The Takeaway ClubAug 29, 2020
Ep #39 - Media and Cinema, from the lens of a film critic Ft. Baradwaj Rangan
In the latest episode, I speak with Baradwaj Rangan an Indian film critic, writer, and formerly the deputy editor of The Hindu. He later became a senior editor of Film Companion. Rangan won the National Film Award for Best Film Critic in 2006. Before joining The Hindu, Rangan wrote for The New Indian Express. He has also authored two books, worked as a screenwriter, and is a teacher at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.
Rangan has also authored two books: Conversations with Mani Ratnam (2012), wherein he interviews film director Mani Ratnam on the perspectives of his films, and Dispatches From The Wall Corner: A Journey through Indian Cinema (2014)
Ep #38 - Charting the New Media path Ft. Kishen Das | Content Creator
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club, I talk to Kishen Das, one of the most popular content creators in India. Kishen started his new media career with Fully Filmy and has subsequently established himself as one of the pioneers of this medium with his Netflix Show ‘Menu Please’, Spotify Podcast ‘TimePass with Das’ among other content creation efforts. In 2022, he also made his debut in a feature film with Mudhal Nee Mudivum Nee, a coming of age romantic drama which opened to highly positive reviews. In this conversation, Kishen Das opens up about the day-to-day’s of being a new age content creator, navigating ups and downs, and how to plan out a career in new media among other themes.
Ep - #37 - Awakening the Rainmaker: A conversation on Gender Equality w/ Nishtha Anand, Best-Selling Author
In the latest episode of the podcast, I got a chance to speak with Ms. Nishtha Anand a best-selling author, Tedx Speaker, and previously a strategy professional in investment banking.
Nishtha, a gold medalist graduated from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi and has spent the last 10 years establishing herself as a collaborative young leader with the distinctive ability to ideate and implement transformation projects focused on people, processes and culture.
During her career, she witnessed a lack of women leaders in different arenas—corporates, academia, bureaucracy, etc. Driven by her passion for inclusion, she started work on her book, “Awakening the Rainmaker - A Guide to Gender Equality for Individuals and Organizations”, with a vision of forming an equality handbook for daily life and the workplace which is now the #1 ranked Human Resources book on Amazon.
In our conversation, we talk about the state of gender equality in India as things stand, the many nuanced topics from her book, and some crisp practical takeaways on implementing a truly gender neutral culture both at workplaces and households.
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/Awakening-Rainmaker-Guide-Gender-Equality-ebook/dp/B09HNTMW8V
What I LOVE(d) about the book?
At a time when most takes on feminism often seem to take a sullen tone at the state of affairs, Nishtha’s book as well as this conversation is a refreshing optimistic view that will have you look forward and proactive about building a truly gender neutral environment both at work and home.
Ep #36 - Decoding the OSlash hype w/Ankit Pansari | OSlash
"OSlash, OSlash, OSlash"
If you are in tech, you'd have definitely heard these words at least once in the last few months - whether it was your team-mate or friend going gaga over the product after getting early access or someone on Twitter raving about OSlash's viral marketing campaign.
For the first time, Ankit Pansari, Co-founder and CEO at OSlash makes a media appearance sitting with Krishna decoding the hype behind one of the hottest prosumer products built out of India.
Check out: https://www.thetakeaway.club/ for more such conversations.
Ep #35 - Six Degrees of Body w/ Vignesh Vijayakumar | Freshworks
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club, I speak with Vignesh Vijayakumar, more popularly known as Body in the Freshworks and Sastra circles. The most accurate way to describe Body would be as an enigma. He probably has at least a thousand friends, making a complete mockery of the Dunbar number - hence the title, Six Degrees of Body.
Body and I have a lot in common - we are both from Sastra, love Freshworks, journalism, WWE, pop culture references. In this episode, we both turned to midnight RJs, completely unwinding, having a Joe Rogan-esque conversation on all the topics I've mentioned above. If you are just starting out your career, or still in college, or find yourself nostalgic about life in the 90s, I think you'll definitely cherish this conversation!
Ep #34 - Building the world's largest backpackers hostel w/ Dharamveer Singh, CEO, Zostel
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club, today I speak to a very special guest and one of the most popular names in the Indian startup ecosystem, Dharamveer Singh Chauhan, who is the co-founder and CEO at Zostel, the largest backpackers' hostel in the world.
Why is this episode special?
This is probably only the second time on the podcast where I am speaking to a founder after having actually used their product and become a huge fan. (In a few weeks, that number would become three after my latest chat with O'Slash’s Ankit Pansari. Stay tuned for that one!)
After my recent solo trip to Zostel Wayanad and falling in love with everything about the place and its people, there was only one thing I wanted to do when I got back: Track down the guy who had beautifully designed everything I experienced there and here we are!
