Founder Thesis

ThePodium.in

Dickens said, it was the best of the times, it was the worst of the times. The words never been truer.

Best because there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.

All Episodes

As joyful as it sounds, motherhood can also be a painful journey. The extent of decisions taken by new mothers is bound to make them nervous and apprehensive. In this episode of the Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Tamanna Dhamija, Co-founder, Convosight. She is an alumnus of MDI, Gurgaon and has previously worked in the Investment Banking domain. But like many entrepreneurs, she realised that there was more she could do. Stemming from her own experiences as a new mum, she started Baby Destination in 2016, with the mission to assist the discovery journey of first-time mothers and in doing so, organically built India’s largest parenting community. It was in 2018 when Baby Destination was selected for Facebook Community Leadership Program (FCLP), the idea behind Convosight was born. Her goal to combine content with community, lead her to realise community marketing as a business opportunity, and this became the foundation on which Convosight stands today. Tune into this week’s episode to hear how Convosight empowers businesses to gain insights from their online communities while using technologies like data analytics and machine learning to help brands leverage communities. What you must not miss! Building India’s first organically grown online parenting community. Building and scaling an analytics SaaS platform business. Leveraging online Community Marketing to advise high profile brands.

Nov 25

48 min 10 sec

While numerous FinTech start-ups have started working towards empowering rural India, Spice Money is one such start-up that is working categorically towards the financial inclusion of rural India. Founder Thesis brings you the inspirational journey of Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money, where he tells Akshay Datt about his experiences, from setting up a business in the then-nascent Telecom Industry to running a rural FinTech company. Dilip embarked on his entrepreneurial journey at the young age of 21. He started a telecom provider business in collaboration with numerous international giants, which eventually got acquired by Idea Cellular in 2008. Playing on the valuable experience and the distributor network provided by the Telecom Industry, Dilip started Spice Money in 2015 to provide financial services to lower-tier cities, rural areas, and underserved communities while enabling a source of employment for them. Tune in to this episode to hear Dilip speak about how Spice Money is creating financial awareness in rural India. What you must not miss! Never take a big leap while setting up a business. Experience in scaling up a telecom venture. Survival tip: Keep pivoting! The idea behind Spice Money.

Nov 18

1 hr 15 min

‘Innovation happens when you work on a problem, but adoption happens only during a crisis.’ – Nimish Sharma (WorkEx) The pandemic tested us in unimaginable ways. Many around us lost jobs, and as the economy slowed down, unemployment became a serious issue. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Nimish Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, WorkEx, takes us through his journey. He started his entrepreneurial journey way back in 2007 after graduating from IIT Kanpur. Nimish fondly recalls his earlier days, when his passion for aerospace made him quit his job to start Aurora Integrated Systems in 2006, which was one of the earliest drone manufacturing companies in India. In his second innings, he started WorkEx in 2017 to reduce the time taken between candidate discovery and hiring, especially for the blue and grey collar workforce. Tune in to this episode to hear Nimish talk about how WorkEx is democratizing access to the job market through its disruptive AI/ML technology. What you must not miss! If you are passionate about something, nothing else matters. WorkEx’s revenue generation model. Fundraising journey. How has COVID impacted the adoption of the WorkEx platform among job-seekers and employers?

Nov 11

50 min 49 sec

Most of us love animals. But is it easy to live in balance with other living beings without harming them? Founder Thesis brings you the journey of a bureaucrat who has taken his love for animals to the next level. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Abhishek Sinha, Co-founder and CEO, Good Dot, takes us through his journey. He has served the Indian Revenue Service before exploring the entrepreneurial route. Since his earlier days, Abhishek has always faced an existential crisis and has tried to discover his purpose in life. This led to him quitting his cushy government job and starting GoodDot in 2016, with a primary goal of developing ethical, sustainable, and cruelty-free substitutes for animal meat. Tune in to this episode to hear Abhishek speak about how GoodDot is aggressively working towards making Veganism a reality in India. What you must not miss! Your passion is your true calling. Veganism: An ancient tradition. How to scale a business from a Tier 3 city? What is GoodDO?

Nov 4

41 min 47 sec

As busy as it can get, health, in these times, has taken a back seat. We often fail to consume a proper diet which leads to numerous deficiencies. Founder Thesis brings you the journey of one such founder who has made it his mission to make Ayurveda an integral part of the day-to-day life of the modern consumer. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Ameve Sharma, Co-founder, Kapiva, has taken us through his journey. Ameve has previously worked with McKinsey across various projects before setting off his entrepreneurial journey. A third-generation entrepreneur of the 104-year-old Baidyanath, Ameve started Kapiva in 2016 with Shrey Badhani, intending to bring the wisdom of India’s ancient food traditions to its modern-day consumers. And today, Kapiva has scaled into a 100cr brand in the D2C segment. Tune in to this episode to hear Ameve speak about how Kapiva is disrupting the health and wellness industry by presenting the benefits of Ayurveda in contemporary and convenient formats. What you must not miss! The learnings from consulting and how can they be applied in a start-up. Why is it important to understand the consumers? Why must founders create a data infrastructure? How can this help in taking decisions? Why is it paramount to build a fantastic customer service team?

Oct 28

45 min 49 sec

Neobanks are one such disruptor that one day will completely eclipse the traditional banking system. In this episode of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Vinay Bagri, Co-founder and CEO, Niyo Solutions Inc, which is one of India’s fastest growing neobanks. After spending more than a decade in banking companies like Standard Chartered, ING and Kotak, Vinay took a leap of faith and started Niyo in 2015, with a vision to introduce better cash flows to the salaried segment. And today, Niyo products have touched over more than 1.5 million customers. Tune in to this episode to hear Vinay speak about how Niyo is revolutionising banking with continual digital innovation. Key takeaways! The story behind acquiring Goalwise. Pre-requisites to device an impeccable product roadmap. Fundraising journey.

Oct 21

55 min 8 sec

Financial independence is an essential life skill, and it has been a concept dominated by men. But not anymore! In this episode of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder, LXME, who is spearheading the mission to bridge the gap between women and finance. A self-proclaimed financial feminist, Priti has been heading Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers Ltd. It was through her experiences; she firmly believes that managing one’s money empowers women to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. And with her brainchild LXME, she aims to educate women about financial products, while building a community where they can engage in conversations that makes them more confident and in control of their finances. Tune in to this episode to hear Priti talk about how LXME is disrupting the male-dominated financial sector by providing freedom to women to take their own decisions. What you must not miss! Running a conventional business vs starting your venture. Learnings from film production. Financial planning: A life skill Plans for fundraising.

Oct 14

1 hr 5 min

Getting access to loans, that too timely is a painful process in India. There are numerous parameters for approval and one’s request might be denied for reasons which are nowhere related to a borrower’s credibility. In this episode of the Founder Thesis podcast, Akshay Datt speaks with Bhavin Patel, Co-founder and CEO, LenDenClub, which is one of India’s pioneer Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms. Bhavin has extensive experience working with NBFCs, both as a consultant and an employee. He has closely witnessed the struggles NBFCs face with respect to lending loans and raising capital. This acted as an idea that gave birth to LenDenClub in 2015, which has dispersed more than 500 crores worth of loans in FY21. Tune in to this episode to hear Bhavin talk about how LenDenClub is empowering both lenders and borrowers and disrupting the traditional NBFC segment with its exemplary execution and automation. Key takeaways! Identifying what customers want. Automation is the key to success. Learning from experimentation. Vision 2030.

