Welcome to a new episode of NextBigWhat Radio with a boat load of insights, learnings and wisdom.
Our guest for this episode is Bal Krishn Birla. A man with an incredibly diverse resume and range of interests. As the co-founder of AskLaila and Zopnow, he has been involved at the highest levels of tech, but along with his music group ‘Bhoole Bisre Geet’ and poetry, he’s no slouch when it comes to the arts either. Birla has had varied business interests throughout his career and is quite the storehouse of entrepreneurial and startup wisdom.
In this interview with Ashish Sinha, founder and CEO of NextBigWhat, you will hear about the successes and failures that Birla has dealt with in his career, his advice to Indian startups, and how entrepreneurs should steel themselves to life’s ups and downs.
- “There is always a perceived aspect and realistic aspect of any profession. I was running restaurants and one day a few of my waiters were missing, so I took up the waiter’s role with a notepad and my neice happened to be around. She asked me ‘Mama, you went to IIT and you’re a waiter here!?’ and I said ‘buddy, this is what being an entrepreneur is all about’.”
- “I was fired from my job, and four days later I was on stage performing and dancing for 2000 soldiers!”
- “I met a kid from IIT who wanted to setup a ecommerce startup… when I asked about his role models, he said ‘when we woke up to the startup world, we only saw ecom companies taking off’. Hence their role models were loss-making funded companies operating on scale and not someone who built core algorithms or technologies.”
- “An Israeli guy I met told me something very interesting. He believed that since Indians have a ready market of a billion people, they look at selling x at z price and scaling. Others from smaller nations have to focus on R&D since that is the only way they can dream of scaling to a big size.”