkayastha, the Co-founder and CEO of Inshorts about their story.
Deepit is a computer science and engineering graduate from IIT Kharagpur, where he started building Inshorts in his final year of college along with his co-founders from IIT Delhi. He previously worked as an intern with Goldman Sachs during his college days.
About Inshorts: Read the latest news with Inshorts in less than 60 words related to business, sports, Bollywood and technology in India and around the world in both English and Hindi..
Ep 58: Building For Bharat
Join us as we talk to Rohan Nayak, the Co-Founder of Pocket FM about their story.
Rohan completed his high school at DPS, RK Puram in 2010 and graduated from IIT Kharagpur in 2014. He later worked for several companies, including Credit Suisse, Cube26, and Paytm.
About Pocket FM: Pocket FM is a personalised vernacular audio streaming service, built with a vision to redefine the OTT space with an audio-first approach. It was launched in September, 2018. Pocket FM is a Series C stage company and has raised US $93.6 million in five rounds and is backed by some marquee investors like Lightspeed, Times Internet, Tanglin Venture Partners, Goodwater Capital, Naver and others.
Ep 57: Reimagining Credit Cards
Join us as we talk to Anurag Sinha, the Co-founder, and CEO of OneCard about their story.
Ep 56: Powering The $100 Bn E-commerce Market
Join us as we talk to Chirag Taneja, the Co-founder, and CEO of GoKwik about their story.
Ep 55: Making a Bootstrapped Unicorn
About Prashant Pitti: Prashant Pitti is the co-founder of EaseMyTrip. After graduating from IIT Madras, he worked at Capital One as a business analyst and later as an assistant vice president in the Risk Department of HSBC, Chicago. He also served as CEO and founder of Profoundly & NearGroup, which is a social/dating app.
About EaseMyTrip: In 2008, Nishant Pitti, Rikant Pitti, and Prashant Pitti founded an Indian online travel company called EasyMyTrip. The company, based in New Delhi, offers hotel bookings, air tickets, travel packages, bus bookings, and white-label services. With overseas offices in Singapore, Dubai, Maldives, and Bangkok, EaseMyTrip can help you plan your trip. EaseMyTrip is one of the world’s few consumer startups that bootstrapped its way to an IPO and later became a unicorn. Without any outside financial infusion, EMT has grown to become the second-largest and has been profitable for the past 13 years. EMT is also the most rapidly expanding travel company. From FY16 to FY20, EMT grew at a CAGR of 47 percent. EMT has grown through word of mouth thanks to its no-convenience-fees philosophy.
Ep 54: Building a D2C Fashion Brand For The Youth
About Prabhkiran Singh: Prabhkiran Singh is the Founder and CEO of Bewakoof.com, India’s leading D2C fashion brand. After graduating from IIT Bombay in 2011, he started Bewakoof.com in April 2012. In college, he also started a lassi outlet chain called Khadke GLASSI, which offered fresh and flavored lassi. This venture was even featured by The Times of India and the National News Channel News 24.
About Bewakoof.com: Founded in 2012, Bewakoof is a lifestyle fashion brand that makes creative, distinctive fashion for the trendy, contemporary Indian. Bewakoof was created on the principle of creating impact through innovation, honesty and thoughtfulness.
Ep 53: Story of A Junior VC
About A Junior VC: If you are reading this then you have a whole website in front of you to answer about us. Tune in if you wish to get to know the details of Aviral’s journey (What is the life of a Venture Capitalist?) so far and the gradual process and growth of your loved content platform AJVC.
Ep 52: Digitizing India’s Supply Chain
About Aniket Deb: He is the Co-Founder and COO at Bizongo, a full stack supply chain enablement platform for customized goods. He graduated from IIT Bombay in 2013 and founded Bizongo in 2015. While working for Housing.com, Opera Solutions, EY and Biocon prior to establishing his own company, he gained extensive experience.
About Bizongo: Bizongo is a full stack supply chain enablement platform for customised goods. The company today focuses upon packaging, textiles, apparels & other contract manufacturing goods as its product portfolio and has a network of over 1500 curated manufacturers across these categories. Through its proprietary digital platforms, such as Procure Live, Partner Hub, and Artwork Flow it is offering Digital Vendor Management, Supply Chain Automation & Supply Chain Financing as key services to its enterprise customers. Today, it services more than 120 enterprise customers in fashion & lifestyle, pharmaceuticals, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, home & personal care and e-commerce.
