Grooming his way to success | Shantanu Deshpande @ Bombay Shaving Company

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.

Powering Digitization of Offline Merchants | Shailaz Nag @ DotPe

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.

Ep 45 – Sheba and Aditya Arya share a coffee

Presenting a soul conversation over coffee with Aditya Arya.

Aditya is an ace photographer and the founder of Museo Camera. More on him is on his LinkedIn

A Saucy Appetite | Viraj Bahl @ Veeba Food Services Pvt. Ltd.

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 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.

Ep 44 – Sheba and Manbir Kaur share a coffee

Presenting a soul conversation over coffee with Manbir. She’s a Team Coach and she helps Tech Leaders unleash HUMAN potential, boost performance & lead a happy life.

More about her is on her Linkedin.

Digitally Empowering Car Buyers | Anurag Jain @ GirnarSoft

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.

Ep 43 – Sheba and Vivek share a coffee

Presenting a soul conversation over coffee with Vivek Govil. Vivek is the Managing Director of Oxford University Press and also an amateur musician. More about him on his Linkedin

Ep 42 – Sheba and Rebecca share a coffee

Presenting a soul conversation over coffee with Rebecca Lewis. Rebecca is an Accredited Executive Coach & Facilitator. More about her is on her Linkedin.

Building An Ecosystem For Car Owners | Amit Lakhotia @ Park+

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

Ep 41 – Sheba and Rajaram Sankaran share a coffee

Presenting a soul conversation over coffee with Rajaram Sankaran, Group CEO & Director on Board at Abacus Pharma (Africa). More about him is on his Linkedin.