The Prop-tech Pioneer | Dhruv Agarwala @ Housing.com and PropTiger

From being embroiled in controversies to becoming one of the leading companies in the real estate sector, this is the story of a remarkable turnaround!

In this edition of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Dhruv Agarwala, CEO, REA India Pte. Ltd., a company that has Housing.com, Proptiger.com and Makaan.com under its umbrella.

An alumnus of Harvard University, Dhruv started his entrepreneurial journey way back in 2006 with iTrust Financial Advisors which laid the foundation for his subsequent venture. In 2011, he started PropTiger.com, a one-stop real estate platform for homebuyers to search, shortlist and buy properties.

Since then, PropTiger has gone on to become a behemoth in the real estate sector by acquiring Housing.com, which today is the leading real-estate portal in India.

Tune in to this episode to hear Dhruv speak about his journey of simplifying the home buying experience in India.

What you must not miss!

  • Proptiger’s initial marketing plans.
  • How REA’s integration worked?
  • Confronting REA’s market uncertainties.
  • The acquisition story of Housing.com

Building The Shopify For Philanthropy | Dhaval Udani of Danamojo

If anything has become omnipresent in recent years, it is using technology to simplify businesses.

In this edition of The Spotlight, Akshay Datt speaks with Dhaval Udani, Founder and CEO, DanaMojo, India’s first exclusive online payments solution platform for NGOs.

Dhaval is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and has previously worked with Give India, both as a volunteer and the CEO. Banking on this experience, he started DanaMojo in 2016, intending to simplify and manage online payments for NGOs, thereby allowing them to focus on increasing their donations.

Tune in to this episode to hear Dhaval speak about how DanaMojo is transforming the way NGOs interact and engage with their donors.

Key takeaways!

  • How do NGOs get listed with DanaMojo?
  • Purpose of The Giving Marketplace.

Building The Tinder For Hiring | Raj Das @ Hirect

Recruiting talent has always been a tough nut to crack. And the pandemic proved to be one such trigger that has spiked unemployment rates globally.

In this edition of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Raj Das, Co-founder and CEO, Hirect India, the country’s first chat-based hiring app. He is an alumnus of IIT Bombay and has worked as a product manager before starting his entrepreneurial journey.

As the pandemic has started to phase off, the hiring has peaked, especially in the high-growth start-up. In an attempt to create a Tinder-like platform for job search and recruitment, Raj started Hirect in March 2020, which enables candidates to directly connect with founders and HR managers. And within two years, Hirect has over 60k verified recruiters and 5 million app downloads and has expanded its operations to U.S. and Singapore.

Tune in to this episode to hear Raj speak about how Hirect is working towards simplifying both search and hiring processes through its AI-based platform.

What you must not miss!    

  • Hirect: A COVID success story!     
  • Why focus more on value proposition?  
  • Hirect’s revenue model.

Democratizing Access To Wealth Management | Sandeep Jethwani @ Dezerv.in

In this edition of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Sandeep Jethwani, Co-founder, Dezerv.in. He is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and has an extensive experience in the wealth management domain.

Before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Sandeep worked with IIFL Wealth for more than a decade. In a bid to democratize access to investment expertise, he started Dezerv.in in 2021. This wealth tech platform integrates domain expertise and technology and creates high-performing long-term portfolios and provides exclusive investment opportunities for its members.

Tune in to this episode to hear Sandeep speak about how Deserv.in is tirelessly working towards making wealth management a reality for all.

What you must not miss!

  • Why is crucial to hire the correct team?
  • What is Integrated Portfolio Approach?
  • Dezerv’s user onboarding journey
  • Why hyper-communication is important?

Why strategy and creative for TV and Digital are necessarily different? | Karan Amin [#15]

In this mobile-first world, one must include YouTube in the marketing plan.

But is it wise to blindly copy-paste TV ads on YouTube and make them un-skippable?

In this episode, Vani speaks with Karan Amin, who explains the difference between TV and digital and what brands must do to win at digital.

The Mobility Pioneer | Rajiv Vij @ Carzonrent India Pvt. Ltd.

In this edition of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Rajiv Vij, a person who became the Czar of rented cars in India. Rajiv is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Carzonrent.

