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The Orbit Shift Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Practical insights from founders, investors, and experts to help scale your startup. Powered by Freshworks for Startups.

Practical insights from founders, investors, and experts to help scale your startup. Powered by Freshworks for Startups.




Practical insights from founders, investors, and experts to help scale your startup. Powered by Freshworks for Startups.




S02E03: Raising funds, hiring, and crossing the chasm with Hemant Mohapatra, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners

It's not very often that you have a venture investor at the peak of his career in Silicon Valley coming back to India. But Hemant Mohapatra did. In India, he's an investor at top venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners. He's already backed several entrepreneurs and built a reputation for himself as a thoughtful investor. In this episode of the podcast, Mohapatra tells us why he is bullish about the Indian startup ecosystem, the metrics he looks at when evaluating a startup, what...


S02E02: The man who ‘saved the BBC’ on how to achieve product-market fit, build for customers, hire talent and raise funding

Anthony Rose is a serial disrupter. He first disrupted file sharing with his application Kazaa. He then disrupted streaming with the launch of the BBC iPlayer.And he is now looking to disrupt the legal industry with his legal tech platform SeedLegals. We spoke to the entrepreneur about the road he took to achieve product-market fit, how cash strapped early-stage entrepreneurs can persuade talent to join them, the biggest learnings of his career, how founders can integrate customer feedback...


S02E01: Content, commerce and community: How The Better India found the Holy Grail of Media

In a world flooded with content, how do you stand out as a digital media company? How do you then build this community up to 90 million readers? How do you grow profitably? The answer has a lot to do with community. And of course, content and commerce. In the first episode of our second season Dhimant Parekh, Founder of the Indian digital-media platform ‘The Better India’ talks to us about how he married content, commerce, and community to build his company. He talks about ⚡️ His early...


S01E17: Getting startup hiring right: 6 leaders tell us how

This week we bring you a special episode that's all about hiring for startups. It's the last episode of this year and we've been busy lining up guests for the next season. In the last four months, we've had 16 guests on the show and we asked many of them about how they look at hiring. This episode features Cal Henderson, the co-founder of Slack, investor and advisor Elad Gil, Rahul Chari, the co-founder of India's largest payments company, Tyler Sloat, the Chief Financial Officer of...


S01E16: 42+ million users and counting: Aditya Kothari, Co-Founder of Chingari shares lessons from failures

A few weeks ago when we recorded this podcast, Aditya Kothari's startup was at 25 million users. Now it's at 42 million. That's the speed at which Chingari, the short video app is growing. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, Aditya talks to us about the startups that didn't grow and failed, raising funds, and how they're scaling Chingari. Get $10,000 free credits to use Freshworks products (including the brand new Freshworks CRM packed with AI-based lead scoring, phone, email,...


S01E15: The Vymo Story: How this startup got to 60+ enterprise customers and 125,000 sales reps

When Yamini Bhat was a consultant at McKinsey & Company she helped companies transform their sales process. It was here that she saw salespeople were using CRMs merely as a customer database and not making the most use of them. This led to a gap in companies knowing what led to results and what didn’t. This is where her idea of starting Vymo a personal sales assistant that sits on top of the CRM came from. Vymo now helps 60+ enterprise customers and 125,000 sales reps crush their...


S01E14: Offensive and defensive startup plays during Covid with Armando Mann and Elad Gil

Our latest episode is a fireside chat between Armando Mann, Chief Business Officer at Hopin and Elad Gil, entrepreneur, investor and author. Elad walks us through how he sees companies coming out of the pandemic, the offensive and defensive moves a startup can take to protect themselves from uncertainties that arise during a pandemic, how companies can leverage the pandemic to recruit the best talent, explore new opportunities in mergers and acquisitions and go after enterprise clients. The...


S01E13: Peak product management for startups with Ravi Mehta, Ex CPO, Tinder

Intuition, analytics, and research are the three pillars that you should rely on when you make a product decision according to product leader Ravi Mehta. We had a chance to sit down and go in-depth with Ravi Mehta, former chief product officer at Tinder, and several other top tech companies including Facebook and Microsoft. In this conversation, we talk about his journey as a product manager, his learnings from his days at Facebook, TripAdvisor, and later Tinder. We also took on questions...


S01E12: How to build and scale a modern sales engine with Jose Morales, CRO of Freshworks

As a startup founder, you must have gone through your fair share of sales playbooks, all claiming that they contain the ‘secret sauce’ to generate more leads and close more deals. This episode with sales leader Jose Morales is not that. In this episode, we explore the nuances of building a modern sales team — when to build one, how to build one, and how to set it up for success. “Your customer looks at your sales rep as a trusted advisor. Someone that really understands their needs,” says...


S01E11: Robbie Kellman Baxter on how the membership model can help scale startups

Startups that have a subscription model are valued a lot more than startups that have to repeatedly sell to their customers. This is why publicly-listed Netflix or privately held Notion, and many others are valued at a premium. Even traditional businesses have started to see this trend and are now building their own subscription businesses. But what is it that makes them successful? Why do they tend to do better than traditional companies? In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we...