Ep 51: Transforming the Indian SME landscape
In this episode we talk to a founder who tried multiple startups before finally getting success. From being a person who did not plan much in life to becoming a Co-founder & CEO responsible for the life plans of 100s of employees of OkCredit and impacting the financial planning of 100s of SMEs.
Join us as we talk to co-founder & CEO Harsh Pokharna about his incredible journey.
Ep 50: Building at the intersection of Commerce & Finance
While commerce contributes 55% of its total net revenue, lending and SaaS have a pie of 43% and 2%, respectively. In terms of profits, lending is its biggest contributor followed by commerce. With these two pillars, Ofbusiness serves over 9,000 businesses. But perhaps more importantly it laid the foundation for unique digital services that allows SMEs to tap the global market. Over 6 lakhs business had used bidassist for government and global tenders. OfBusiness has issued loans of 10,000 Cr+, supports more than 5,000 clients and 2,000 suppliers across their suite of products. They have built a profitable business with a large and engaged user base that they are uniquely positioned to serve better than any other bank, fintech or e-commerce platform can stand alone.
Join us as we talk to co-founder Nitin and Vasant about their incredible journey.
Ep 49: India’s first property unicorn
Akhil Gupta started his career with Oracle after he graduated form college. Over the years, he watched IRCTC, MakeMyTrip, and BookMyShow launch and emerge as big players in their respective fields. He soon realized that physical intermediation is being disrupted by technology. This, combined with a few bad and expensive experiences he had while house-hunting in a new city, led to the idea of NoBroker, a real-estate search site. Today, the unicorn has operates in several major Indian cities and has more than 7.5 million properties listed on its platform and over 16 million people have used its services.
Ep 48: Building a Community for SMEs
Workspaces positively impact employee efficiency and morale. They allow employees to be their best creative and productive versions. While the debate shifts from work from home to work from the office and the various hybrid models in between, the relevance of a physical workplace remains undiminished. Added to this, the emergence of many startups across the world has resulted in innovative workplace designs centered around flexibility, accessibility, and community. Co-working spaces have emerged as a solution to balance employee well-being and business requirements. In India, post-COVID, this industry is set to gather steam as a sustainable alternative to traditional offices. Amit Ramani, the founder, and CEO at Awfis (spelled A.W.F.I.S) spotted this trend many years back when he shifted back to India after a rewarding stint with Nelsen in the US. Powered by years of delivering creative workplace solutions to global clients and an adept understanding of Indian real estate, he started Awfis in 2015.
Ep 47: Decoding Banking
Banks, across geographies, have been slow to catch up with technology. Customers who are exposed to new age, high quality services are often frustrated when left to deal with complex, irrelevant communication and poor consumer experience. Virender Bisht, who interacted closely with banks for payment solutions, was shocked to see the pace of technology adoption. He started looking for ways to disrupt the traditional approach. The idea to disrupt banking came when he led the technology vertical at Makemytrip. He was introduced to Vinay Bagri in 2015, when the duo set out to build disruptive financial products under the name Niyo. Virender talks to us about their journey of building products ranging from employee benefit solutions to full-fledged banking services in an over-arching effort to simplify finance with technology. As always, don’t miss out on the gems of unfiltered advice at the end!
Ep 46: Blitzscaling
A famous World War II term ‘Blitzkreg’ was used to describe scenarios where armies moved very fast, surprised enemies, and won. You either won big or lost big. ‘Blitzscaling’ in the startup world, while on a positive note, has a similar perspective. Companies find their space in a market and move extremely fast to expand their user base and revenue. Like the armies, this is often done on unfamiliar paths in spite of lurking risks and adversity! Such an approach led CoinSwtich Kuber to become the largest crypto trading platform in India with 10M+ users in just 15 months. Stay with us until the end as this promises to be an engaging conversation for anyone observing the crypto or startup space!
Ep 45: Building Trust in Healthcare
In today’s episode, Prashant talks about this journey of navigating a web of regulatory hurdles, riding through the pandemic, and most importantly – building trust into the DNA of 1mg! We also learn about his transition into the TATA group and how this cements his aspiration of building India’s largest and most admired healthcare brand! As always, we leave you with a gem of unfiltered advice at the end!