An alumnus of FMS Delhi, Rajiv started his career at Hindustan Motors which gave him exposure to the taxi business at that time and at ITC’s International Travel House allowed him to interact with the best and the biggest car-rental brands in the world.

Building on this experience, he started Carzonrent in 2000, with a seed capital of 29 lakh. And today, through numerous pivots, it is one of the leading personal ground transportation service providers with a network present in more than 75 cities in India and has recently ventured into sustainable mobility solutions with Plug Mobility.

Tune in to this episode to hear Rajiv speak about his inspirational journey and how with Carzonrent he attempts to streamline the largely unorganized personal ground transportation industry in India.

What you must not miss!

  • Why asset-light model proved to be the best way to scale up?
  • EVs – The Future and the gamechanger
  • Launching Plug as mobility-as-a-service

Revolutionizing Online Shopping | Vipul Jain of Degpeg

E-commerce disrupted the way we shopped by moving countless people away from physical stores in favour of shopping online. Live commerce takes us a step further by combining online shopping with live streaming.

In this edition of The Spotlight, Akshay Datt speaks with Vipul Jain, Founder and CEO, Degpeg. Vipul is a seasoned marketer who has worked with numerous companies before starting his entrepreneurial journey.

In a bid to bring a new era of e-commerce, he started Degpeg in 2021. Degpeg is a cloud-based B2B social commerce platform that enables multi-streaming on various social platforms and allows for online shopping from these live streams.

Tune in to this episode to hear Vipul speak about how Degpeg is transforming the digital shopping experience.

Key takeaways!

  • Learnings from Vipul’s previous ventures
  • Degpeg’s pricing model
  • The future of live commerce in India

Building A Network For B2B Service Providers | Naman Sarawagi @ Refrens.com

You all must have heard – It is not the destination but the journey that matters. This is the same with entrepreneurship.

In this episode of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Naman Sarawagi, Co-founder, Refrens.com, a Bengaluru-based venture that offers free invoicing, payments and expense management system.

Naman started his journey as a product manager at Freecharge and then went on to work with multiple start-ups. In 2018, he started Refrens.com which is a SaaS product helping freelancers and small and medium businesses in managing leads, invoices and payments from a single dashboard.

Tune in to this episode to hear Naman speak about his journey of self-discovery and his vision behind scaling Refrens.com.

What you must not miss!

  • Naman’s Freecharge journey
  • Refrens’ monetisation strategy
  • Fundraising journey

How to sell to the ‘Badhta Buland Bharat’! | Vinay Singhal @ Wittyfeed/Stage – OTT For Bharat [#14]

If we were to put it in numbers, 10% of the internet users in the country are ‘India’. The rest is Bharat!

Yet most of us marketers fail to understand the real Bharat and fail to deliver authenticity in our content.

In this episode, Vani speaks with Vinay Singhal, the flag-bearer of Bharat. He is a two-time entrepreneur who previously headed Wittyfeed which was India’s largest viral content company. In his second innings, he is taking Stage to newer heights. With Stage, he is on a mission to build an OTT for Bharat and offer content in numerous languages and dialects.

This episode is truly a masterclass for one who wishes to get the marketing for Bharat right!

Building The Gen-Z Coffee Brand | Arman Sood @ Sleepy Owl Coffee

There is nothing like a great cup of coffee in the morning that charges you up for the day, and this eternal love for coffee led three friends to start a cold-brew coffee company that today is one of the leading D2C coffee brands in India.

In this edition of Founder Thesis, Akshay Datt speaks with Arman Sood, Co-founder, Sleepy Owl Coffee, a company that is at the forefront of coffee innovation in the country.

In a bid to bring the whole cold-brew coffee experience to India and with the mission to provide easy access to the best quality coffee, Arman founded Sleepy Owl in 2016 with Ashwajeet Singh and Ajai Thandi. Today, it has expanded its presence in more than 1700 cities and has recently closed a Series A round of USD 6.5 million.

Tune in to this episode to hear Arman speak about how Sleepy Owl is disrupting the country’s at-home coffee industry with its unique products that are redefining your cup of coffee!

What you must not miss!

  • The Chikmagalur chapter of the Sleepy Owl story.
  • Pivots made during the pandemic
  • Sleepy Owl’s unique customer acquisition strategy
  • Fundraise and subsequent product expansion journey