Oct 7

1 hr

Catch them young, watch them grow! Great thought! But when it comes to managing money, it’s always the elders who have taken decisions. And that is the sole reason that as adults, people still struggle with savings, taxes and investments and why financial literacy in India is a tough nut to crack. In this episode of the Founder Thesis podcast, Akshay Datt speaks with Sambhav Jain, Founder, FamPay, who is on a mission to provide financial freedom to teenagers. Sambhav is a graduate of IIT Roorkee and always aspired to start his venture. He collaborated with Kush Taneja, his fellow batchmate, to start FamPay, which was selected by Y Combinator in 2019. And within two years it has more than 2 million registered users and recently raised a whopping USD 38 million, making it the largest Series A fundraise in India by first-time entrepreneurs. Tune in to this episode to hear Sambhav talk about how FamPay is empowering Gen-Z towards financial literacy with its high tech but an easy-to-use platform. What you must not miss! Internships: A way of understanding how young start-ups operate. Experience of getting mentored by Y Combinator. How can one use a numberless card? Fundraising journey.

Sep 30

1 hr 8 min

Innovation and disruption are the hallmarks of the technology world. Amidst the fintech revolution and the subsequent rise of digital banks in India, going to a bank branch is no longer in vogue. And with neobanking, this metamorphosis has reached a new level with state-of-the-art technologies and providing customers with easy, quick, and efficient financial services. The Founder Thesis podcast presents to you a two-part series where Akshay Datt speaks with Kunal Varma, Co-Founder, Freo. He is a serial entrepreneur who started his entrepreneurial journey back in 2008, while pursuing his MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Kunal, a self-proclaimed dreamer, fondly recalls his earlier days and shares how he always wanted to start his venture. After successfully building two ventures, he collaborated with Bala Parthasarthy and Anuj Kackar and started MoneyTap, which in five years has become an RBI registered NBFC and is now transitioning to credit led neobank, Freo, which is the first of its kind in the country. Tune in to this episode to hear Kunal speak about how Freo is disrupting the traditional banking system with its innovative digital banking experience. What you must not miss! If you like something in your academics, you're not going to do it for the rest of your life. How interacting with people from different walks of life can help in developing your vision as an entrepreneur. The transition from HR and EdTech to FinTech The concept of neobanking Relation between consumer research and building a product Fundraising journey

Sep 16

1 hr 23 min

Innovation and disruption are the hallmarks of the technology world. Amidst the fintech revolution and the subsequent rise of digital banks in India, going to a bank branch is no longer in vogue. And with neobanking, this metamorphosis has reached a new level with state-of-the-art technologies and providing customers with easy, quick, and efficient financial services. The Founder Thesis podcast presents to you a two-part series where Akshay Datt speaks with Kunal Varma, Co-Founder, Freo. He is a serial entrepreneur who started his entrepreneurial journey back in 2008, while pursuing his MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Kunal, a self-proclaimed dreamer, fondly recalls his earlier days and shares how he always wanted to start his venture. After successfully building two ventures, he collaborated with Bala Parthasarthy and Anuj Kackar and started MoneyTap, which in five years has become an RBI registered NBFC and is now transitioning to credit led neobank, Freo, which is the first of its kind in the country. Tune in to this episode to hear Kunal speak about how Freo is disrupting the traditional banking system with its innovative digital banking experience. What you must not miss! If you like something in your academics, you're not going to do it for the rest of your life. How interacting with people from different walks of life can help in developing your vision as an entrepreneur. The transition from HR and EdTech to FinTech The concept of neobanking Relation between consumer research and building a product Fundraising journey

Sep 16

34 min 3 sec

In India, Cryptocurrency is one of those tech innovations that has hit more headlines than any other! From influencers promoting it on social media to companies sponsoring major sporting events, the popularity of these virtual digital currencies has risen in India. In this episode of the Founder Thesis podcast, Akshay Datt speaks with Rahul Pagidipati, CEO, ZebPay, India’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange. He is a second-generation Indian American and has been a part of the global start-up ecosystem for the past 20 years. Rahul fondly recalls his earlier days when he started numerous ventures in India and the US and fell in love with investing. This is when he came across Bitcoin and Blockchain and decided to invest in ZebPay. Little did he know that the company will face uncertainty due to RBI’s ban on cryptocurrency. However, in 2020, after a two-year hiatus, ZebPay was relaunched, with Rahul taking over as CEO. Tune in to this episode to hear Rahul speak about how ZebPay is disrupting the way people transact and invest with its ground-breaking financial innovations. Key takeaways: Experience of running a venture in India in the late 90s. India’s response to cryptocurrency. The ZebPay’s survival story.

Sep 9

1 hr 17 min

The end of the 2000s saw the rise in radio taxi services. In the next decade, the urban mobility market in India was captured by Ola and Uber. You might wonder what’s in store for commuters in this decade! In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Prof. Satya Chakravarthy, Co-founder, and CTO, The ePlane Co, takes us through his amazing journey. A veteran in the Indian aerospace arena, he is heading NCCRD, which is one of the world’s largest combustion research centers and is a member of the advisory board of various start-ups incubated at IIT Madras. Prof. Satya, along with Pranjal Mehta started The ePlane Co in 2016 and took the aerial route in a bid to solve the ever-growing issues with road infrastructure in urban cities. And that’s not all! This air taxi company is ready to test its product in a year or two. Tune in to this episode to hear Prof. Satya speak about how The ePlane Co is planning to disrupt the urban mobility industry with its cutting-edge and cost-effective technology. What you must not miss! Experience of running NCCRD. Future of electric airplanes. The technology behind air taxis. Fundraising journey.

Sep 2

1 hr 46 min

Ever since the Government of India opened the space sector to private players, it has been on a growth trajectory. Leading this pack is Agnikul Cosmos. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Srinath Ravichandran, Co-founder and CEO, Agnikul Cosmos, takes us through his amazing journey. Before zooming into space tech, he has worked for leading BFSI companies in the US. Srinath recalls his earlier days and how his passion for science and space carved his way to venture into the space tech field. With the support of industry stalwarts like Anand Mahindra, Naval Ravikant and Nithin Kamath, he founded Agnikul in 2016 with Moin SPM. The vision was simple! To become an Uber for putting smaller satellites in orbit. Tune in to this episode to hear Srinath speak about how Agnikul Cosmos is democratizing access to space with its disruptive technology. Key takeaways! Experience of working in the US. Teething issues of starting up a venture. The benefit of tying up with an academic institution. Impact of space travel on the future.

