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Direct to a Billion Consumers
22 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Episode 13: Ashutosh Valani, Founder, Beardo, Renee, Villain
“Your face needs a different kind of product from your scalp and this was the logic behind starting Beardo”. In this episode, join Arjun as he talks with Ashutosh Valani. Hear Ashutosh’s story of building Beardo to one of India’s most iconic D2C brands and building the men’s grooming category along the way. Ashutosh talks about scaling a brand with his college mate Priyank from 0 to 1 using the most innovative viral marketing strategies. Learn specifically about the right time to say goodbye as Arjun and Ashutosh both share their experience about exiting their 1st brands to strategics and what they are both doing in the next leg of the journeys.
34 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
Episode 12: Deepak Shahdadpuri, Founder, DSGCP
“Challenger means you’re taking someone on so, I have always stuck to and continue to stick to the term insurgent brands”. In this episode, join Arjun as he brings his first investor to the show – Deepak Shahdadpuri. Hear the story of how Deepak got enamoured by the consumer brands ecosystem in India and become one of its earliest backers. Over the last 15+ years, Deepak has invested in and supported 60+ of Asia’s most iconic consumer brands including Sula, Veeba and Epigamia. Learn specifically about his philosophy of investing, his views on the future of consumer brands and the 10 themes that he is backing at DSGCP going forward.
45 minutes | May 31, 2021
Episode 11: Shauravi Malik, Co-Founder, Slurrp Farm
“We took our 1st 6 products to a school in Delhi and they killed my favorite. Kids never lie and so made by 2 mothers is the reality of everything we do”. In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Shauravi, Co-Founder, Slurrp Farm. Hear Shauravi’s story of moving from the corporate world of investment banking and investing to rolling up her sleeves and starting a food brand for kids with her co-founders. Hear about the trials and tribulations of creating new-to-the-world products and navigating through the offline sales ecosystem. Through this episode one can learn about pushing to launch the best products, building a category, choosing the right investors and building team culture digitally through the pandemic.
38 minutes | May 13, 2021
Episode 10: Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-Founder, Wakefit.co
“Anything that we have a doubt…we set up a 100-150 customer download. By the end of those calls, we have our answer.” In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Chaitanya, Co-Founder, Wakefit.co. Hear Chaitanya’s story of moving from management consulting to navigating 2 start-up failures with humility and resilience. He then talks about how Ankit (his co-founder) and him found the idea of Wakefit and built one of India’s largest D2C brands. Through this episode one can learn about rapid scale, learning from failure and listening very closely to what a customer wants. Definitely a must listen for people just starting out!
27 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
Episode 9: Bala Sarda, Founder, Vahdam Tea
“Building an Indian brand, that’s what has been driving us from Day 1.” In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Bala Sarda, Founder, Vahdam India. Hear the story about the inception of Vahdam and the new age way Bala took his family’s tea legacy to the world. He talks about starting at 23 and building a brand that eventually got love from Oprah and Ellen. Through this episode one can learn specifically about how being customer-first allowed Vahdam to take Indian chai to 100+ countries and build thousands of loyal fans along the way.
32 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
Episode 8: Ambareesh Murty, Co-Founder & CEO, Pepperfry
“I sometimes think we are a logistics company which incidentally sells furniture.” In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Ambareesh Murty, Co-Founder & CEO, Pepperfry. may not Ambareesh is an e-commerce stalwart and it is not as well known that he was the business head for Ebay in India before Pepperfry. He takes us through the evolution of e-commerce in India over the years and talks about how he was able completely disrupt the furniture space with his current venture. Through this episode one can learn about how Ambareesh and the team built a model to get India to consume furniture online by blending online consumption with an offline experience (Studio Pepperfry). Learn specifically about the taking on complex problems and solving them for the best customer experience – in this case logistics.
36 minutes | Aug 22, 2020
Episode 7: Govind Shrikhande, ex Shoppers Stop
In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to retail stalwart Govind Srikhande. Govind take us through a time capsule of retail in India through his 34 year career. From the evolution of the store concept to the denim revolution, he has seen the industry change first hand through the years. Govind also spends time walking us through his 15+ years at the helm at Shoppers Stop – a company that created the department store concept in India. Understand the importance of building long lasting relationships with partners and learn about India’s largest and longest serving loyalty program, First Citizen. This episode is deviation from our path of digital first brands but serves as an important bridge to show the power of offline retail in India.