Ep 44: Reimagining banking for millennials
When Pandemic struck in 2020, the banking industry was ready for disruption- the act of physical visits to bank or ATMs had to be done away with – which gave a golden opportunity to a new form of Banking to emerge- known as Neo Banking.
Jitendra Gupta- our guest for today -is the one of the most known faces in the Fintech space – he is also the co-founder of Jupiter- a mobile first neo banking platform targeted at millennials. In todays podcast we discuss the Jitendra’s journey so far- and get insights on how he managed to bring Jupiter from Ideation to reality.
Ep 43: Making Blockchain Simple
Jaynti was born and brought up in a small town in Ahmedabad. He studied at a local college, where students’ ambition was limited to getting a job at TCS. Jaynti too followed a similar path and took a job at an Indian corporate. A friend introduced him to YC’s Hacker News – a website focusing on technology and budding startups.
Desiring to work with great people, he tried cold mailing people at top US startups – even offering to work for free, but didn’t receive any response. He worked at a couple of startups, and learnt more about the zero to one building journey. He was always working on multiple side projects, waiting for something that really clicks. Jaynti came across bitcoin and was drawn to the endless possibilities the technology offered. Diving deeper into blockchains, he discovered the limitations of existing tech. Ethereum had made it possible for anyone to make apps on blockchain, but as the network grew transacting on ETH became increasingly slow and expensive – with cost of 1 transaction rising even higher than $80.
To solve the problem of scaling blockchains, Jaynti created Matic – a layer 2 solution that augments Ethereum and drives its scalability. Using Matic brings the transaction cost to less than 1 INR, while also making it 20 times faster. Today, Matic’s worth more than $10B and is used by companies worldwide for applications including NFTs, DeFi
Ep 42: Digitizing Household Services
Raghav went to study in the US not knowing what to expect. Living there was an entirely new experience for him. Even simple things like purchasing groceries had some technology involved for increased convenience. He worked in the Bay Area as a software engineer at emerging startups including Yelp & Twitter. After 2 years, he realized the world outside SF was full of opportunities, with many problems yet to be solved, and decided to come back to India.
Having witnessed the era of emerging marketplaces like Airbnb, Uber transforming the US service sector, Raghav wanted to do something similar. He started his first business in the ride-hailing space which didn’t work out. After a few months, he met Abhiraj & Varun at dinner through a common friend. The 3 of them discussed startup ideas late into the night and arrived at creating a marketplace for gig workers. Thus, Urban Company was born.
Being in a highly competitive space with 60+ startups at one point in time, UC eventually emerged as the leader owing to its focus on quality user experience and mission to empower the workforce. Today, UC has 32000+ trained professionals and has served over 5M happy customers.
Ep 41: Food: the Internet’s Last Frontier
Jaydeep grew up in a Bengali household that loved food. While working in Pune, he missed the Kathi rolls he loved growing up and decided to start a restaurant as a side project. The two launched Faasos, a restaurant serving rolls, and outsourced its operations. Jaydeep then went to pursue his MBA at INSEAD and landed a job at McKinsey London. After 5 years, he returned to India and had to choose between joining the firm’s rapidly growing India office or growing Faasos.
A shift in strategy was driven by a customer survey insight – 74% of customers had never visited a Faasos restaurant! This epiphany led them to adopt a ‘delivery only’ model and cut down costs. Rebel Foods eventually pioneered the concept of ‘cloud kitchens’ – a single physical kitchen serving as multiple brands. Today, Rebel Foods is the leading internet restaurant company globally with 15+ brands and 3500+ restaurants across 10 countries.
Ep 40: Building From A Garage
Tarun took the aspirational middle-class education route. Being a good student in high school, he prepared for Engineering Entrance and got a decent rank to get into IIT. Growing up, he had no exposure to how businesses worked. This changed when out of curiosity he joined his institute’s entrepreneurship cell and gradually developed an interest in building products. But it was not something he imagined he would do in the near future. A few months later, he got in touch with his batchmate Swapnil who shared a similar experience. In college, the two would often have long discussions around sustainable energy and had worked on many projects together.
Brainstorming business ideas and analyzing the worst-case scenario, the two developed the conviction to quit their jobs and build something they were passionate about. Tarun had been fascinated by the Electric vehicle space and figured as the sector grows there would be a dire need for good charging infrastructure.
Thus, Ather Energy was born. Inside a student hostel in Madras, far away from the Indian startup hub, by 2 graduates who had no knowledge of Electronics.