Previously on The Takeaway Club:
Ep #33 – Greatest Growth Hacker in SaaS Commits $100m to Indian founders through Founderpath | Nathan Latka
Nathan Latka is an investor, podcast producer, founder, a Facebook and currently the Founder and CEO of Founderpath.
Nathan started his first company Heyo after dropping out of college, which he then sold n 2015. He then started the Top podcast where he interviews top SaaS founders and has published over 3000 episodes including conversations with founders from companies like Freshworks, G2, Zoom among many many others.
He also published a book in 2019 titled 'How to be a capitalist without any capital' which is a Wall Street Journal best seller.
Nathan is currently the founder and CEO at Founderpath, a fintech company which helps SaaS companies increase cash flow without diluting ownership by offering loans based on their monthly recurring revenue.
You can find Nathan here:-
Website - http://nathanlatka.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/NathanLatka
Amazon link to his WSJ best-seller - https://www.amazon.in/How-Capitalist-Without-Any-Capital/dp/1529374189/
Ep #32 – Sanjeev NC | Masterclass: Art of Meme Making - Creator Mode, Context Switching, Getting Cancelled
In the latest episode, I speak with Sanjeev NC, who is a fast-growing content creator known for his parody videos based on everyday happenings in startups - situations like product demos, sales presentations, standup calls have all been fodder for his hilarious content helping him rake up hundreds of thousands of views on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The closest and most accurate comparison I can think of for his videos is: Silicon Valley X TikTok.
The conversation I had with Sanjeev is nothing short of a Masterclass on Meme Making where he breaks down even the smallest of details with utmost sincerity and I cannot recommend this episode enough if you're someone creating content on the internet.
Ep #31 Decoding the Ultrahuman hype w/ Mohit Kumar| Ultrahuman
If you are an active Twitter user or a fitness enthusiast, you would have come across Ultrahuman at least once in the last few months. In their own words, Ultrahuman is the world's most advanced metabolic fitness platform to help improve your diet and exercise based on glucose biomarkers.
Like a lot of us, I've also been in complete awe of the Ultrahuman hype train which has an army of cyborgs who are also its biggest ambassadors.
There are only two other brands I can think of which brings about such fierce loyalty from its users - the OG Apple and in India, the CRED app.
So I decided to break down the walls and understand what exactly Ultrahuman does.
Who better to ask that question than Mohit Kumar, Founder and CEO, Ultrahuman!
Ep #30 – Vedika Jain - On the Road Less Taken, Venture Capital, and Building on the internet | Weekend Fund
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club, I chat with Vedika Jain, who is one of the coolest people on Tech Twitter. Vedika is currently a VC at the Weekend Fund, and previously held product roles at companies like Stripe and True Layer.
Vedika has a rather unusual and one of the most interesting career paths I've come across which started as a 17 year old immigrant to the US, studying Economics at UC Berkley.
In our conversation, we spoke at length about her early life and how some of the decisions her parents made set her up for success, her transition from Product to Venture capital which included writing fantasy memos on weekends by gathering information on TechCrunch and how that eventually led her to Ryan Hoover and the Weekend Fund.
If you are startups, venture capital, unusual career paths or pop culture references, you will absolutely love this conversation!
You can find Vedika at Twitter.
Ep #29 – Aruna Chawla - Building a product in the intimate health & wellness industry | Salad (16+ Contains Adult Language)
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club, we are going to be talking about a very delicate subject but an important one in the context of our country's growth, quite literally.
My guest today is, Aruna Chawla, Founder of Salad, an up and coming D2C brand in the intimate health and wellness industry
For a generation growing up with a lot of hush hush on the topic, and the most prominent mentions for the product coming from a Ross Geller reference in F.R.I.E.N.D.S or awkward television ads during family dinners, this was a great chance for me to understand what goes on behind a product like condoms (pun intended)
We are going to be talking about the business operations and the economics behind a typical company in this industry and what Salad is doing different to take on the market giants.
Ep #28 – Tanvi Raut Dessai - Lessons from building & scaling a new media business | Filter Coffee
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club, I speak to Tanvi Dessai, founder of Filter Coffee, which is one of the fastest growing and favorite newsletters for millennials and gen-z to stay up-to-date on the Indian startup and financial ecosystem.
Tanvi did her undergrad in Biology and went on study LLB. Still in law school, Tanvi started Filter Coffee as a way to scratch her own itch when she realized that the news coverage when it comes to finance and startups was very outdated for the new-age audience.
Inspired by media powerhouses like the Morning Brew and The Hustle, who catered to the American audience Tanvi started out by writing a summary of the daily happenings in the Indian ecosystem for her friends and family in May 20'.
With a funky tone, filled with humor and GIFs, it didn't take long for Filter Coffee to be a hit among startups founders and operators. In less than 18 months, Tanvi has scaled the brand to 14,000+ subscribers and added a team of writers.
Best part? She is only just getting started.