Aug 26

2 hr 2 min

Ever heard of the Japanese proverb, “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” That’s exactly the premise of the story of our guest on this episode of the Founder Thesis podcast. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Ankit Prasad, Founder, and CEO, Bobble AI, has shared interesting anecdotes about his early days and the journey of Bobble. As he says, “Entrepreneurship ka keeda bachpan se he tha!”, Ankit started his first venture when he was in Standard 10th. He soon realized that the mobile space is growing exponentially and in 2015 he founded Bobble AI, an app that enabled users to turn their selfies into caricature stickers. Today, it has transitioned into a comprehensive camera, content, and keyboard app that not only lets users personalize their communication in 22 Indian languages but can also predict their actions with the help of AI. Tune in to this episode to hear Ankit speak about how Bobble AI challenged the well-established keyboard apps by Google and Microsoft with technology-led innovations. Key takeaways! Resilience is the key to success. Behavioral shift to non-text and personalized communication. How to scale up a B2B2C business? Plans for global expansion.

Aug 12

1 hr 7 min

“Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a part of success.” – Arianna Huffington This is a brief sketch of the inspirational journey of our next guest. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Rajiv Srivatsa, Partner, Antler India, shares his life experiences. He is an alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore and has worked for companies like Infosys, Cognizant, and Yahoo! before starting his entrepreneurial journey. Rajiv harks back to his early years and how every setback he faced has proved to be a stepping-stone to something bigger and successful. It was in 2012, while he was renting a home in Bangalore, he identified that there was no standardized furniture buying experience. He founded Urban Ladder that same year with Ashish Goel and served in an operational leadership role until late 2019. In his second innings, he is a Partner at Antler, a global VC and start-up generator aiming to enable entrepreneurs to build and scale global businesses. Tune in to this episode to hear Rajiv provide valuable insights on scaling up a business, customer obsession, his theory of happiness, and much more. What you must not miss!! Why is it necessary to make mistakes! Formula to become a beloved brand. The Antler model.

Aug 5

1 hr 40 min

Online content creation saw a drastic boom when the pandemic struck. This made content creators spend more hours with their gadgets. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Raj Kundra, Founder and CEO, JL Stream, shares his journey. Born and brought up in London, Raj started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 18. After running multiple businesses, he became an entrepreneur in India. In 2020, he launched JL Stream with a mission to enable social media users to grow their outreach, broadcast their talents, and monetize their content. And within four months it has garnered more than half a million downloads and 150,000 monthly users. Tune in to this episode to hear Raj speak about how JL Stream is revolutionizing the online content market in India. Key takeaways: How to become an operator founder? Monetization strategy. Importance of networking.

Jul 29

38 min 57 sec

The male grooming industry has come a long way in the past few years. Gone are the days when looking good was something exclusive to women. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Shantanu Deshpande, Founder, and CEO, Bombay Shaving Company, shares his inspirational journey. He is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow and has worked for McKinsey across various global and domestic projects before setting off his entrepreneurial journey. Shantanu fondly recalls his early days and how a casual conversation with his friend about men’s grooming led to realizing that this large and underserved market needed a brand disruptor. This was his eureka moment which led to the birth of Bombay Shaving Company in 2015. And today, this D2C brand is worth INR 100 crores, with FMCG behemoths like Reckitt Benckiser and Colgate Palmolive as its strategic investors. Tune in to this episode to hear Shantanu speak about how Bombay Shaving Company is challenging the traditional men’s grooming industry with its impeccable product expansion and brand-building strategies. What you must not miss! • Fundraising journey. • Secrets to scaling a venture. • Building a product portfolio. • Growth during the pandemic.

Jul 22

1 hr 13 min

All of you must be familiar with the phrase silver lining. Where the pandemic forced us to maintain social distancing, it has also enabled entrepreneurs to come up with innovative and disruptive business ideas. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Shailaz Nag, Co-founder and CEO, DotPe, takes us through his amazing journey of working in top corporates to building ventures like PayU and DotPe. Shailaz fondly remembers his father’s principles and how this has guided him throughout his life and work. He co-founded PayU India in 2011, which at present, is one of the leading payment gateways in the country. He quit PayU in 2019 and started DotPe in the subsequent year with a vision to provide digital transformation and commerce solutions to brick-and-mortar stores. And within a year of launch, this offline-to-online commerce platform has raised USD 27.5 million in Series A funding from prominent investors like InfoEdge Ventures, Google, and PayU. Tune in to this episode to hear Shailaz speak about how DotPe is disrupting and transforming the offline to online segment with its impeccable product experience and innovation. What you must not miss! Three most important life lessons. Significance of going digital. O2O business model.

Jul 15

1 hr 18 min

Our next guest on the Founder Thesis podcast is an entrepreneur who took no time to bounce back when his restaurant business failed. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Viraj Bahl, Founder and Managing Director, Veeba Food Services Pvt. Ltd., takes us through his resilient journey, from being a marine engineer to establishing a venture which, at present has its presence across more than 500 cities in India. Today, Veeba is a well-known brand in the Indian Food Industry, but it has not been an easy journey. Viraj fondly recalls the early days of Veeba and how he managed to purchase its first manufacturing plant. Started in 2013, Viraj had to wait for months to get his first order from Domino’s. And since then, Veeba’s growth has been unstoppable. Currently, Veeba caters to the B2B and the retail segments, with a vision to reach every nook and cranny of the country. Tune in to this episode to hear Viraj speak about how Veeba is disrupting the Indian Food Industry with its low-fat, preservative-free, and finger-licking sauces and spreads. Key takeaways: Life lessons 101. Wisdom gained from a failed venture. Fundraising journey. The customer is the king. Importance of brand endorsements.

Jul 8

1 hr 22 min

Ever thought of starting a venture from a tier 2 city? I’m sure the majority of you haven’t. It was the love for his family that brought our guest back to his hometown Jaipur and started a venture which is soon going to be a unicorn. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Anurag Jain, COO & Co-Founder, GirnarSoft, takes us through his amazing journey. He is an alumnus of IIT Delhi and has worked with eminent software companies both in the US and India, before starting his entrepreneurial journey. Anurag reminisces about his early days and how a life-altering moment led him to quit his lucrative software job, come back to Jaipur and start a venture with a vision to establish in the consumer internet space. He started GirnarSoft in 2007 with his brother Amit as an IT outsourcing company. After experimenting for a year or so, the duo visited an international AutoExpo which sparked the idea of an auto portal and CarDekho came into existence. Since then, CarDekho has expanded into the South-East Asian markets and is currently valued at around USD 800 million. Tune in to this episode to listen to the fascinating story of how these strong-willed entrepreneurs from Jaipur succeeded in building a venture based on sheer hard work and determination. What you must not miss! Fundraising journey. Acquisitions and subsequent global expansion. Significance of customer experience. Secrets of managing people.

