Kausshal Dugarr of Teabox on disrupting a legacy biz with a billion cups of tea

Welcome back to the second episode of The PlayBook – a brand new podcast from FactorDaily bringing conversations with the doers and inventors about how they build products of impact in India. In the first episode, we discussed “How Anand Jain used frugality lessons from childhood to build CleverTap.”

In this episode, I sat down with Kausshal Dugarr, founder of Teabox, an online tea retailing startup. I have tracked Teabox’s journey for five years now, since I wrote this story for TechCrunch.

Teabox has now shipped over one billion cups worth of its speciality tea, and there’s a lot to learn from Dugarr’s playbook of disrupting an age-old business using technology and imagination.

Tune in to listen and learn more.

How Ritesh Arora learned from failures to bootstrap, then turn BrowserStack into a $60m rocket ship

If you’ve been following the mainstream startup movement in India, it’s likely you’ve never heard of BrowserStack, or its low profile founder Ritesh Arora.

But if there’s one startup playbook you must learn from, it’s the BrowserStack journey.

By the time BrowserStack earned its first million-dollar revenue in the year 2012-13, the founders Arora and Nakul Aggarwal were still working out of coffee shops.

Bootstrapping can be lonely, sometimes frustrating and even mean slow growth rates.

However, with two startup failures before building BrowserStack, Arora was not new to challenges.

“We had over 50 investors saying no when we tried raising funds,” Arora tells me.

BrowserStack’s current annual revenues are estimated to be around $60 million

Listen to this podcast with Ritesh and learn the BrowserStack journey.

William Bissell of Fabindia on building brand, lessons from the journey

“Giving just returns to your investors and shareholders is a restrictive model for business. Business is such a powerful force, it needs to stand for a higher purpose,” Bissell tells me in this episode of Outliers.

Bissell, who took over the business in 1999, is now the vice chairman of Fabindia.

If you want to learn from William’s journey of creating a “built to last” brand, listen in.

Why Environment, Sustainability are hot for Amuleek Singh of Chai Point

Amuleek Singh Bijral, the founder of Chai Point, is an outlier for many reasons. For me, Amuleek is an outlier because of his undying focus to ensure Chai Point is sensitive towards the environment. And he believes being environment-friendly makes business sense too. Also, he’s in my list of Indian founders who I believe are building institutions that will last.

In this conversation, there are some never-told, amazing back stories about Chai Point’s innovative packaging, business strategy, and organization culture.

Listen in.

How Vinoth Chandar of ChuChu TV made it a top global brand on YouTube

With over 24.5 Billion views and more than 38 Million subscribers across its channels, ChuChu TV is one of the top video creators on YouTube from India.

Vinoth Chandar, founder and CEO of ChuChu TV, began the channel in 2013 with a nursery rhyme video titled ‘Chubby Cheeks’ sung by his daughter, which went viral and received over three hundred thousand views in two weeks. Today the company has grown both in India and globally and boasts multiple channels creating content for kids — even catering to an international audience through ChuChu TV Canções Infantis (Brazilian Portuguese) and ChuChu TV Canciones Infantiles (Spanish).

In this episode of Outliers podcast, Chandar talks about his journey from working in the IT sector to building a successful global YouTube company from India.

Sebastian Thrun on flying cars and solving today’s problems

Can Bengaluru’s traffic jams be solved with flying cars? For Sebastian Thrun, the Google X founder and among the world’s top AI and robotics scientists, flying cars are no more science fiction.

Thrun, the cofounder of online education startup, Udacity, believes that learning new things is the only way to survive.

“You can only learn something new if you’re bad at something,” he tells me.

We recorded this episode of Outliers podcast in February this year when Thrun was visiting Bengaluru.

Listen in to make sense of disruptions that aren’t just going to shape our future, but are perhaps ready to make an impact in our present too.

Recommended reading: Sebastian Thrun: ‘The costs of the air taxi system could be less than an Uber’

Kishore Biyani on his survival lessons for the future

Kishore Biyani’s entrepreneurial journey has been a rollercoaster ride since he first started selling fashion fabric to garment manufacturers in November 1983. Over the last four decades, Biyani has been through several cycles of business and technology disruptions, including the economic slowdown of 2008 when he had to scale down the business, negotiate with the lenders and rejig the operations.