Ep #27 – Srikrishnan Ganesan – On Product Management, Acquisition, Round 2 on startups | Rocketlane
In today's episode, I have Srikrishnan Ganesan, who is a two-time entrepreneur currently building Rocketlane. Srikrishnan graduated from IIM-Bangalore in mid 200's and embarked on a product management career when it was not the obvious choice for MBA graduates.
From there on, he has taken up multiple product roles in companies like Rediff, Verizon, and Jigsee before deciding to build Konotor with his friends. After seeing great traction and success, the company got acquired by Freshworks where he went on to build Freshchat.
After four and a half years at Freshworks, Srikrishnan has come back for round 2 with his old pals to build Rocketlane, a customer onboarding platform for customer success teams.
In this conversation, Srikrishnan candidly shares his journey touching upon product management, the acquisition experience with Freshworks, what motivates him to do the whole startup journey for the second time, and how things are different this time around with more spotlight on the team.
Whether you are a founder, or someone interested in the startup ecosystem keen on learning what it is like to have been and done that, on all things startup you will love this conversation.
Ep #26 – Ranjani Krishnakumar - On Indian Cinema, Film Critiquing, and Running a Small Business | Emdash
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club, I am absolutely chuffed to speak with Ranjani Krishnakumar who is a writer, editor, and marketer with nearly 15 years of experience.
Ranjani runs Emdash, a content consulting firm in Chennai that specializes in B2B tech writing.
She is also a popular film critic with multiple columns on Film, Television, and culture for various publications including Huffington Post and FirstPost.
Ranjani also runs The Whole Works, a platform for learning about writing, productivity, freelancing, small business management and work in general.
If you are someone who is interested in the Indian movie landscape, film critiquing, and writing, you'll love this conversation!
Ep #25 – Vineet Patawari - On Financial literacy, Identifying Market Scope, and Cost of bad UX
In today's episode, I chat with Vineet Patawari - Co-Founder & CEO of StockEdge, and E-Learn Markets; two premier platforms for learning and getting better at financial trading in India.
Vineet started off his career with a license in Chartered Accountancy and then went on to do his Masters at IIM-Indore in the mid-2000's.
Foreseeing the boom of internet and the digital landscape in India, he ventured into Edtech with various ventures and eventually building and scaling two successful companies in E-learn markets which is a financial literacy platform with hundreds of courses, and StockEdge, which is an Equity markets analytics and research platform for retail investors.
In 2020, Vineet was recognized by BusinessWorld as one of the 40 under 40 leaders in the Edtech industry.
In this conversation, Vivek and I talk about how the pandemic has impacted Gen Z's mindset on finance and savings, insights on company building from his unique position in scaling two ventures in parallel and how he is tackling the Dunbar Number problem, and how over emphasis on user feedback paid back rich dividends for his product among other interesting tidbits.
Without further ado, let's jump into the conversation.
Ep #24 – Jivraj Singh Sachar - Masterclass: Art of Podcasting - Consistency, Cold Emailing, and Due Diligence
In today’s episode I have Jivraj Singh Sachar, Host of the Indian Silicon Valley Podcast.
Jivraj graduated from St. Xavier's College (Honours), Kolkata with a B.Com honors in 2020 and started the Indian Silicon Valley podcast when he saw a whitespace within the startup ecosystem to learn from founders' experiences in building and scaling world-class brands in India.
Indian Silicon Valley podcast has since grown into a household name with past guests from companies like Zerodha, Dunzo, Growww, Finshots among others.
Jivraj is also part of the Venture Operations team at AngelList and also founded ACE Humans, a storytelling platform featuring stories of diverse unique accomplished individuals where he has interacted with over 250 extraordinary individuals across different walks of life.
If you are interested in the Indian startup ecosystem or want to build a podcast on your own, this one is a must-listen.
Ep #23 - Vanshika Mehta - The Ultimate Freelance Masterclass
In this episode, I had the absolute delight of talking to Vanshika Mehta, a freelancer who’s creating all kinds of waves on LinkedIn.
Vanshika has been freelancing for close to a couple of years now and is incredibly good and successful at what she does - and that has flawlessly translated into our chat as well.
We break down the ABCs of freelancing, and go all the way upto Z - where Vanshi breaks down everything one needs to know about a freelancing journey.
We talk about processes, pricing, red flags, tools, getting your first project… pretty much everything under the sun when it comes to freelancing.
Whether you are someone looking to pick up freelancing, or already freelancing, I guarantee there’s something new for you to learn from this episode.
Ep #22 – Tejasvita Apte - On the Indian law, Relationships, and Marriages | Couple's Coach
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club™ podcast, I chat with the inimitable Tejasvita Apte, a couple’s coach, legal and relationship consultant, and a TEDx speaker.
She is also one of the Top Writers on Quora, with over 120,000 followers and has written over 2000 answers across law, relationships, spirituality and other topics.