Ep 39: Hyper local delivery
Kabeer grew up in a small town in Dadra & Haveli, where starting one’s own business was unheard of. After completing his MBA, he started working as a sales executive at Airtel and later became a product manager. After spending a few years there, he decided to leave and spent a year doing nothing before finally starting his first startup. A location-based service that offered coupon codes for local shops and worked on SMS communication. He found Product-market fit and eventually sold the company to hike.
Kabeer took a hiatus and decided not to work on anything for a while. After around 6 months, he stumbled across a personal problem. Kabeer had the habit of staying organised and had a system in place for efficiently doing almost everything. Purchasing groceries every week though, proved to be a challenge. This urged him to think of a solution. Not thinking of it as a business, he started by simply creating a whatsapp group for taking orders and making deliveries himself.
Within 3 months, the member count reached over 10K, by word of mouth alone. It was then Kabeer realised the market for this problem is huge, and a business can be created around it. Thus, Dunzo was born. Today, it is trusted by over 5 million users across 7 cities.
Ep 38: Fintech Lending
Gaurav grew up in a family that operated a large apparel business. Seeing his Dad grow the business had sown the early seeds of entrepreneurship in him. He worked in the family business for 6 years during which he witnessed the complete business journey – From IPO to an exit to a PE firm. He decided to take a break and went to do an MBA at Stanford where he met his co-founder Shashank. The two had complementary skill sets and were clear they wanted to start a business together but didn’t know what. After graduating, they returned back to India and started searching for business ideas.
They had close to 40 ideas ranging from a ride-hailing service to QSR restaurants. Over the course of a year, they dug deeper to test each idea and narrow it down on one. They evaluated ideas on 3 important parameters – The Scale of the problem, Can Technology be used as a differentiator, and the Impact generated. SME financing was something that ticked all 3 boxes.
In 2013, they started Capital Float to solve the problem of SME financing. Today Capital Float has expanded its offerings to also serve consumers through Buy Now pay later and Personal Finance solutions.
Ep 37: Disrupting an Unsexy Industry
Souvik grew up in Kolkata in a middle-class neighborhood where Entrepreneurship was something alienated and mainly constituted of generational family businesses. After completing college he started working at a construction company. He worked there for 5 years, then went on to pursue an MBA. He graduated in 2016 and witnessed the Indian startup ecosystem booming. However, the B2B space was something that remained largely unexplored.
Being familiar with the construction industry landscape, Souvik was aware of the inefficiencies and the large opportunity at hand. His thesis constituted of 2 insights : – majority of the market is fragmented and served by many local manufacturers, – Companies mostly set up centralized mega factories and use multiple distribution channels. Souvik started Infra.Market with the mission to digitize procurement of raw materials using an asset-light model. In 2019, they started receiving investor interest and began expanding rapidly.
Today, Infra.Market supplies across 10 Indian states and exports to markets like Dubai, Singapore, Italy etc.
Ep 36: Taking Indian Commerce Online
Abhinav grew up in a traditional middle-class fashion and went on to college to study engineering. Becoming a part of the institute’s entrepreneurship cell, he got exposed to the world of startups. Interacting with founders and hearing their experiences, he had realized that he ultimately wants to become a founder one day. After graduation, he got a high-paying job at Goldman Sachs. After working for a few months in the Indian office, he went to work at the US office where he met his co-founder. The two loved discussing product ideas and study emerging market trends.
While living in the US, they witnessed the Black Friday sale and were awestruck. Everyone goes on a massive shopping spree with items getting out of stock in a matter of hours. This observation made them interested in the Indian space. Amidst the Flipkart amazon rivalry, they were confident that offline retail also has an important role to play. Digging further into the Indian retail market revealed its inefficiencies and presented the large opportunity at hand. Wanting to give their best shot at the problem, they both quit their job and came back to India. Thus, Perpule was born.
Ep 35: Building an audience in Bharat
Ranjeet grew up in a small village with less than 1000 population. He used to go to the nearby city on weekdays to attend school and return to the village on the weekend. As a kid he was a voracious reader, starting with first his school textbooks, later devouring Hindi literature, comics, and novels. As he grew up, he slowly shifted to reading English as there was no regional content available online.