Jul 1

1 hr 19 min

Scaling start-ups is not new to Amit Lakhotia. So, the choice of starting his venture came naturally to him. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Amit Lakhotia, Founder, Park+, takes us through his amazing journey. This IIM-A alumnus has worked with various start-ups before charting his path towards entrepreneurship. An independent decision-maker at heart, Amit chose the companies where he can take decisions without any interventions, and the results are evident in the growth stories of MakeMyTrip, Paytm, and Tokopedia. Stemming from his experience of not being able to find a parking slot at the Paytm office, Amit started Park+ in 2019 with a vision to solve the parking-related woes for daily commuters and B2B establishments.  Tune in to this episode to hear Amit talk about Park+ is working towards solving this hyperlocal problem by providing digital solutions, leading to a hassle-free customer experience. Key takeaways: What a B-School teaches us! Experience of working in a start-up Journey as an investor

Jun 17

59 min 45 sec

People are the biggest assets of any organization. While there is a core HR department in every organization, not many have been able to effectively use technology to solve the needs and requirements of their employees. This is where Darwinbox came to the rescue. In a candid chat with Akshay Datt, Rohit Chennamaneni, Co-Founder, Darwinbox, takes us through his inspiring journey. He is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow and has worked for giants like Google and McKinsey before setting off his entrepreneurial journey. Rohit fondly recalls his days at McKinsey. While working for clients, he realised that they did not have the best HR systems. He identified this gap and founded Darwinbox in 2015 with Jayant Paleti and Chaitanya Peddi. Jayant and Chaitanya have worked with Ernst & Young and faced similar situations with their clients. Today, Darwinbox operates in the same space as Oracle and SAP and serves more than a million employees across 500 global enterprises in more than 60 countries, and is backed by prominent investors like Salesforce, Sequoia and 3one4 Capital. Tune in to this episode to hear Rohit speak about how Darwinbox is helping enterprises streamline the HR function through its hire-to-retire Human Capital Management platform. What you must not miss! Player’s mindset and entrepreneurship. Experience in working with Google and McKinsey. Fundraising journey. Secrets to scaling a venture.

Jun 10

1 hr 34 min

India is on the cusp of a new fintech revolution. Post demonetization, where the sector has witnessed a surge in digital payments and lending, there have been very few fintech companies that focus on resolving the debt recovery opportunity. In a candid conversation with the host Akshay Datt, Rishabh Goel, Co-founder and CEO, Credgenics, takes us through his inspiring journey. He is an alumnus of the prestigious IIT Delhi and has worked with companies like Deutsche Bank and BlackRock before taking the entrepreneurial plunge. Rishabh harks back to his days at BlackRock which gave him a better understanding of the lending process, specifically from the collections perspective. This inspired him to dig deeper into the subject leading to the birth of Credgenics in 2019, which is already valued at USD 110 million. Tune in to this episode to hear Rishabh talk about how Credgenics is resolving India’s $200 billion+ bad debt problem by delivering customized strategies and legal routes to improve the collections of financial institutions. What you must not miss! Effect of COVID and RBI moratorium on collections. Funding and subsequent expansion of Credgenics. Scope of global expansion for the business. 

Jun 3

1 hr 3 min

“There are always two roads which will emerge for an entrepreneur, and you have to take the one less travelled.” – Dr Ritesh Malik Our guest today is a person who has donned many hats – an entrepreneur, an investor, a public speaker, and a doctor. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Dr Ritesh Malik, Founder, Innov8 Coworking, takes us through his amazing journey. Hailing from a family of doctors, his career was pre-decided. He studied medicine and started practising as a surgeon at Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi. It was in 2012, he decided to quit his medical profession and took the less travelled entrepreneurial route and ventured into an augmented reality start-up AdStuck as its co-founder, an experience that made him learn the art of entrepreneurship in a hard way. He also founded Guerrilla Ventures, an angel fund, in 2013, with an aim to create a self-sustaining ecosystem of entrepreneurs and has backed 70+ start-ups to date. Irked by the office conditions in India, Ritesh came up with an idea of coworking spaces and started Innov8 Coworking in January 2016. Soon after the launch, Innov8 was selected by Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator, where he was guided to expand to larger campuses. This attracted investors and since then Innov8 has expanded to 42 campuses across 8 major cities in India. Tune in to this episode to hear this medicine professional turned entrepreneur and angel investor speak about how Innov8 Coworking is transforming the office going experience in India. What you must not miss! A great product is everything. Treat consumers like God. The power of community. Acquisition by OYO Rooms. What he looks for in a venture as an investor.

May 27

52 min

In November 2016, demonetisation was announced by the Indian government and the market witnessed an immediate surge in digital payments. And this was further propelled by the United Payments Interface (UPI). While fintech giants like Paytm and PhonePe were the flagbearers of this movement, BharatPe has been looking to change the way SMEs view payments in India. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Ashneer Grover, Co-founder and CEO, BharatPe, takes us through his amazing journey. Ashneer is an alumnus of prestigious IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad. Post that, he has worked for eminent companies like Kotak Investment Banking and American Express. He moved on to serve as the CFO of Grofers and this is when the desire to set up his venture started to set in. With an elaborate experience in the finance domain, he started BharatPe in 2018 along with Shashvat Nakrani with the vision to make financial inclusion a reality for Indian merchants, which at present has reached more than 4 million merchants with its interoperable UPI QR code and processes around 60 million transactions a month. Tune in to this episode to hear Ashneer talk about how this soon-to-be unicorn is on its way to building a robust and easy to use fintech platform that empowers the SMEs in India. Key takeaways: Feet on street business model vs digital acquisition. Importance of branding for a fintech venture. Take on regulatory guidelines by RBI.

May 20

1 hr 13 min

What you seek is seeking you. This is what describes the story of our guest in this episode. For Pulkit Agrawal, Co-founder and CEO, Trell, a visual blogging app, this search started around six years ago, with a desire to visit local pandals during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, little knowing that this would turn into a business idea which is at present has surpassed international social media giants like Twitter and Pinterest with more than 45 million monthly active users. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Pulkit tells us that how visiting these local pandals helped him realize the gap of sharing local knowledge, even for people who are not into blogging and founded Trell in 2016 while he was finishing off with his engineering at IIT Bombay. Taking a trip down memory lane, Pulkit talks about how as a fresh graduate and a first-time entrepreneur, he learnt everything from the scratch about starting his venture and attracting investors to believe and guide him on this journey. He further explains the insights which helped him to develop a simple, no-frills platform for storytellers to post their content in the language they are comfortable with. Tune in to this episode to hear Pulkit speak about his exciting journey and how Trell is challenging international social media giants by providing Bharat with a local, Made in India visual blogging platform. What you must not miss!! • The experience of getting funded. • Challenges of scaling up a social media platform to a marketplace. • Impact of the ban on Chinese apps. • Business growth in times of COVID.

May 6

1 hr 1 min

In 2013, when Anand Jain left Network18, he knew one thing for sure: Communication in the digital world needs to be timely and quick. This led to the birth of CleverTap, a SaaS-based mobile analytics and mobile marketing company. Today, Anand is the Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of CleverTap, working on larger strategic goals of helping brands leverage user data, automation, and personalization techniques on CleverTap. But his rendezvous with technology began when he was in his early teens. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Anand harks back to his early years, when a life-altering moment made him take up part-time jobs to support his family. During these testing times, one thing he passionately held on to was tinkering with electronic appliances and this curiosity led him to learn numerous computer languages, despite being from a non-engineering background. He further recalls how a meeting with a successful Bay Area entrepreneur paved a way for him to land a job in the States and then in China. But he moved back to India in 2005 to start Burrp!, which was later acquired by Network18. At Network18, he met his future co-founders Suresh and Sunil and in 2013, the trio quit to start CleverTap. Tune in to this episode to hear Anand speak about how CleverTap is making the lives of numerous brands easy by providing them with meaningful data, which helps create successful strategies concerning their user bases. Key takeaways: • Perseverance is the key to success. • Significance of customer insights. • Customer targeting is important, so is doing it in a timely and quick fashion. • How did CleverTap get their first client which led to several opportunities.