To quote a fellow popular Quoran, Nagarajan Srinivasan, ‘Teja is a true polymath who knows law, politics, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, movies, spirituality, yoga, art, poetry, literature and the epic Mahabharata”.
If you like conversations around law, politics, or relationships, this is a must-listen.
Ep #21 – Ganesh Balakrishnan - On building and scaling startups, love for shoes, and the D2C ecosystem in India | Flatheads
In today’s episode, I talk with Ganesh Balakrishnan, co-founder Flatheads.
Ganesh is part of the famous IIT-IIM mafia and after several years in the corporate world, he built his first company Momoe, a mobile payments product with his friend Utkarsh, which got acquired by ShopClues.
After joining Shopclues as part of the acquisition Ganesh is now back again on the startup road, this time building Flatheads - a D2C footwear brand that is kicking ass.
If you are into startups, or building products, or a lifestyle enthusiast, this one is a must-listen!
There is an easter egg in the last 3 minutes of the episode!
Ep #20 – Sairam Krishnan - On Writing, Marketing, and SaaS | Accel India
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club™, I speak with the one of the best storytellers in the Indian SaaS ecosystem, and a personal favorite. the one and only Sairam Krishnan.
Sairam Krishnan started his career is SaaS ~10 years ago when he joined Freshworks (Freshdesk back then) as only the #2 Marketing hire at a time when you could fit in the entire company into a Toyota Innova!
Over the years he has successfully lead/implemented world-class marketing campaigns including the Failsforce blimp that flew over the Dreamforce conference and has led the marketing efforts for companies like Wingify, Imocha.
In his current stint, he crafts beautiful startup stories for Accel as Marketer in Residence.
Apart from this he also authors two Substack publications, the CMO journal where he writes about marketing, growth, and strategy and the East Coast Road where he talks about his personal experiences, travel, and his love for tea.
In this conversation we get candid about Sairam's time at Freshworks as an early employee, and what it was like working directly under Girish, how Sairam has evolved as a marketer and a writer over the years, the current state of the SaaS ecosystem among other pieces of timeless insights.
Ep #19 - Indumati - Psychology 101
This is one of the most important episodes for myself and the podcast - for both what it means personally and what it represents at a broader level. Mental health is a delicate topic that I've been passionate about and I got a chance to sit down with a subject expert to get their perspective on what it means to study minds for a living.
In this candid chat with Indumati, we touch on some of the most frequently asked questions around mental health, why it is important now more than ever to take interest, and what the road looks like for someone practising psychology in the early 20s.
In the interest of keeping the conversation useful for a wide audience, we don't go around too deep into individual rabbit holes but rather jump places more horizontally - hence, the title Psychology 101.
About the guest:
Indumati is a psychology professional specializing in therapy and counselling; her clientele includes Wipro, Cure.fit among other companies.
Note: For Episode guide and Show Notes, visit: https://www.thetakeaway.club/podcast/psychology-101/
Ep #18 – JPK on the state of Journalism, Career transition, and Ikigai
In the second episode of Season 2, I had the pleasure of taking to the inimitable JPK,
In today’s episode, I have Jayadevan PK or JPK as he is fondly called, who works with the startup partnerships team at Freshworks as an evangelist, focusing on efforts around content and brand building to grow the visibility of the Freshworks for Startups program.
He's the host of The Orbit Shift Podcast, co-host of The Use Case Podcast, a columnist at Moneycontrol, and a commissioned author at HarperCollins with his own book coming out later this year.
His views on startups and technology have been published on several platforms including the BBC, The Hindu, CNBCTV18, and Deutsche Welle.
In his previous avatar as a journalist and later an entrepreneur, he has helped set up early teams spanning product, design, technology, and editorial, raising capital, working closely with writers and editors, setup metrics and processes to track growth and performance, strategize and bring innovation to newsrooms. In 2015, he co-founded FactorDaily, an award-winning newsroom.
For Episode Guide and Show Notes, visit the Takeaway Club™ website - www.thetakeaway.club
Ep #17 - Roshan Cariappa on Podcasting, Content Game, and Personal Growth
As The Takeaway Club™ returns for a Season 2, I chat with Roshan Cariappa, who has over 12 years’ experience as an entrepreneur and operator at early stage as well as fast-scaling growth-stage startups. Roshan specializes in doing the zero to one journey and setting up cross-functional teams at fast-growing startups and currently heads Marketing at Vymo.
Apart from this, Roshan also hosts two incredibly successful podcasts – The Startup Operator where he talks to founders and other leaders in the Indian startup ecosystem and Bhāratvaarta, a podcast that brings together diverse perspectives on matters that impact India and its people where he talks to academics, entrepreneurs, technologists, and other experts.
