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.




S03E01: Unpacking the four ‘Ts’ of investing with Ankit Sarwahi, Managing Director of Middle East Venture Partners

TAM, technology, team, and timing. There are the four ‘Ts’ that Ankit Sarwahi, Managing Director of Middle East Venture Partners looks for in a startup when investing in them. In our latest episode, we catch up with Ankit the MD of MEVP, one of the biggest venture capital firms in the MENA region whose portfolio companies include Anghami, Rain, and Nana Direct. Ankit talks to us about his early journey, the differences he sees in the Indian and Middle Eastern startup ecosystems, his four...


S02E48: The eight phases of cold calling with Charlie Locke, Co-Founder of SDR Nation

In this episode we talk to Charlie Locke, sales leadership expert and Co-Founder of the SDR community, SDR Nation. We explore the key skills that SDRs need to succeed. When founders should hire SDRs, and how they can incentivize them to retain their top sales talent, and the ways in which the industry is changing. Charlie also breaks down the eight phases of cold calling and how SDR professionals can identify their weaknesses and put theory to practice to boost their conversions. Listen...


S02E47: Founder Institute presents How to Build a Customer-Centric Startup with - Lucas Fox, Head of Relationship Management, Brex & Pradeep Rathinam, Chief Customer Officer, Freshworks

In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast hosted by Founder Insititute; Ryan Micheletti, Head of Global Operations at Founder Institute talks to Lucas Fox, Head of Relationship Management, Brex, and Pradeep Rathinam, Chief Customer Officer, Freshworks about how founders can build a customer-centric startup. They talk about how to define a customer-centric startup, the best practices of customer-centric startups, and how founders can listen to their customers without moving away from the...


S02E046: Alex Theuma of SaaStock on building Europe’s largest SaaS conference (2020)

"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 as Alex talks to us about why building a community is important for startups. 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 learnings he made in his career, and how to...


S02E45: Building and scaling a RevOps engine for startups with Siva Rajamani, Founder and CEO, Everstage

Revenue operations or RevOps is a key growth engine that a startup needs to put into place to become a scale up. The RevOps engine helps companies streamline their sales processes and their commission and incentives payouts. In this episode, we talk to Siva Rajamani the Founder and CEO of Everstage. Siva tells us about when startups should look to build a RevOps function, the talent that founders should look to hire for their RevOps teams, the key goals and metrics RevOps teams should track,...


S02E44: Live episode - Getting acquired: All you need to know about startup exits with Andrew Gazdecki and Rowland Savage

A lot is talked about fundraising and billion-dollar exits. But those are rare. How should startups get more realistic about building companies and look for meaningful exits? What’s the right way to approach an M&A so it makes sense both for the buyer and the seller? In this episode, we unpack startup exits for founders with Andrew Gazdecki, the founder of startup acquisition marketplace MicroAcquire and Rowland Savage, VP of Corporate Development at Freshworks and the author of How to...


S02E43: Carson Drake, VP of Sales and BD at on building modern sales teams for product and app-based startups

With experience across multiple geographies including India and the US; and with experience across some of the biggest startups in the world including Uber and Airbnb, Carson Drake knows what it takes to build modern sales teams that grow revenue across different markets. In this episode we talk to Carson about his journey, launching Uber Eats in India, building trust with partner vendors, and how he has acquired over 7000 customers with, a startup that helps you set up your...


S02E42: Rebekah Bastian, CEO & Co-Founder of OwnTrail on building diversity and inclusion in startups

Today companies not only want to focus on profitability but also create a positive social impact. With consumers identifying strongly with brands that are committed to the greater good, profitability and positive social impact have become intertwined. In this episode, we speak to Rebekah Bastian, CEO, and Co-Founder of OwnTrail and an award-winning writer, who is a strong advocate of such an approach to company building. We talk about: 🚀Rebekah’s journey from Product Manager to VP of...


S02E41: How Iddo Gino, Founder of RapidAPI, built the world’s largest API hub

When he was 18 years old, Iddo Gino founded RapidAPI, a platform that allowed users to find, connect and manage APIs. Today the platform is the largest API hub in the world, where almost 3 million developers can discover, test, and connect to thousands of APIs. In this episode, we sit down with Iddo to talk about his journey into the world of programming, the importance of building a community, how he approaches VCs and manages relationships with them, and his thoughts on the developer...


S02E40: The product marketing framework every startup needs: Kevin Murray, VP, Product Marketing at Freshworks

Pitch, plays, proof, and plans are the four Ps of product marketing that Kevin Murray, VP of Product Marketing at Freshworks uses to elevate a brand’s marketing. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast Kevin walks us through each of these four Ps and how companies can leverage them. He talks about how companies can perfect their pitch with the right messaging, how to set up plays with repeatable sales motions, how to build analyst relations and get proof in the marketplace and how to...


