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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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/
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
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/
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
Instagram: @TheBlindFoldedPianist | Twitter: @JoeyBlindFolded
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
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
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.
Special thanks to Kannan and Srimeenakshi Sankaranarayanan for their insightful answers to the questions we discuss today.
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?
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
In this episode, Krishna catches up with Kaushik Kannan from Chargeebee - an orator in the making, Kaushik is also one of the brains behind the Chennai Storyteller's tribe that has done a wonderful job connecting the sales and marketing community in the Chennai SaaS scene.
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.