Between the Startup Operator and Bhāratvaarta, Roshan has published over 100 episodes in the past year alone, talking to the likes of Sridhar Vembu, Balaji Srinivasan, Ajit Pai, Amish Tripathi, Harsh Madhusudan among other esteemed guests.
04:52 - Who is Roshan Cariappa and what is his story?
08:45 - Social media game - How platforms have evolved over different eras?
12:40 - Guiding principles in early 20's
18:30 - Hard choices
19:30 - Frame of mind doing two wildly successful podcasts in completely different genres
25:30 - Preparing for conversations on dense topics with niche experts
29:30 - Perks of going with an open mind when it comes to podcasting
32:10 - Personal favorites from Startup Operator & Bharatvaarta
36:40 - What does a typical week look like for Roshan Cariappa?
39:30 - Random Deck
P.S: The Episode guide may not be in an aligned format in certain music platforms - if you are having trouble reading the content, kindly visit the podcast website: https://www.thetakeaway.club/podcast/roshan-cariappa/
Season Finale - Deepak Mehta - IIMs, Education System, and Indian Society.
The season finale of The Takeaway Club™ is very special because in a lot of ways it exemplifies what this podcast is about - deep, candid chats with interesting, super inspiring people.
It was an absolute privilege to have Deepak Mehta on the show.
Deepak did his undergrad in computer science at BITS-Pilani, Goa, and went to do his MBA from IIM- Ahmedabad. He currently works as a manager at CRISIL.
He is one of the most popular personalities on Quora, where he has over 167,000 followers. he has written almost 4000 answers on the platform on every topic under the sun including Indian society, Comics, Politics, Economy, Education system, Marriages, World affairs.
Deepak is beloved on the Quora platform for his highly researched, incisive, insightful answers that leave you thinking. His ~4000 answers on the platform have been read over 100 million times and he has been awarded the Quora top writer for 5 years straight between 2014 and 2018.
His articles have been published in a number of global media houses including HuffPost, Forbes, Apple News, CNN, Business Insider, The Independent, Yahoo among others.
Personally, I’ve been following him on Quora for years now, right from the time I got into the platform back in my school days - he is one of the smartest persons I’ve had the fortune of learning from; He has had a phenomenal impact on my personality, my ideas, and my ideals.
At ~3 hours, this is the longest episode on The Takeaway Club™ so far - a personal milestone that I couldn't have pulled off, if not for Deepak's patience and enthusiasm throughout. While the episode length might seem daunting unless you are an ardent podcast fan, I promise once you start listening to Deepak, that will be the last thing on your mind and you'll be left wanting for more.
Though the length is not always an accurate measure of a conversation's quality, in this case, it is certainly true, with the episode getting better and better as we progress.
While the entire conversation was like a minesweeper, filled with lessons and takeaways, I was really amazed at Deepak's perspective on society, stereotyping, and the principle of marriage that really strikes a chord with the current climate.
It was an incredible conversation and in a way, a highlight reel of his ~4000 answers from his 7 years at Quora - a condensation of his wisdom in an audio format, if you will.
Given the wide-ranging topics under discussion, and the sheer length of the episode, I thought it'd help to break it down so you can jump around, focus on what you are curious about the most.
The first half of the chat focuses on Deepak's life, his journey - IIM days, the lessons he learned, how his relationship with his father has impacted his life in a profound manner. This is a must-listen, particularly for anyone in their undergrad, or wants to pursue a degree in management and want to hear a candid perspective of someone who has been there and done that.
The second half is all about Deepak's perspectives on delicate topics such as the education system, marriage system, society as such, that makes you see the same old things in a totally new light.
For the show notes, head over to www.thetakeaway.club
Episode #15 – Karthik Subramanian – on the Art of Storytelling, Building a personal brand, Taking the startup leap.
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club™ podcast, I talk to Karthik Subramanian, a kickass storyteller. He is pretty popular on LinkedIn, and there is a good chance you’ve come across at least one or two posts of his there. And If you haven’t for some reason, I’d urge you to connect with him - a treat of stories from startups to brands to history awaits you!
I’ve known Karthik pretty much all my adult life - he was literally one of the first persons I interviewed with when I began my career out of college. We've had about half a dozen interactions since then and he never fails to amaze me - whether it is with his fascinating storytelling ability or his affable personality, or his sheer depth of knowledge in marketing.
And anyone who has known him, or even interacted with him briefly will agree with me.
In a world of noisy LinkedIn posts and running behind vanity metrics, he is someone who is doing things the right way.
Whether you are trying to build a brand on LinkedIn, still finding your feet in your career, passionate about storytelling, there are a lot of golden gems in the conversation.
Head over to www.thetakeaway.club for the show notes and episode guide.
Episode #14 – Saiman Shetty – Life at Tesla, Lyft, Mistakes as a founder, Not Settling for status quo.