Coming from a humble background, getting a stable job was what his family wanted for him. After completing his MBA, he got a job at Vodafone. He liked the job but after a few years, he wanted to do something more challenging. So quit his job and decided to startup. As he started searching for business ideas, many of his friends advised him why doesn’t do something to solve online regional content – a problem Ranjeet often cribbed about. As he started talking to people about this problem – he received many suggestions – Indians don’t read, People don’t read long-form content anymore, No one wants regional content. But he knew that wasn’t true and had a deep conviction that there was a space for an Indian regional content player. Thus, Pratilipi was born.Today Pratilipi is India’s largest regional content platform with over 3 lac writers and more than 2.5 crore monthly active users.
Ep 34: Building a consumer brand for Bharat
Arjun Vaidya was brought up in a family with a rich culture in Ayurveda. His Grandfather had started an ayurvedic clinic about 150 years ago. He went to study in the US, where he saw yoga repackaged and being sold all over the country. He pondered why India was lagging behind in it’s adoption, the land where it originated from. He returned to India and started a brand to bring ayurvedic products to the Indian audience. His vision was to contribute to India’s renaissance, by making ayurvedic products for Indian consumers. He started by repackaging ayurvedic products for new use cases. Capsule Chawanprash and Hangover shield being 2 such items that received a great demand.
To build a D2C brand for Bharat, Arjun advises it’s crucial one should not consider their friends & themselves as the consumers. It’s important for the founders to talk to users every week at all times of the startup’s journey. He mentions that constant feedback and suggestions from users gave birth to many of Dr. Vaidya’s products that are now very successful.Today Dr. Vaidyas is trusted by over a million users from 1000+ cities.
Ep 33: Straddling a cultural divide to build
Chinmay grew up in Bombay where he was surrounded by small businesses. His father had a textile factory and his mom ran a boutique tailor shop. They emphasized on Chinmay’s education so that he could get a stable job. After graduating from college, Chinmay got a job in Singapore as a software engineer. He later became a product manager and worked in Southeast Asia for 6 years. While working he met his co-founder Abhinay and found some great mentors, who encouraged them to startup.
The two brainstormed over a lot of ideas and tried narrowing down one. Building for MSMEs was one that stood out. In Indonesia, SMEs’ contribution makes up 60% of the GDP, indicating a huge opportunity. And the majority of the business was still carried out using traditional ways. Bukuwarung started out as a bookkeeping app for small shops, helping merchants maintain their cash flow.In just 2 years after its start, Bukuwarung is now trusted by over 6.5 million+ users in Indonesia.
Ep 32: Disrupting an existing category
After completing his MBA, Chaitanya started working as a management consultant in the US. There he learned about product management, user experience, and how large organizations function. He really enjoyed the work but didn’t like the traveling lifestyle and decided to quit to do something better. He came back to India and decided to startup in the consumer tech space. He ran the business profitably for some years and eventually exited the company and decide to remain in the startup ecosystem by working with Yourstory and LetsVenture. Finally while working at Tapzo he met his co-founder Ankit who shared a similar background – coming from a Middle-class family, studying engineering, and later founding a startup.
While buying furniture for his new home, Ankit found out purchasing mattresses is a very costly affair. In search of a solution to buy a cheap mattress, eventually led them to Wakefit.Wakefit has been profitable from the start and remained completely bootstrapped for the first 3 years.
Ep 31: Building a gaming company
Sai grew up in Hyderabad and developed an interest in building things right from his high school. Studying at IIT Kanpur, he tinkered around with different ideas that didn’t work at the time. But taught him the importance of overcoming failures to grow. After graduation, he got a job at Zynga, a company making video games for social networks. It was there he learned the Art of Product Management and Game Design.His experience at Zynga had taught him that gaming works at scale only when Data, Device and Payments, All three are present. In 2016, UPI was launched and bridged that last gap. This insight gave birth to MPL, a mobile esports platform offering a plethora of games to users.
Today, MPL is India’s largest mobile gaming platform, with 50+ games and over 60 million users in India.
Ep 30: Storytelling for Millennials
Seeing the rise of Indian talent in foreign movies coupled with their interest in film and media, Ashwin, Aditi, and Anirudh decided to come back to India and do something in the space. They started with a production studio creating films but soon pivoted to a content creation company as they witnessed the growth of social media. To build a community serving multiple interests, they created multiple brands under Pocket Aces with a unique content thesis for each.