S01E10: Slack Co-Founder & CTO Cal Henderson & Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham discuss leadership, failure, side projects and success

Twenty years ago, Cal Henderson was working in London while Stewart Butterfield was making a game called Game Neverending. Henderson, a big fan of the game, broke into the email server to join the internal mailing list of Butterfield’s 4 person company. Eventually, Cal convinced Butterfield to hire him. The game was not going anywhere, so they started focusing on a side project which eventually became Flickr and eventually sold to Yahoo in 2005. The two founders went back to building another...


S01E09: Rahul Chari, Co-Founder & CTO of PhonePe on how startups can bounce back from Covid-19, avoid growth hack hell, and balance agility and compliance

On Monday, payments startup PhonePe said that it has crossed 250 million registered users with over 100 million monthly active users. The Bengaluru headquartered startup became one of India's biggest payments startup in a short span of six years. PhonePe's co-founder and chief technology officer Rahul Chari spoke to Vinod Chandramouli of Freshworks about how the company stays focused and sticks to the mission even when there are distractions. Chari, who was earlier a top engineering leader...


S01E08: STS Prasad on hiring early engineers at startups, scaling engineering teams while staying nimble

As the engineering leader at Freshworks, STS Prasad plays an integral role in the development of the Freshworks suite of products. In the latest episode of the podcast, we talk to him about engineering at startups. We covered ⚡️How founders should go about hiring engineers for their teams ⚡️ What should the role of the early engineer at startups be ⚡️ How to identify the right tech co-founder ⚡️ How Freshworks remains an eternal startup using the 'Freshwave Model' ⚡️ Retaining the...


S01E07: Ranjeet Pratap Singh of Pratilipi on being rejected by 70+ seed investors yet staying on mission

Our latest guest is Ranjeet Pratap Singh the co-founder and CEO on Indian language storytelling platform Pratilipi. Ranjeet walks us through how frustrated by the lack of access to Hindi literature he built Pratilipi, much before the concept of Next Billion Users became mainstream. He talks to us about how he built his team and scaled the platform to over 20 million monthly users, the lessons he learnt from raising funds and his future strategies to monetize his platform. About the...


S01E06: Gopi Rangan of Sure Ventures: On raising seed capital, pitch decks and early teams

As a new immigrant Gopi Rangan’s American Dream was nearly cut short by a car accident. Fortunately for the ace investor, he was insured, shielding him from the financial burden he would have to undergo. This incident is ingrained into Gopi as the founding partner of Sure Ventures where he invests in insuretech companies. On this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast Gopi talks to us about who he invests in and how he identifies these ‘agents of change’, what he looks for in pitch decks, why he...


S01E05: Being Unapologetically Ambitious with Shellye Archambeau

Continuing our series of talks from our recently concluded AgainstAllOdds startup summit we have with us, Shellye Archambeau. In this episode, Shellye talks to Preethy Padmanabhan of Freshworks, on her journey to become one of Silicon Valley’s first female African American CEOs and recounts how she transformed MetricStream from being a Silicon Valley ‘problem child’ to a sustainable multi-million dollar business. She talks about how founders can balance short-term interests and long-term...


S01E04: Alex Theuma of SaaStock on building startup communities

‘’Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is king’’ is the mantra that Alex Theuma repeats to us when quizzed about some of the learnings he has had as the founder of SaaStock — one of the largest SaaS conferences in the world. Join us for another episode as Alex talks to us about why building a community is important for startups. In this episode, he also walks us through his career and how he grew a SaaS blog meet-up into the global conference SaaStock, some of the mistakes and...


S01E03: Virginia Sharma — Startup lessons from JioSaavn, the largest streaming platform for South Asian music and audio entertainment

Today we have a special episode for you. As part of AgainstAllOdds, our startup summit, we had the chance to sit down with Virginia Sharma, Vice President of Brand Solutions at JioSaavn, the largest streaming platform for South Asian music and audio entertainment. Ms Sharma walked us through the founding and development of the Saavn app, how they combine data and art to make decisions at Saavn, her forecast for podcasts, the value of “edutainment” and the reason why AR Rahman collaborated...


S01E02: Tyler Sloat decodes the subscription business, the metrics and the levers that matter

Used to be that we subscribed to newspapers, magazines and gym memberships. But these days, every business is trying to become a subscription service. Movies, music, transportation, groceries, fashion, lawn maintenance and the list of subscription businesses in our lives go on. Why is that? What is it about the subscription economy that makes it a superior business model? And what are the nuances of building a subscription business? In today’s episode Tyler Sloat, the chief financial officer...


S01E01: Startups outside Silicon Valley are winning big, investor and author Alex Lazarow tells you how

On this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we sit down with Alex Lazarow, venture capitalist and author of Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs from Delhi to Detroit Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley. Mr Lazarow walks us through how startups outside Silicon Valley in what he calls ‘the frontier’ are innovating, what they are doing differently and what other startups from Silicon Valley and beyond can learn from these frontier companies; he tells us why founders should aspire to...