In the latest episode, I chat with Saiman Shetty, an engineer turned product manager from the Silicon Valley, who has worked at Tesla, Lyft, and Nuro.
In his time in the US, Saiman has co-founded two startups, the first one being Hygiea, during his time at college.
Hygiea is a cool hardware/ software product that monitors garbage levels in trash cans. You could set it up in your trash cans, and it immediately tracks and relays whether the bin is full or not, predicts how much time is left before it needs emptying, helping enterprises manage their time and resources better.
Hygiea was a huge hit among the peers and went on to win many awards and accolades - and was one of the four winners out of the 128 startups that participated in Silicon Valley Business Competition at San Jose State University and received a one-and-a-half-year incubation offer from Plug and Play, one of the most respected incubators and investment firms in Silicon Valley which has incubated Google, PayPal, Dropbox and many other successful companies in their early stages.
Currently, Saiman is working as a technical program manager at Nuro, the robotics company that builds self-driving cars for delivering goods and is also building his second start-up called resumepuppy.com an online tool to help build resumes.
Given Saiman’s experience, this was a very thoughtful and truly wide-ranging conversation - we touch upon the mistakes he made as a founder, his experience in working at world-class companies, and how the company culture differs at these places and many more topics.
Check out thetakeaway.club for show notes from the conversation.
Episode #13 – Hari Ganapathy - Love for Travel, COVID-19 crisis, Learnings as a Leader
In the latest episode of The Takeaway Club™, I had the privilege of talking to one of the smartest and exuberant founders in the Chennai startup ecosystem, Hari Ganapathy, founder and CEO, PickYourTrail.
It is a conversation that I’ve been looking forward to, for quite some time - We had actually planned to get this done in the month of July, but one thing or another came up and we had to reschedule a bunch of times but we had a lot of fun around the whole back and forth in the build-up to the call as well, turning it into a meme fest.
You can check out the memes in the show notes on The Takeaway Club™ website - www.thetakeaway.club
If you are hesitant about listening or rolling your eyes at the length of the episode, you can throw your doubts out the window because the conversation absolutely flies.
There is not one part that you would actually want to skip – right from his encounter with a German family as an exchange student tp the paradigm shifts in the travel industry.
We talk at length about several aspects of his journey – some, straight-forward like the lessons he learned from his time at InMobi, and others, more intricate; like connecting the dots, founders and their personality, and how it impacts a company’s culture and so on.
Anyone who knows Hari knows how eloquent and generous he is with words. But even I was surprised at how open and candid he was about certain delicate subjects like the current crisis, and the question of survival for PickYourTrail and such.
All in all, it was a fun, super insightful conversation and I hope you have as much fun listening, as we did when recording!
Short of time? You can find the episode guide to help you jump straight to the parts you might be interested in.
Episode #12 – Jerome Mathew – The Blindfolded Pianist
In the latest episode, I chat with Jerome Mathew, a musician in the making. J is an absolute rockstar with the piano and plays his songs blindfolded as a dedication to the original composers.
We had a candid conversation where we talked about his music background, his decision to go blindfolded, his musical inspiration, his memorable performance at a college fest that later became a sensational hit on Youtube, and more.
Last but not least, Jerome plays 3 of his favorite songs blindfolded, live on the episode for 5 full minutes!
You can check out his work here:
03:25 – Shout out to Mukil Ganesan
06:40 – Where it all began: Age 5
11:20 – College fest and the subsequent viral hit
21:50 – Live Performance ❤️
28:48 – Going blindfolded
35:00 – Taking the leap
37:30 – Musical Inspiration
40:00 – Balancing between the 9 to 6 and the 6 to 9
43:25 – A friendship for a lifetime
For show notes, head over to www.thetakeaway.club
Episode #11 – Ankit Chawla - Personal Finance 101 Ft. Millennial Paisa man.
Personal finance - it is a lot like going to the gym.
You've heard enough to know how beneficial and life-defining a practice it can be.
Yet, there's a lot of factors like - the lack of knowledge, the complex technical nitty-gitty, etc. that you simply don't know where to start.
In the latest episode, I try to cut through the clutter around the world of personal finance by sitting down with Ankit Chawla, a personal finance consultant by passion who answers the most basic questions around the subject - providing the perfect bedrock for anyone interested in the topic.
Ankit runs a podcast called the Millennial Paisa, where he breaks down the most fundamental aspects of personal finance such as SIPs, Mutual funds, Stock market, in a simplified, easy to understand manner.
He is also the author of the book ‘Make and Grow Money the right way’ that gives a structured approach towards making and managing your money.
01:49 - Introducing the guest
03:42 - Where the passion for personal finance came from?
06:45 - Why millennials have this love-hate relationship toward money management?
09:05 - Kunal Shah's poll on personal finance
11:20 - Best way to go about big-ticket purchases like two-wheelers, Macbooks, etc.