Today Pocket Aces is India’s leading original content company with over 700M monthly views. Their clients include all kinds of companies – large MNCs, FMCG brands, startups, and OTT platforms. Join us to learn how Ashwin, Aditi, and Anirudh built Pocket Aces to help solve boredom and provide entertainment to all of us.
Ep 29: Building Talent Dense Organizations
Abhimanyu’s interest in tech began in college where he met his co-founder Anshuman. The two of them worked together on many projects before joining as full-time engineers at young high growth startups in the US. They discovered how hard it is to scale a talented tech team. They started Interview Bit, a website that helped people prepare for tech interviews using high-quality content. But they felt there was a bigger problem at hand to be solved.
Scaler Academy is a virtual university that acts as a focused guide with mentors, relevant courses, and the correct learning environment. Abhimanyu talks about how important it is for companies to hire the right talent as bad hires hit the hardest in the tech domain. He explains the hiring process and suggests ways how both companies and employees should go about it. Join us to learn from Abhimanyu about building talent-dense organizations.
Ep 28: Social Commerce
After college Prateek got a job at a big bank. He enjoyed the job but often felt like a small cog in the machine. Witnessing the early Indian startup wave closely, he decided to leave his job in 2014 and startup. He launched a B2B marketing platform that after 4 years got acquired by an Indonesian firm.
He moved to Indonesia and fell in love with its culture. The country’s budding startup ecosystem and sense of community led him to start Kitabeli, a social commerce app. Social commerce takes advantage of people’s behavior of sharing purchases and offers in their friend circles. This significantly reduces the logistics cost and the CAC as compared to traditional e-commerce. Join us to learn how Prateek built and grew Kitabeli to facilitate commerce in Indonesia.
Ep 27: Know your Customers
Sumit grew up in a town full of small business owners. His family’s nudge towards STEM education was considered the unconventional path. While working as an equity analyst, Sumit discovered a unique problem in the fintech space – Indians have very high physical asset ownership, yet asset-backed lending makes only a minority of total borrowing.
In 2015, he started Rupeek to fulfill this unprecedented demand. He believes Understanding customers is an ongoing process and one should keep running experiments to learn. Today, Rupeek has served over 1 lakh happy users across 25+ cities. Join us to learn how Sumit got to know his customers and built Rupeek.
Ep 26: Fintech Payments
Growing up, Reeju had never thought of starting his own venture. It was after receiving an admit from ISB when he started thinking about what he really wants to do in life.
Considering the huge expense of Bschool, in addition to the opportunity cost at hand. He made the decision of not doing an MBA and starting up instead. He met his co-founder Akash through a mutual friend.
The two often used to bounce around business ideas with each other. Before starting up, they evaluated many different ideas and narrowed down on the problem they both had faced personally, Cash on delivery payments for online businesses.
Today, Cashfree is used by over 50000 businesses with transactions worth $12 billion processed annually.
Ep 25: Building Communities
Pranay studied at IIT Delhi where he got to be a part of a true community in the form of his hostel. Post his MBA from IIMA, he got a job as a Stock Broker. As work used to get over by 4, he started helping his college startup accelerator after his working hours. This continued for a year after which he came full time as the CEO.
After working at the accelerator for 4 years he met his co-founder Varun and decided to start 91 Springboard, a small fund to help startups. To make the fund economics work, they realized the need for a local community of startups.
Join us as we deep dive into Pranay’s journey of building 91Springboard.
Ep 24: Impact Entrepreneurship
After graduation, Dhimant worked for a large tech company as a software engineer for 5 years. Intrigued by the business aspects of a company he decided to join a B-School. At ISB he met folks with diverse backgrounds including entrepreneurs that transformed his initial perspective of getting a high-paying job at a corporate. Dhimant highlights the importance of intertwining Business with Impact so both continue to grow simultaneously.
Today, Better India has a reach of over 90 million people in a month. Join us to learn how Dhimant built and grew Better India to empower citizens and catalyze change.
Ep 23: Understanding the market
Ashish built his first website and was competing with tech giants in his 10th grade! In college he kept toying with ideas and code which led to his first startup, providing telecom-based value-added services that he exited in 2011. He started a Restaurant with a friend and realizing how painful it is to manage a restaurant, led them to create POSist, a cloud-based platform for restaurants.
Today they serve 8,000+ clients spread across 22 countries. Join us as we talk to Asish about how POSist evolved overtime to find their business model and customer segment.