31 minutes | Jul 17, 2020
Episode 6: Tarun Sharma, mCaffeine
“I am who I am and, I will consume products that make me believe in myself". In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Tarun Sharma, Founder of mCaffeine. Tarun talks about how a sore eye led him to stumble upon the use of caffeine remedies, since the 10th century. This inspired his partner and him to create a lifestyle beauty brand based on caffeine. Understand the importance of creating an unapologetic brand with a personality that may not mean something for everyone, but resonates with those who love it. Learn specifically about the need for brands to be data focussed in digital marketing and how an open culture in the organization led to an almost 0% attrition rate.
30 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
Episode 5: Mohit Sadaani, The Moms Co.
"It almost felt like as parents we shouldn't have to compromise on the quality of products and so together.... we decided to build something".In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Mohit Sadaani, Founder of The Moms Co. Mohit talks about his journey from being a consultant at Mckinsey to becoming a parent. Find out the common product problem his wife and him faced as new parents, which led to the birth of a company. Mohit talks about how social media (not mass media) and e-commerce allowed a brand to develop with a community alongside it. Learn specifically about the ability of brands to use social media as a two-way communication channel and pick up relevant and actionable business insights from conversations with patrons.
28 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Episode 4: Manish Chowdhary, Wow Skin Science
"Everything we build keeps the customer in the front seat because the customer makes the product a hero or zero".In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Manish Chowdhary, Founder of Wow Skin Science. Manish talks about his amazing journey from bankruptcy in a business selling laptops, to building one of India's largest digital first brands. Manish talks about the importance of relationships to scale his company, having built the business with his brother and two of his best friends. While Wow has seen the evolution of the e-commerce ecosystem in India, it has kept one principle at its core– customer obsession. Learn specifically how a brand can be hyper-scaled using the power of digital, while building for the long term.
31 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
Episode 3: Ankur Goyal, & Me
"A woman focused brand is not niche – it caters to almost 45% of the population!".In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Ankur Goyal, Co-Founder, & Me. A Stanford graduate, Ankur's 'aha' moment at graduation led him to conceptualise this brand focused on Women's health. Dismissed as a niche idea by advisors, he went against the tide - and launched innovative products like PCOS drinks and even chocolates! Share his vision on what it takes to bring people together to develop "new-to-the-world" product concepts. Hear how & Me pivoted channels to build a brand where consumers eventually became brand advocates and ambassadors.
30 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Episode 2: Vedang Patel, The Souled Store
"Everything is figure-outable". In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Vedang Patel, Co-Founder, The Souled Store. They discuss how Vedang’s lack of job satisfaction led to an epiphany that is now India’s largest fan merchandise store. Vedang shares his insights on the evolution of the e-commerce ecosystem in India and tying up with some of the world’s largest franchises including WWE, Friends and Marvel. Learn specifically about the importance of mindset in entrepreneurship and his knack of picking up learnings from failure and converting them to success.
34 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
Episode 1: Rohan Mirchandani, Epigamia
"As entrepreneurs, the most efficient thing we can do is throw darts but, just make sure that every dart you throw is aimed better and better".In this episode, join Arjun as he talks to Rohan Mirchandani, Founder and CEO of Epigamia (Drums Foods). They discuss how Rohan's move home from the US to India was catalytic in creating one of India's most loved yogurt brands, Epigamia. Rohan shares his learnings of working in the Indian ecosystem, pivoting from an ice cream parlor to FMCG and the importance of customer buy-in for new product categories. See how an entrepreneur used the power of customer feedback to solve India's seemingly unsolvable cold chain problem.
7 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
Episode 0: Introduction
"India is a big opportunity.... yet, building a brand in India is a Herculean task".Meet your host Arjun Vaidya, a proud Indian and D2C Entrepreneur. Arjun is the CEO of Dr. Vaidya’s - India’s #1 Online Ayurvedic products brand and also on 2019’s Forbes 30 U 30 list. He is passionate about both Ayurveda and navigating the exciting yet complicated world of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). In this introduction he talks about the key challenges and opportunities of distribution, brand building and e-commerce in the Indian ecosystem. Join him for this podcast series full of real world insights, from founders of disruptive brands and see how they go Direct to a Billion Consumers.
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