Apr 29

2 hr 5 min

Achievement is self-centric, but contribution is all about creating impact and building up values for a larger goal. Such is the outlook of our guest on the latest episode of Founder Thesis.  Belonging to a humble background, Amitava Saha, Co-founder and CEO, Xpressbees, is a first-generation entrepreneur and has completed his engineering from the prestigious IIT-BHU campus and MBA from IIM, Lucknow.  In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, he tells us about how his well rewarding corporate job was no match to his hunger for contributing more to a smaller organization. In this pursuit, he teamed up with Supam Maheshwari of Brainvisa Technologies, one of the largest e-learning ventures in India. But one thing led to another.  Amitava recalls buying things for his infant daughter from the countries he visited for business trips. This made him aware of the huge opportunity for an online platform that would give Indian parents access to the best baby care brands. This is how the seeds for FirstCry were sown.  He further talks about how the commitment to providing an excellent delivery experience to young mothers led to the birth of Xpressbees in 2015, which at present, is delivering in more than 2600 cities across India.   Tune in to this episode to hear Amitava speak about how Xpressbess is disrupting the Indian supply chain ecosystem with fast and reliable delivery and outstanding customer service.   Key takeaways: Operational excellence is everything. Prompt customer service = Happy customer How technology brings efficiency

Apr 15

53 min 7 sec

Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it. Our guest in thisepisode is a problem solver at heart, who has used the art of coding to solve real-life problems. Brace for the resilient journey of Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO, WazirX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Nischal talks about his fascination for computers and his coding journey. It was in the second year of engineering when he was bitten by the coding bug and since then there’s been no looking back. From building the Knightloader App for a college project (the App helped in downloading reading material from the Internet at night) to transforming his weekend passion project to Crowdfire which helped users to unfollow people on Twitter, Nischal has found logical solutions to problems via coding. He further talks about how a major setback with Crowdfire inspired him to build something that no one else can control. He found his calling in cryptocurrency and this is where the journey of WazirX began. Tune in to this episode to hear Nischal speak about how cryptocurrency has the power to disrupt the well-established and archaic BFSI sector, with WazirX being the torchbearer of this change. Key takeaways: ● Cryptocurrency 101 ● India’s response to cryptocurrency ● The association between WazirX and Binance (the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange). ● Cryptocurrency as a means to diversify investments

Apr 8

1 hr 11 min

Necessity is the mother of invention. This is exactly the premise that Chaayos was built on. In this episode of Founder Thesis, Nitin Saluja, Founder, Chaayos, recalls how a desire of having chai after breakfast led to a birth of an idea which is now a 90-store operation across India. In a candid conversation with Akshay Dutt, Nitin shares his experience of working with Opera Solutions in the US and how working with a consulting firm provided him with an exposure which helped him in starting his own venture. Nitin takes us through his journey and fondly recollects the brilliant response Chaayos received on its very first day. He emphasizes on how getting his hands dirty and learning on the fly helped him in market research, consumer insights and product testing, thus building a strong foundation for the business. From getting funded by Tiger Global to taking orders at his first store in Gurugram, Nitin further talks about the support Chaayos received from the alumni network of his alma mater, IIT, Bombay. Tune in to this episode to hear Nitin Saluja speak about how Chaayos shook a well-established market where coffee giants like CCD and Barista and others were already deeply entrenched. What must you not miss from the episode? ● Importance of customer insights and product customization. ● Issues in scaling up and growth. ● Taking up chai-paani challenges head on and solving with automation. ● Strategy adopted during COVID.

Apr 1

55 min 27 sec

Things that you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling. This is true in the case of Rohan Mirchandani, Co-Founder & CEO, Drums Food International. In the latest episode of Founder Thesis Podcast, Rohan shares his journey and how an NRI alumnus of The Wharton School ended up selling Greek yogurt in India. In a candid conversation with the host, Akshay Dutt, he talks about how his trip to India in 2009 ended up in meeting Chef Ganesh Krishnamoorthy (one of the co-founders at Drums Food International) and investing in his hobby ice cream business. A foodie at heart, Rohan describes this move as a shot in the dark and passion-driven. It was when he came back to India in 2011 for a weeklong course on how to market to Indian consumers where he met Mr. Shripad Nadkarni, the then CMO of Coca Cola, he realized his calling to become a food entrepreneur in India, something he excitedly describes as his ‘ghanti baj gayi’ moment.  He recalls how he used to personally interact with consumers to gain insights which helped him in recognizing the shift in preferences from ice cream to healthier options, thus bringing Epigamia Greek yogurt product line to life. Tune in to this episode to hear Rohan Mirchandani speak on disrupting the traditional dairy industry in India, scaling an FMCG venture, fundraising, taking the cold-chain challenge head-on, and more. Key takeaways from this episode: Starting an FMCG brand from scratch and scaling it up. Experience of working with Shripad Nadkarni. Collaboration with Danone ventures and becoming a part of the global ecosystem. Plans of expanding in India and in the global market.

Mar 25

1 hr 9 min

In today’s episode of Founder Thesis, host Akshay Datt is in conversation with Dinesh Agarwal, the founder, and CEO of IndiaMART. IndiaMART is India’s largest B2B marketplace for small & medium enterprises (SMEs), large enterprises, and individuals. Before starting IndiaMART, Dinesh worked at HCL technologies in Silicon Valley as a software engineer and gained early exposure to the internet and the power of technology.  In this candid conversation, he talks about overcoming loneliness and other challenges of living in a foreign country. However, the two things close to his heart that kept him going were India and computers. The urge to come back to India and start his business kept growing stronger with each passing day. He was so fascinated by the Internet that he made his mind leverage its potential and create something massive out of it. Rest, as they say, is history.  Well, what started in the early internet era as an idea, is now a platform that has more than 10 crores registered users on it. And of course, it continues to grow even though it's been almost 25 years since it started.  He recalls IndiaMART’s early years when his wife would answer queries from buyers outside India and he would use a simple hack of going to trade fares to build his dataset and generate leads. Tune in to this exclusive chat with Dinesh Agarwal and listen to him talk about everything Internet and ECommerce. What you must not miss from the episode?  Cultural challenges of living in a foreign economy.  The ups and downs of establishing an internet company in India. The dot-com boom from someone who saw it happen!  How did IndiaMART get their first client paid order and how did they generate leads.

Mar 18

1 hr 48 min

“The important thing about creating an enterprise is creating the size of the impact.” Rahul Garg, Founder, Moglix He is a curious learner. When in college all he wanted was to be the best in his field i.e. become the best engineer. Fuelled by his curiosity to learn, he tapped great opportunities on the way.  Our guest on this episode is an IIT Kanpur and ISB, Hyderabad alumnus.  Rahul Garg founded Moglix in 2015 and today it is one of the biggest players in the B2B e-commerce space, growing continuously at a commendable pace. Moglix specialises in B2B procurement of industrial products. Ratan Tata is one of the prominent investors of Moglix.  Before entering the entrepreneurial space, he served as the head of AdX at Google, designing products globally. Garg loves dabbling with algorithms and analytics. He has always been passionate about solving large problems in the world that are complex to solve.  Tune in to the episode to hear Rahul Garg speak on Scaling a B2B venture, Fundraising, Supply Ecosystem, Creating Marketplaces, Building Catalogues, Sales Hacks, and More. Key Takeaways: Scaling a B2B e-commerce platform sustainably. The experience of getting funded by Ratan Tata.  Impact of GST on business growth. How to position your brand effectively.  Driving consumer demand.