S02E39: Sara Varni, CMO of Twilio on the four horsemen that drive startup growth

Sara Varni has spent more than a decade scaling marketing organizations for various enterprise SaaS companies. Currently, as the chief marketing officer of cloud communications platform Twilio, she looks after all of marketing including growth, brand, and product marketing, public relations, developer relations, and events. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, she talks to us about the four horsemen of a marketing org - Inbound, outbound, sales reps, and partner organizations and how...


S02E38: How founders can set up and lead sales teams with Jen Abel, Co-Founder Jjellyfish

As Co-Founder and Partner at Jjellyfish, a sales consultancy with experience guiding 120+ early-stage startups, Jen Abel has seen how early-stage sales teams can fail. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast Jen talks about why the onus lies with founders to make the early sales and get direct feedback from their customers about their product. She talks about the difference between a buyer and a user, how founders can hit the $1 million revenue mark, how to set up a sales team post the...


S02E37: Peter Johnston, Founder of Polywork on building the world's most powerful people search engine

A founder is often someone who recognizes a gap in the market and looks to address this gap. Our latest guest is one such founder who has spotted a gap in professional social media networks and is looking to provide a solution to it. As the founder of Polywork, Peter Johnston is looking to change the way professional social media networks operate. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, he talks to us about the problem with professional social media channels, how the idea of Polywork...


S02E36: Sales plays for high-growth teams with Joe Manuele, SVP Corporate and Business Development, Dialpad

If you’re a founder and are wondering how to really get sales right, or if you’re a sales leader and want to figure out how to hire people, help them level up and really propel your company into the next orbit, you must listen to Joe Manuele, the SVP of Corporate and Business Development at cloud communications company Dialpad. For several years now, Joe has had a ringside view of the transformation in the selling process. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we talk to him about his...


S02E35: The sales road map for early-stage startups with Ken Lundin, Founder of Ken Lundin & Associates

Launch, Lift, Locate, and Level Flight. These are the four stages that Ken Lundin, Founder of sales consultation group Ken Lundin & Associates, prescribes to early-stage startups to attain high growth. On this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we caught up with the sales leader to talk about 🚀How the selling process, sales teams, and sales talent need to pivot during the pandemic and beyond 🚀Breaking down the sales alpha roadmap and the four stages of Launch, Lift, Locate, and Level...


S02E34: Marketing trends, ABM, and product-led growth for startups with Heather Zynczak, Board Member of DemandBase

Marketing has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Today data empowers marketers to understand where their dollars are going and what their return on investment is. Heather Zynczak, a board member at DemandBase and ex-CMO of Pluralsight, has had a firsthand view of this change in the field. In this episode, she talks to us about the changes in marketing trends and how startups need to react to them. Why she thinks the way Account-Based Management is defined is problematic and how...


S02E33: Dave Kellogg on the two essential SaaS metrics for a SaaS startup

Dave Kellogg, known as the ‘Yoda of SaaS metrics,’ is our latest guest on The Orbit Shift Podcast. We talk to the SaaS veteran about 🚀The two essential SaaS metrics - ARR and ARR growth 🚀The importance of picking a big enough TAM 🚀Importance of measuring NDR 🚀CAC vs NDR, when to use what 🚀The limitations of an NPS 🚀Why startups shouldn’t become metric slaves This episode was recorded live at SaasBoomi’s annual event. Get $10,000 free credits to use Freshworks products...


S02E32: Marketing and metrics that matter with Melissa Sargeant, CMO of Litmus

With Melissa Sargeant, the chief marketing officer of email marketing company Litmus, we explore the role of a chief marketing officer, how they’re hired, why they last the least in the c-suite, and e-mail marketing, one of the most powerful channels for marketers. Get $10,000 free credits to use Freshworks products (including the brand new Freshworks CRM packed with AI-based lead scoring, phone, email, and activity capture) by joining the Freshworks for Startups program. Click here to...


S02E31: Decoding Value SaaS with Prasanna, Partner at Upekkha

When you sell subscriptions to a SaaS product that needs to be renewed frequently, it is necessary to prove the value of your product to customers every day. This not only prevents them from churning but also eventually makes them evangelists for your product. This is the essence of value SaaS. In our latest episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we talk to Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, the Managing Partner at SaaS accelerator Upekkha about value SaaS. We discuss how founders, can cut through the...


S02E30 The founders guide to navigating a boardroom with Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures

Founders are often in the trenches when it comes to fund-raising, making new hires, and driving their company’s growth. What often goes under the radar however is how founders can navigate their way through a board room. In this episode of The Orbit Shift Podcast, we talk to Cindy Padnos, a VC with 25 years of experience in the tech industry who sits on the board of six companies. We talk about 🚀What is the profile of an ideal chairperson 🚀When should founders get an independent board...