16:20 - Credit Cards: Who is it for and who is it not for?
22:25 - What is a Credit Score?
26:40 - What is an SIP? Why SIP is the perfect way to build financial discipline?
28:57 - Mutual Funds: Index funds
32:42 - Investing in the stock market for an average office-goer
37:08 - Small Case: Investing in ideas
38:45 - Ideal resources to get started on financial markets
For detailed show notes, with links to the resources mentioned on the podcast, head over to www.thetakeaway.club
Summer of Quora: E1 – What if humans laid eggs? Ft. Selva Ganapathy [TAMIL]
In the first episode of Summer of Quora, we're back with Selva Ganapathy, Head of Community, Quora Tamil.
We discuss viruses and their connections with human beings that go back at least 300 million years.
Episode #10 - Shaswath Sekar - Coronavirus 101 with a Virologist
In the latest episode, I got the amazing opportunity to have a much-needed conversation with Shaswath Sekar, a virologist in training, who is working on vaccines for COVID-19 - with the deluge of information dumped upon us by the media, anecdotes from friends and strangers, it has become really messy to understand the crux of this deadly virus - its origin, impact, and more importantly what the science community is doing to get rid of it - that's why I got in touch with someone who's been in the field, fighting the coronavirus long before any of us had even heard its name.
Presenting to you Coronavirus 101 - everything you wanted to know about the coronavirus from an expert's perspective ( including why calling it the coronavirus is not really accurate).
02:40 - As a virologist, what does your day look like?
08:20 - How has the working landscape changed in light of the pandemic?
13:00 - What were the first few weeks like when this got blown up? How was the response within the virologist community?
16:08 - SARS-COV2, COVID-19, Coronavirus - are they all one and the same?
18:48 - How the virus evolved strong enough to infect humans?
25:47 - Why bats are the chief instigators of so many deadly viruses?
27:20 - Why do different people get affected in a different manner - asymptotic, symptomatic, severity, etc.
33:30 - Correlation between blood type and the risk of getting affected
39:10 - What goes on behind the scenes when a person takes a COVID-19 test - why does it take so long to get the results?
49:50 - Could we have actually prevented this pandemic - SARS COV-1, Bill Gates' prediction, etc.
54:25 - Impact of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the science community
55:20 - Crowdsourced Q&A's
01:11:21 - What are some of the promising drugs, works on vaccine etc.
01:16:28 - Are measures to flattening the curve still relevant in a country like India?
Episode #9 – Sahiba Sethi – Bootstrapping HelloMeets, Hustles, and Struggles.
In the latest episode, I sat down with Sahiba Sethi, Founder, and CEO of HelloMeets to get the story on how the HelloMeets platform came to be, life lessons she’s learned in the five years running HelloMeets, mistakes to avoid as a new founder and more.
In a hurry? Jump straight to your favorite part of the conversation
03:45 – Growing up in Kashmir
08:40 – Birth of HelloMeets
20:35 – That eery Netflix coincidence
21:25 – First few months between HelloMeets the idea and the first meet-up
26:00 – Mentors: Offline and Online
28:40 – Scaling the platform
31:50 – Why HelloMeets is a paid platform?
36:25 – Bootstrapped vs. Funding
40:00 – Misc: Dream dinner, Favorite books, Transformational habits
45:10 – What is one piece of advise for new founders?
49:45 – The Billboard message
50:50 – Reversing the tables: What is the Takeaway Club™ ‘s niche?
P.S: Show notes available at the Takeaway Club™ website.
Launching: Summer of Quora Tamil ☀️
When asked what was the mission of Quora, Adam D’Angelo wrote a post explaining how the vast majority of human knowledge is trapped as experiences in people’s heads and that is what Quora aims to bring to the general public – I don’t know if it’s incidental or rather influenced by it, I started The Takeaway Club™ for the same purpose – bringing interesting life experiences to the townhall for everyone to benefit from.
But my Quora connection goes way beyond the shared mission of our respective platforms.
I got introduced to the Quora platform way back when I was in high school and it has been one of my favorite platforms to date – a lot of what I know, and what I don’t know – Quora bridged that gap one answer at a time. I’ve learned more about the ways of life or the laws of science and every topic under the sun from there more than any textbooks.
With vivid stories and wonderful life lessons along with it, from teachers like GV, Balaji V, Deepak Mehta, to Samantha Kannan, Sean Kernan, it is less a Q&A platform and more an online school that would define my ideas, interests, and the kind of person I want to be.
When Quora announced that it is going to bring in several regional languages into the platform including my mother tongue Tamil, I was incredibly happy – because out of all things, language should never be the obstacle that comes in the way of knowledge.
Years later, I now have a chance to repay the wonderful community – by bringing its quality answers and amazing writers to the broader audience in a rapidly growing medium, podcasts.