Mar 11

1 hr 5 min

For the love of travelling, he would take international trips and immensely enjoy exploring diverse backgrounds. Growing up, he would travel to different destinations with his family, his first foreign trip being that to Italy.   Today, he has changed the trend of car ownership with a car subscription model providing tremendous appeal and flexibility to the millennials.  We are talking about Greg Moran, the co-founder and CEO of India’s first and largest self-drive mobility platform, Zoomcar. Zoomcar is present in 45+ cities across India. After studying management from USC Marshall School of Business, LA, California, Greg Moran came to India. He disrupted the way India rents a car.  Being a foreigner with no roots in India, carving a niche for himself in a new country was no easy job for him.  He always wanted to do something big in business but didn’t have a clear idea of what it was. He went to the University of Pennsylvania and studied International Business. He shares some of the enjoyable moments from UPenn and how the four years impacted him and broadened his perspective. Sustainability has always been a major part of his work ethic. He was the founder and president of the energy club at USC. Before going to business school, Greg worked as an investment banker with Fieldstone Private Capital Group. He also held the position in energy policy formulation at the City of New York.  He talks about his first impression of India, travelling around cities for research and business intelligence, staying at budget accommodations, and relishing the experience of building a business from scratch.  Tune in to this diverse conversation with Greg Moran and get to know his process behind building the first self-drive business in India.  Enjoy the episode! Key takeaways from the episode: Building a successful mobility business in India. Academic Flexibility at an Ivy League school.  Why is Urban Sustainability so crucial?  Scaling up Zoomcar.  What it is like to be a foreigner living and working in India. 

Mar 4

1 hr 10 min

Our guest today is an achiever in more ways than one. Born and brought up in Chennai in a humble household, he pursued his studies from the prestigious IIT, Madras campus.  Well, he tells us that he wasn’t a risk-taker or had an entrepreneurial side to him as a kid but loved to travel and explore new places, people and communities.  In this episode of Founder Thesis, we are talking to Bala Parthasarathy, co-founder and CEO of MoneyTap - a fintech consumer lending startup. MoneyTap launched India’s first app-based credit line impacting Indian consumers across 50+ cities who struggled with access to affordable credit options.  Bala’s entrepreneurial foundation was laid when he went for a summer job during his IIT days and got into market research to earn some side cash. After completing his engineering from IIT, he went abroad to complete higher education from the University of California where he along with his batchmates deep dived into the entrepreneurial culture and started a company.  Having no prior fintech background, MoneyTap was an uncharted territory for him when he started this in 2015 with two of his friends. He worked day in, day out to reach where he is reached today and continues to hustle.  He shares interesting insights from taking a loan to buy the ticket to go abroad for higher education, learning different languages, hitchhiking across the Sahara, his travel voyages to the remarkable lessons from building MoneyTap. Tune in to listen to this exciting conversation with Bala Parthasarathy.  Key Insights from the episode:  Learning through travel experiences. Being adventures and taking challenges head-on.  Shaping the Future of Fintech. Lessons on funding from the lens of a venture capitalist. 

Feb 25

1 hr 27 min

He is a performing artist by heart, someone who hit the stage when he was merely 4 years old and guess what, he never got off!  A creator, writer, director and entrepreneur, he gets immense joy from words, phrases, and playing with them creatively.  When kids his age would play cricket after school, he would be found doing theatre.   He tells us that his mother always aspired for him to study at the best school and be equipped with a wholesome education and thus, he ended up completing his schooling at La Martiniere, Lucknow. As a kid, he thrived on extra-curricular and would never miss a chance to perform. He talks about the contribution of his teachers from La Martiniere who helped him groom at a very early and crucial stage of his life.  His foundation was firmly set in childhood and from thereon he never stopped dreaming. Well, serendipity happened, and with finite resources and infinite passion, Roshan Abbas moved to Delhi and pursued his Masters in Mass Communication from Jamia Milia Islamia.  Always fascinated by arts and theatre, Roshan joined a professional theatre group in his college. After college, he kick-started his career as a radio jockey and TV host. A storyteller for life, and a multi-faceted personality, he founded his venture Kommune India in 2015, a Performance Arts Collective bringing art, brands and talent together.  Tune in to the episode for intimate, personal, unique, and honest stories from Roshan’s childhood, career, his first Radio show, and life as a creative entrepreneur.  Key insights from the episode:  Influencing people with the power of words. Are creative people good at running companies?  Growing a creative agency. Lessons on ‘Brand building’. Writing plays, conducting theatre workshops, and making films.

Feb 18

1 hr 24 min

We often think or are made to believe that we will have to compromise on those taste buds in order to be fit and look good. But is there a way out for our food to be healthy and yummy at the same time?  With their Organic Food startup, Slurrp Farm, the two mothers - Shauravi Malik and Meghana Narayan are showing us that the ‘healthy plus yummy’ combination is no longer a far-fetched dream. The duo identified the gap of high-quality packaged food options in the children’s food market in India and deep-dived into making a difference by launching Slurrp Farm in 2016.  Today on Founder Thesis, we have Shauravi Malik, the co-founder of Slurrp Farm talking about her journey in the FMCG space, and landing on the idea of building a brand that is creating a positive impact in the lives of children by introducing them to healthy eating choices. She is a conscious-eater herself.  Shauravi comes from an elite educational background, holding a Master’s degree in Economics from Cambridge University and a BA in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.  She is fun and pragmatic. With no background in food manufacturing, and no one to guide her to the shortcuts of success, here she is, with a food brand of her own. In this episode, she shares exciting anecdotes from her work life, personal stories, taking risks, exploring uncharted territories, and finding her passion to bring about change in the eating habits of an Indian consumer. She tells us that the ultimate hack is none other than the ‘Grandma’s Kitchen.’ Listen to the full episode to enrich your understanding of wholesome nutrition for children, to explore the evolution of food and eating habits, and how your business idea makes a larger impact in the lives of your consumers.  Key highlights from the episode:  ‘Children food’ as a category in a developing country like India.  Why is Market Research so important? Realizing what food is pure, and what is poison.  Challenges of Scaling Up!  Understanding your consumers. Feedback is the hero.  Embracing Digital Platforms. 