For Biyani, cash-rich and aggressive conglomerates such as Reliance and Tatas on the one hand, and new age disrupters, including Flipkart and Amazon, on the other, have posed a never-ending battle.

“My father used to tell me that in my kundali, in my horoscope, something is written that everybody around you, with you, will make wealth — and you will never make wealth. So I still believe in that quite a lot. I think I am ‘Andhon mein kana raja’, I am not great,” he tells me in this episode of Outliers podcast.

Biyani’s latest ammunition to fight these battles is a combination of his customer base and technology-powered data insights for making decisions.

“I asked a legendary investor one question: ‘How do I remove emotions and gut and instinct from my decision making?’ He said, ‘Data.’ And from that day onwards, I started working on data,” he says.

“Data doesn’t lie, data has no hierarchy, data has no caste, creed; it’s the most secular thing you can always think of, and I think the person who used to take every decision by gut or instinct is now saying that data is the only way to take decisions.”

Please do listen in, and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes if you like it.

Recommended reading: Retailer Kishore Biyani: ‘We Believe in Destroying What We Have Created’

How Nandan Nilekani brings people together to create lasting impact

Most of us have known Nandan as the cofounder of Infosys, and the brain behind Aadhaar and India’s recent financial platforms, including “the IndiaStack.”

While all of the above make for a good bio of Nandan, they don’t necessarily make him an outlier.

From my days of tracking Infosys since 2000 to writing early stories about Aadhaar, it’s been fascinating to watch how he brings different stakeholders with absolutely opposite views on the same table together.

And his ability to be both a thinker and a doer positions him uniquely to build products and institutions that last.

So how does he build things that create impact at scale?

What’s Nandan’s playbook like?

Do listen in to learn more

Guneet Monga’s journey producing next gen movies in a world ruled by the incumbents

Guneet Monga has always been a disrupter. In Bollywood, where the power centers of celebrity actors, cinema distributors and agents dominate everything, Monga has been pushing for a new future for a long time.

When Period. End of Sentence, a Netflix film co-produced by Monga, won an Oscar earlier this year, it was more than just a coveted trophy.

“It proves the new future, shows hope,” she tells me.

India has become a fascinating battlefield for the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and several others looking to engage with the next generation of consumers. The intersection of high data speeds, the world’s second-biggest smartphone user base, and the quenchless hunger for entertainment is driving the market into a new tizzy.

Monga, the producer behind some of the other popular movies, including Gangs of Wasseypur and The Lunchbox, shares her journey building her company Sikhya into the next-generation powerhouse that produces movies for the digital platforms.

Her journey has many lessons for anyone looking to carve out a new future in a market ruled by the incumbents.

And yes, there’s an amazing backstory to the Oscar-winning movie Period. End of Sentence.

Please do listen in.

How Anand Jain used frugality lessons from childhood to build CleverTap

Welcome to The Playbook. A brand new podcast from FactorDaily bringing conversations with the doers and inventors about how they build products of impact in India. The idea is to get under the hood, go behind the scenes, and offer deep insights from their playbooks of building products and ideas that matter.

Founded in May 2013 by Anand Jain, Sunil Thomas and Suresh Kondamudi, CleverTap has raised $41.6 million so far and is valued over $125 million.

But that’s not the story.

As a 12-year-old teen growing up in a lower middle class family in Ahmedabad, Anand watched and learned the value of frugality from his mother who stitched dresses to make ends meet in a small tailoring shop.

“Every time she would stitch a fall to a sari, we would make two rupees, and it would cost 50 rupees for every shirt I had to buy. So I knew it would take 25 saris to earn one shirt,” he says. “It would take an hour’s work by my mother to earn a shirt.”

“It’s very easy to spend money, but to earn money is really hard.”

“Can we be more resourceful instead of throwing resources at a problem.”

Anand became a self-taught entrepreneur when he was just 12 and had lost his father.

“I would get unused detergent powder from a popular factory, package it as soaps and sell them door to door.”

But this isn’t just a rags to riches story, either.

It’s more about applying the lessons in frugality, customer understanding and product building.

Listen in to learn more about what makes CleverTap among the fastest growing and most admired software products from India.