Unboxing supply chain excellence | Amitava Saha @ Xpressbees

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 Saha 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

Ep 32 – Sheba and Dr. Pradnya Parasher share a coffee

Presenting a conversation over coffee with Dr. Pradnya Parasher.

Dr. Parasher is Founder & CEO of ThreeFish Consulting. ThreeFish is a talent and organisation development consulting firm and represents Hogan Assessments in India. More on her is on her Linkedin.

Evangelising Crypto in India | Nischal Shetty @ WazirX

Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it. Our guest on this episode 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 & CEO, WazirX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

In a candid conversation with Akshay Datt, Nischal Shetty 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

Ep 31 – Sheba and Siddhartha Prakash share a coffee

In this episode Sheba converses with Siddhartha Prakash.

Apart from being the Founder-Director of Daily Wage Worker, an NGO he runs, Siddhartha also the Director at Shawview Consulting, based in Geneva.

More about him is on his Linkedin.

My Experiments with Chai | Nitin Saluja @ Chaayos

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 that 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 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 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.
  • The strategy adopted during COVID.

Ep 30 – Sheba and Ina Purie share a coffee

In this episode, host Sheba Maini converses with Ina Purie. Ina is Curator, Author, and a Documentarian.

More about her is on her Facebook page.

NYC to India. Hokey-Pokey to Epigamia | Rohan Mirchandani @ Drums Food International

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, 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.

From by-lanes of Delhi to an IPO at Dalal Street | Dinesh Agarwal @ IndiaMART

In this 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? 

  1. Cultural challenges of living in a foreign economy. 
  2. The ups and downs of establishing an internet company in India.
  3. The dot-com boom from someone who saw it happen! 
  4. How did IndiaMART get their first client paid order and how did they generate leads.

Ep 28 – Sheba and Shilpi Singh share a coffee

In this episode, host Sheba Maini converses with Shilpi Singh, a Leadership Coach & Creative Entrepreneur.

Tapping the Billions in B2B ECommerce | Rahul Garg @ Moglix

“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.