Feb 11

1 hr 25 min

Well, it would be unjust to say that today’s world is a male-dominated one. Women of today are changing the way we see the world and are redefining the so-called “conventional”. Women who inspire with their commendable leadership and conviction.  Today, we are in conversation with one such groundbreaking personality who quit her corporate career to build her startup from scratch and went all out to establish a name for herself. She is as motivated as she is excited to be building India’s leading fresh food brand, FreshMenu. Rashmi Daga, the founder of FreshMenu, is passionate about consumer brands and enjoys the thrill that startups expose her to.  She graduated from Delhi College of Engineering as an electrical engineer and later, went on to pursue management from Indian Institute of Technology, Ahmedabad. She shares anecdotes from her early life as a salesperson, working on the field and experiencing Real India on the road. FreshMenu was born in 2014, that’s when she decided to launch her food company.  She talks about the plan of action she relied upon, her business model decisions, breaking the monotony, getting her hands dirty with all the research, hiring the first chef, among other intriguing sneak-peek into her entrepreneurial journey.  Tune in to listen to the full conversation where Rashmi Daga talks about her Eureka moment, her larger mission and shares some beautiful insights into building India’s top consumer food brand.  Key takeaways from the episode:   The founder of FreshMenu tells us how a real-time job experience helps.   Brand building and setting milestones.   Incorporating international cuisine and building a diverse food menu.  Tracking unit economics in your startup.  Sampling, Packaging, and Customer Acquisition.   Dealing with the funding process as a solo woman entrepreneur.  Indian Food Habits post-COVID.  Join us on IG: @thepodium.in For more founder stories, check out our website: thepodium.in

Jan 29

1 hr 2 min

We have all been lost at some point in our lives, uncertain of things and trying to figure it all out at the same time.  Growing up in Mumbai and coming from a business family, today’s guest on Founder Thesis is someone who has a passion for creating stuff and building products. Someone fascinated by the possibilities of the Internet, Mayank Bidawatka, always thought of new things and ideas that can be shaped into reality through the digital medium.  He joined a residential MBA program at Asina Institute of Management based in the Philippines. Curious and experimental by nature, Mayank has always worked upon breaking out of his comfort zone. He speaks about his diversified, life-changing experience of living and studying abroad.  However, he always wanted to come back to his own country, pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions and establish work in India. Being the co-founder of Koo India, he is giving voice to a billion Indians via the micro-blogging platform. On the other hand, Mayank is providing solutions through the Q&A based knowledge-sharing platform Vokal India, catering to the Indian language user.  In this episode, he talks about his early working experiences, media and advertising days, redBus, lessons and takeaways, dreaming big, scaling up, and building tremendous value.  Tune in to the full conversation.  Key takeaways from the episode:  Working in the Startup Culture. Making it easy for businesses to interact with users. Breaking the language barrier and creating multilingual solutions via Vokal.  Creating tools that bridge the language gap for the Indian Content Creator. The three main things to focus on as an Angel Investor.  For more such inspiring & intriguing leadership stories visit our website at www.thepodium.in  We are also on Instagram at @thepodium.in and have a Whats app community of fellow entrepreneurs & startup enthusiasts at www.podm.in/growwithpodium  Join us there to stay updated on the latest from The Podium.in 

Jan 22

1 hr 25 min

Today’s episode of Founder Thesis is a story of finding opportunity in adversities & seeking lessons in all the curve balls that life throws at you.  In what has been one of the most spirited conversations on the show join in as we catch up with Prateek Singh - Founder of LearnApp.com over tons of infectious laughter & incredible life experiences.  Born in Abudhabi and educated in Tanzania, Singapore, Malaysia & India Prateek’s multicultural childhood may come across as a dream come true, but each time having to start life from scratch was not an easy task especially when it had to be done for difficult reasons.  But this is when Prateek learnt his people skills.  Settling in India after living abroad, the transition was difficult for a young Prateek and he could not pursue schooling any further. This is when the 8th grader turned into a financial trader!  A job at a call centre selling travel packages is where Prateek learnt what he considers to be one of the most valuable skills to have - Sales.  Odd jobs & after four failed attempts at entrepreneurship, tons of learning along the way Prateek then founded LearnApp.com  Tune in as we speak to Prateek about his early years, how he overcame self-doubt, and what led to the genesis of LearnApp - an E-learning platform for high-quality financial education taught by Veterans. His failures building the platform and genie & lamp framework that he used to build a scalable business model.  For more such inspiring & intriguing leadership stories visit our website at www.thepodium.in  We are also on Instagram at @thepodium.in and have a Whats app community of fellow entrepreneurs & startup enthusiasts at www.podm.in/growwithpodium  Join us there to stay updated on the latest from The Podium.in

Jan 15

1 hr 12 min

Investment banker, active seed investor, problem solver and now a founder. Our guest today has worn numerous hats, but her greatest adventure yet is the one that’s allowing her to fulfil her entrepreneurial dreams.  Always driven by a passion to do something for other businesses, Founder of Kodo, Deepti Sanghi is making finance simple for startups and businesses. Imagine being a founder of a new startup and being able to get a corporate credit card in less than 3 minutes!  Sounds too good to be true right? But that’s exactly what Kodo is all about. Their mission is to empower businesses to scale new heights through their corporate card and integrated expense management tool.  In this episode our host Akshay sits down for a candid conversation with Deepti where she shares about her early days as an Investment banker, how she coped with the economic meltdown and finally pivoted towards fin-tech.  Do watch out for the part where Deepti shares her fascinating journey through Japan that inspired the name for the fin-tech startup.  For more such inspiring and intriguing leadership stories visit our website at http://www.thepodium.in (www.thepodium.in).   We are also on Instagram at @thepodium.in and have a WhatsApp community of fellow entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts at http://www.podm.in/growwithpodium (www.podm.in/growwithpodium). Join us to stay updated on the latest from ThePodium.in.  

Jan 8

1 hr 6 min

“Building a product and building an organisation are two different things,” says Abhinav Jain, our guest today.   A bunch of people were very excited about technology in school, they created a computer programming club.Somebody who was always up for honing new skills and specialising new crafts beyond engineering, not worried about books. Fundamentally, he always knew that he wanted to set up his venture from scratch.   He describes his 5 years at IIT, things he learned and from running different clubs to organising college fests, he shares some beautiful experiences of life at campus.  Graduating from IIM Ahmedabad, consulting was something that interested him. He talks about his different projects he explored in the 4 years spent at Bain. From what gave him a nudge to start his entrepreneurial journey at Shop101 and Dash101, the challenges he faced to figuring out innovative solutions in a startup ecosystem, he has some intriguing insights to share.  Listen to the entire conversation on building a product from scratch. IG: @thepodium.in Web: thepodium.in Key takeaways: Life skills an entrance exam teaches. Hacks for polishing communication skills, structuring your thoughts and delivery. Building a product and building an organisation.  Consulting as a career and making an impact.  What does a consultant bring to the table.  Building Social Commerce.