Ep 22: Finding a problem to solve
Ajinkya grew up in Nasik, in a family where doing business was more of a default option than doing a job. He credits his entrepreneurial acumen to his father, who owns a manufacturing unit. His first startup idea was based on an emotional problem, and it didn’t work out. He stayed in the fintech industry, playing different roles at different companies, and finally landed on the idea of growfix.
Join us as we talk to Ajinkya about find a problem to solve and building Growfix.
Ep 21: Enterprise sales
Swapnil landed his dream job when he graduated from college. After 3 years at Twitter, he decided to come back to India and startup. What followed was an 18-month struggled to find the right idea and co-founder.
He finally connected with his college roommate and their experiences lead them to start Observe.ai. The two of them started selling the idea before they had a final product. When it came to growth, they experimented with a variety of sales channels to find out which ones work and doubled down on them. Swapnil advises founders to start selling in the right market from Day 1.
Ep 20: Self management
(Hindi Audio) Mr. Chaudhary started his first business with a small loan from his father to set up 2 looms. Today, Jaipur Rugs is one of the largest manufacturers of hand-knotted rugs serving clients all across the globe.
Join us as we talk to NK Chaudhary about how he built his company and empowered artisans through self-management.
Ep 19: Disrupting an industry
Blowhorn connects customers with mini-truck drivers for intra-city deliveries via its website and mobile app. Mithun hustled to grow the initial supply of drivers and acquire their first 1,000 customers without spending a single penny on marketing.
Join us as we talk to Mithun about how he disrupted the disorganized logistics industry.
Ep 18: Building a global product
Mindtickle started with corporate treasure hunts to improve employee engagement but over the course of several years and many pivots later they created a new category of enterprise software called sales-readiness.
Join us as we talk to Deepak about how they built and sold their software to companies all over the world.
Ep 17: Acquiring customers
On a mission to make quality education accessible to a wider audience, Ashutosh founded his 2nd startup Testbook, a one-stop platform designed for students to achieve better results on government exams.
Join us as we talk to Ashutosh about he acquired over 13M users all over India through some innovative offline channels.
Ep16: Women’s Internet
Sairee, a serial entrepreneur, realized that the Internet has been built by men, with their needs in mind. Leaving women underserved. Many women have had a bad experience online and there is a lack of trust for women on the internet.
Join us as we talk to Sairee about her incredible journey building a safe community helping women with jobs, resources, networking, and advice.
Ep15: Product market fit
Prasanth talks about his fifteen-year journey from learning how to code through trial and error, turning it into a profession, and then using the skills he acquired to build companies. He proudly discusses his failures and what he learned from it, as he sheds light on how he found product-market fit.
Join us as we talk to Prasanth about his incredible journey and finding product-market fit.
Ep14: Founder market fit
Vivek and Neel met while working on Voicetap. In 2016, they started iZooto to help any company with a domain name to engage with their visitors.
Today iZooto delivers 60Bn notifications for some of the world’s largest media companies without any external funding. This focus on a single customer segment that they could serve best has been one of the biggest reasons for their success and the market share that they now hold.
Join us as we talk to Neel and Vivek about how they segment their customers and how they discovered their DNA as a company.
Ep13: The SaaS playbook
Gaurav is a serial entrepreneur who has built well over a dozen different products. He learned how to code as a child and built his product when he was still in college.
Since starting SaaS labs in 2014, Gaurav has built several products catering to different themes. Each one is a self-sustaining business with some of his products like Just Call generating millions in annual recurring revenue.
Based on his experiences, Gaurav created a 20 point SaaS playbook, which he used for a new product Helpwise.io, he grew it to $100K ARR in just 4-5 months. Join us as we talk to Gaurav about his journey.
Editing credits: Vaibhav
Ep12: Creating new products
We had previously covered the Razorpay journey in detail before this
Harshil was turned down by over a hundred banks when he started Razorpay in 2014. Instead of fretting over it, he spent the time talking to businesses and building a payment gateway to solve their problems.
Razorpay’s customer-centric approach made them one of India’s best payment solutions. Once users trusted him to handle payments, branching out into banking services was natural.
Today over 350,000 Indian businesses rely on Razorpay for payments, bank accounts, and loans. Join us as we talk to Harshil about his journey and creating new products.
Editing credits: Tanish
Ep11: Early days of a startup
Shrehith met his co-founders in business school and started a company with the goal to make finance more accessible.