Listen to my chat with Selva Ganapathy, Head of Community, Quora Tamil on kickstarting an enlightening ‘Summer of Quora Tamil’.
Episode #8- Aishwarya Ashok - Product Marketing, Mental Health Awareness, and 100 copies of Born a Crime.
About the guest:
In this episode, Krishna chats with Aishwarya Ashok, who takes care of product marketing at Zoho Corporation.
Apart from work, she’s the co-lead and Marketing Head for Team Lonepack which is a Non-Profit that aims to shatter the stigma around mental issues and help spread the awareness. As part of the organization, she spearheads a lot of amazing initiatives, including LonePack conversations a podcast focused on mental health.
She’s also on the founding team of The Prodcast, discussing product management and tech w.r.t to the Indian eco-system.
She’s also a co-lead for Women in Product Chennai that aims to empower women in the product & tech space.
She’s also a member of the Harvard Business Review advisory council which is an opt-in research community of business professionals who provide insights to shape HBR's content.
What do we discuss?
- > Some of the initiatives taken by Team Lonepack to dealing with the turbulent emotions during the quarantine.
-> How to pick up reading as a habit for non-readers and 3 game-changing books that Aishwarya would love to gift people.
-> Her admiration for one of the most underrated CEOs in the world at present.
Episode #7- Kovai Sandhya – Generational gap, Work-life balance, and Women at work.
In the latest episode, I got to talk with the "Marvelous Mrs. Maisal" in the making - Kovai Sandhya a.k.a Sandhya Chandrasekaran.
They say throw a stone in B'lore, it either hits a street dog or an IT professional - creating a halo that the IT folks are as normal as it gets in the silicon valley of India.
Here's Sandhya standing out - Tamil at heart, coffee on her hand. And stupid lego blocks all over her floor.
If this conversation were a movie, here's how Roger Ebert would have felt about this.
"It starts off awkward, takes the turn to funny, and leaves you reassessing your stance on important issues in the current setup."
I think she should get her own sitcom.
Episode #6- Surya S – Football: Emotions, Miracles, and Heartbreaks.
That's how much experience (and stories) Krishna and Surya have been between them when it comes to football.
Coincidentally, for both of them, the love affair for the sport began with heartbreak in 2006 - when Zinedine Zidane did the unthinkable in the World Cup.
Since then, they've trodden different paths - one toward the unforgiving Premier league and another to the unchartered Spanish league.
But both have had their fair share of miracles, upsets, and so many unfiltered emotions.
Here's to their journey and that of billions across the world.
Episode #5 - Mukil Ganesan - Growth "Hacking", Zoho times, and the Educational landscape.
In today’s episode, I have one of my close friends Mukil Ganesan - to share his learnings as a Marketer in the SaaS industry.
Mukil takes care of growth at Facilio, an enterprise startup focusing on the property management industry.
He's one of those people, even in a 2-minute conversation will make sure you walk out learning something useful.
In this chat, we talk at length about:
-> Growth Marketing in SaaS and how it has evolved over time - and the skills you need to excel at it.
-> His time at Zoho - from being a nervous fresher to evolving into a kickass growth professional.
-> Why the 'service' centric Indian educational system is obsolete and how institutions can change it.
If you are a SaaS professional, particularly from Sales or Marketing this conversation is a gem!
Episode #4 - Fundraiser: Karthee Vidya Volunteer - Memoirs of an NGO Leader
I met Karthee Vidhya only a few months ago - a brief 2-minute encounter at a networking event.
Honestly, at that time I had little idea of what Team Everest was doing.
Later, after some browsing I realized the magnitude of their life-changing volunteering efforts - since then, I’ve wanted to have this conversation.
In this episode, we discuss at length, Team Everest's volunteering initiatives, how the life of someone who has devoted their entire life to others look like, and how easy it is to change someone's life if we have the heart.
Inspired by Karthee's efforts, we are running an impromptu fundraiser.
For every person who listens to the episode, The Takeaway Club™ will make a fixed contribution to Team Everest’s volunteering programs upto a sum of Rs.10,000.
Episode #3- Kruti Pathak – Layoffs, Working Mom, and Mentors.
In the latest episode, Krishna talks to Kruti Pathak who has 17 years of experience in managing corporate talents – in this chat, they discuss the current job scenario amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, the life of working women, and the importance of having mentors in your career.
Episode #2- Kaushik Kannan (PART II) – 21 days Rule, Mistakes, and LinkedIn.
In the second and final part of my conversation with Kaushik Kannan from Chargebee, we get to the bottom of the (in)famous 21 days rule and whether it really works. Kaushik also talks about his mistakes, what he has learned from them, and his north star metric that has shaped up his every action.
Episode #1- Kaushik Kannan – Goals, Motivation, and Staying Fit.
Here, Kaushik candidly shares his thoughts on setting goals, staying motivated to reach those goals, and how going to the gym might just be the best decision one can make.