Jan 1

1 hr 3 min

This week on Founder Thesis we are in conversation with a couple that’s on a mission to change the way India is educated.  We are in conversation with the Founders of LEAD school - Sumeet Mehta who is also the CEO & Smita Deorah who is the COO. Together they are working towards their vision of making education in India improved, accessible and affordable.  Tune in as Sumeet & Smita get candid about their journey, right from their first encounter as colleagues in PnG, to quitting their cushy corporate jobs and chasing their passion for education and building something purposeful.  Listen in as they talk about their learnings from running schools to the genesis of LEAD School and their plans for the future.  For more such inspiring & intriguing leadership stories visit our website at www.thepodium.in  We are also on Instagram at @thepodium.in and have a Whats app community of fellow entrepreneurs & startup enthusiasts at www.podm.in/growwithpodium  Join us there to stay updated on the latest from The Podium.in 

Dec 2020

1 hr 27 min

This week on Founder Thesis podcast host Akshay Datt is in conversation with Hemant Kanoria - Chairman at SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited. A pioneer in the field of infrastructure finance, Hemant started SREI in 1989 and in the last two and half decades has scaled it to be India's largest integrated infrastructure institutions with an asset base of around USD 5.5 billion.  But that’s not all, Hemant Kanoria, is also known for his role in creating a wave of rural entrepreneurs through the IT-enabled Sahaj service centre initiative that has created over 50000 village-level entrepreneurs.  Tune in as this pioneer & thought leader shares his growth story, enjoying the roller coaster journey of managing businesses and about having a solution-oriented mindset.  Our key takeaways from this episode are:  * How to build an institution with an engaged & loyal workforce.  * Decision-making framework for investing & disinvesting.  * How to deal with large scale external set-backs, such as, the Covid-19 pandemic.  For more such inspiring & intriguing leadership stories visit our website at www.thepodium.in  We are also on Instagram at @thepodium.in and have a WhatsApp community of fellow entrepreneurs & start-up enthusiasts at www.podm.in/growwithpodium  Join us there to stay updated on the latest from The Podium.in 

Dec 2020

58 min 15 sec

We all have that one habit which we’ve developed as kids & that’s still stuck with us even as adults.  Aprameya Radhakrishna, our guest today, recalls that his childhood habit that stayed with him is observing things around him. A habit which helps him a lot today as an entrepreneur to understand things like consumer behaviour and much more.  A habit we think made him take notice of the nationwide ban on all Chinese apps & a trend towards building desi apps that truly embrace the made in India motto.    Having worked for over 5 years in the corporate scene before moving on to being a serial entrepreneur & investor Aprameya is now the Co-founder and CEO of Koo - a microblogging platform for vernacular speakers of India.  He is making sure that everyone in India is able to make their voice heard.  Talk about going Vocal for Local!  Tune in as we take you through Aprameya’s exciting journey & listen to him as he shares pearls of wisdom on starting and scaling businesses.  For more such inspiring & intriguing leadership stories visit our website at www.thepodium.in  We are also on Instagram at @thepodium.in and have a Whats app community of fellow entrepreneurs & startup enthusiasts at www.podm.in/growwithpodium  Join us there to stay updated on the latest from The Podium.in 

Dec 2020

58 min 9 sec

It may sound weird for a sports enthusiast to be in IIT. Right?  Well, Saumil Majmudar, our guest today, says that it's possible, and that it's an excuse kids make, there are a lot of people who balance academics and sports. They can coexist! Sports have always been a part of his life and it's something he assumes should be in life always.  Saumil Majmudar is the Co-founder, CEO and Managing Director of Sportz Village, which aims to get 100 million children to play. Prior to starting Sportz Village, Saumil was the Founder-CEO of QSupport (one of India's first remote tech support businesses) and worked with Wipro (Global R&D) in the International marketing team. Saumil holds a B-Tech degree & is a Distinguished Service Alumnus from IIT-Bombay, a PGDM from IIM-Bangalore, a Basic Mountaineering Degree from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (Uttarkashi) & a Black belt in Karate. Doesn't it sound incredible? Well that has not been the case from the beginning.  Tune in to find out how this sports lover had an academic bent to have a science background and finally become an entrepreneur.  Key takeaways from the show: *How can Sports & academics co-exist. *Tips to prepare a business model. *How to do customer acquisition.  *What mistakes one must avoid.  For more such inspiring & intriguing leadership stories visit our website at http://www.podium.in (www.thepodium.in)  We are also on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thepodium.in/?hl=en (@thepodium.in) and have a Whats app community of fellow entrepreneurs & startup enthusiasts at http://www.podm.in/growwithpodium (www.podm.in/growwithpodium)  Join us there to stay updated on the latest from The Podium.in 

Dec 2020

1 hr 6 min

It is rare that you come across a high school graduate who has chosen entrepreneurship as his career path.  But our guest this week, is someone who was determined to be an entrepreneur & had made this choice on completing of his 12th Boards!  How? When? & Where? - Those pieces of the puzzle he was yet to figure out.  But when you set your mind to it, there’s no stopping you. And this was true for Sanjeev Bikhchandani as well.  Co-Founder of Info-Edge - India’s premier online classifieds company in recruitment, matrimony, real estate, education and related services.  Naukri.com, Jeevansathi.com. 99acres.com & Shiksha.com are just a few of the big names in his portfolio.  Tune in as we get into a candid chat with Sanjeev, to know all about his journey right from his days as a junior account executive to his time at IIM Ahmedabad where he found the idea for his product.     In this episode hear Sanjeev talks about the very beginning of his journey to intensely working, learning and finally achieving his entrepreneurial dream.  Key takeaways from this episode: * Things to look for in jobs  * What businesses succeed  * How to take investment decisions

Nov 2020

1 hr 4 min

As an IIT Bombay graduate in metallurgical engineering and materials science, trying to figure out his way through life, he was not really sure what he wanted to choose as his field of work per se. A problem-solver, Harsh Shah is always thriving and striving to make an impact. In this episode, he shares with us personal and professional experiences he encountered during his quest.  Starting Fynd and building it through thick and thin, he takes us back to the process of it, sharing profound insights on how he garnered his way to a successful e-commerce business.   He is committed to building a seamless consumer experience and revolutionising retail-tech.  Let’s hear him speak about anything and everything from taking the business live to building strong collaborations, a hyper local presence, building a quality catalog, scaling up, and much more on how the e-commerce model works.  Key Insights:  Creating customer engagement  Analysing consumer  behaviour  Creating seamless shopping experience Raising funds for a retail-tech business 

Nov 2020

1 hr 32 min

“Designing a website doesn’t create a business, creating a business creates a business.”  He went on to be an entrepreneur empowering millions of retailers. He has revolutionised the retail industry with the help of two key factors: technology and supply chain innovation. Undaunted and determined, Tanutejas, our guest today at Founder Thesis, has always taken a step ahead of his comfort zone. Before starting his breakthrough journey at the B2B e-commerce company, ShopKirana, he had also ventured into two other companies which he identified were not scalable in the long run. Nevertheless, after his four-year stint in Napster Era- a new age media agency connecting brands with customers, ShopKirana happened which changed the game. The Indore-based startup has 12,000 plus retailers on its platform and is consistently expanding. In this conversation, Tanutejas shares insights from the startup world, talking about a range of topics from retail, venture capital, funding, scaling up to disrupting the mom-and-pop stores and building an impactful business story.   Tune in to the full episode to know how he converted the unorganised structure of Kirana stores to a revolutionary success story.  We are on IG at @thepodium.in and on the web at https://thepodium.in/ (thepodium.in ) Takeaways from our conversation: How does the Online Retail Business Model work Disrupting  logistics and  supply chain in the retail marketplace Lessons from a Data-driven world  Connecting  Kirana Stores with brands  Understanding retailer behaviour 

Nov 2020

1 hr 43 min