They started writing and gradually built an audience but it was not enough to pay the bills. Just when they were running out of funds, one video went viral which helped them take the company to the next level. Today, Finshots delivers one 3 min read per day to over 100,000 subscribers on India’s most important financial developments.
Join us as we talk to Shrehith about his journey and the early days of starting a company.
Editing credits: Tanish
Ep10: Building a Rocketship
Kevin is the Co-founder and co-CEO of Gojek. In just a few years, he helped to build Indonesia’s first decacorn. Kevin joined Gojek as CFO of the company in 2014 but as the company grew, his role evolved. Gojek grew like crazy – 100% month over month for a 12 month period. Few people have experienced that kind of hypergrowth.
Join us as we talk to Kevin about how we built the rocketship and what he learned on his incredible entrepreneurial journey.
Ep9: The Startup Hustle
Kush is the founder of FamPay. He started his company while he was still in college. He built FamPay with sheer determination and hustle. Today, just a year after Kush graduated from college, FamPay brings cashless convenience to millions of teens and their parents.
Join us as we talk to Kush about his incredible entrepreneurial journey.
Ep8: Thinking Big
Ankur is the Co-founder and CEO of Nuclei. He has founded a successful restaurant chain and was part of the founding team of Tapzo a venture-backed startup that exited to Amazon. He first learnt to think bigger when he moved to Mumbai to study engineering, well before starting his entrepreneurial journey and he kept thinking bigger at each step in his professional life.
Join us as we talk to Ankur about his entrepreneurial journey and the value of think big.
Ep7: Learning to Scale
RainCan, now called BB Daily, started off as hyper-local grocery delivery but it really took off due to a freak incident. The milkman in his colony went away, so Abhijeet decided to offer milk delivery as an experiment. He realized that even though milk is a low margin product it was the start of a relationship with his customers. He could then sell other products to customers once they knew that RainCan would be at their doorstep every day with the milk.
Today, BB Daily has over 2,500 employees serving more than 3 lakh subscribers per day! Join us as we talk to Abhijeet about how he built and scaled the company.
Ep6: People Build Companies
Varun first started playing poker in his college. After graduating, he worked in a variety of roles and continued playing poker online. As his love for poker grew he realized that there is an opportunity to create a better poker playing experience. In just 3 years, he built one of India’s largest poker platforms. Join us as we talk to Varun about his journey and the importance of finding the right people to build his company.
Ep5: Go to Market
Sanchit started his company in 2013, right after he graduated from college. Today, Townscript is a market leader that operates in several countries helping event organizers issue 3M+ tickets per year. Join us as we talk to Sanchit about his journey and how he built the Townscript marketing machine.
Ep4: Building for Bharat
Anuradha started her business as a hobby, teaching people English from Hindhi through simple animations on a Facebook page. Today, Multibhashi has over 1M+ downloads on the play store and offers a variety of service in 10+ languages. Join us as she reflects on her journey and talks about how to build for Bharat, specifically the lower-income but higher volume segment of society which is just starting to come online.
We conclude the episode by talking to Rohan who is launching his MVP – Reezy: A payments platform to make renting easier for both landlords and tenants
Ep3: Building for space
Rohit and his company Trancelestial are using lasers to transmit data. Building a deep-tech company can be really challenging but for those that can get it off the ground, it can be extremely rewarding both intellectually and financially. Join us as Rohit talks about his journey and the challenges he encountered, the incentives for deep-tech founders and why this is such a huge opportunity.
We conclude the episode by talking to Akshay who is launching his MVP – Stoquity: A fantasy stock trading game that rewards learning.
Ep2: Crafting a Delightful Customer Experience
Neerav had the idea for his business several years before he actually launched it. His start-up journey began with simple but effective advice – talk to customers and validate assumptions. An idea that is still crucial to the company today and an integral part of their continuous pursuit to delight customers.
We conclude the episode by discussing a listener’s business idea and with that example, shed some light on how to implement this idea of validating assumptions in a B2B setting.
Ep1: The Founding Team
Realising firsthand how difficult it was to meet and connect with people offline, Suyash and Siddharth, his batchmate from college started MyScoot by hosting a party for 15 people at their house. Join us, as Suyash reflects on the transition from the corporate world to a startup, the challenges of building a company and the constantly evolving roles and relationships amongst the founding team.
We conclude the episode by introducing the final segment and invite listeners to submit their startup ideas and MVP plans.