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Maharajas of Scale

Technology Podcasts

Maharajas of Scale is a Podcast focused on Indian Entrepreneurs. It is hosted by Krishna Jonnakadla, Co-founder of Mango Mobile TV and Flit. Over the years, India has been home to many stellar startups. These startups have scaled, have travelled the world and created a pathway for others to follow. We, at Maharajas of Scale, celebrate the creative mind. We will take you on a journey to understand, to dissect and to learn from the masters who have scaled it Big.


Bangalore, India


Maharajas of Scale is a Podcast focused on Indian Entrepreneurs. It is hosted by Krishna Jonnakadla, Co-founder of Mango Mobile TV and Flit. Over the years, India has been home to many stellar startups. These startups have scaled, have travelled the world and created a pathway for others to follow. We, at Maharajas of Scale, celebrate the creative mind. We will take you on a journey to understand, to dissect and to learn from the masters who have scaled it Big.






S2 E11 Jag Chima of iPlix: Hitting Business Hatrick

Jag Chima is a second-generation businessman of a different kind. He has built multiple businesses, from mobile retailing to real estate to celebrity fitness companies. The interesting thing about each of these companies is that he has timed them well and made a success out of them Jag has scaled them to meaningful heights within the confines of the market that he was working in. A chance discussion led him to launch and scale a celebrity fitness company that has literally trained all Bollywood A-Listers His latest venture is again timed well, focusing on the creator economy. Jag is bringing the same zeal to the world of creators and influencers as he did with his other ventures. This is an episode very different from what we have had in the past


Sharmin Ali Season 2 Episode 10 : Bringing Emotion and Empathy into content

Emotion is at the heart of everything that we do as humans. As the adage goes and what we are witnessing with modern day Twitter wars, the pen is mightier than the sword. However, using the right words to evoke the right emotions seems more like an art than science. Can technology help us write as well as Kalidasa or the Bard? This is the place where Sharmin Ali is focusing her energies. Sharmin traces her origins to Shantiniketan, the hallowed place of Rabindranath Tagore. Being a Bengali, Sharmin spent the first few years of her professional in high growth environments such as Mu Sigma and Fortune 500 companies in Biz Dev. However, her literary origins and Bengali roots did not go away. Sharmin eventually branched out to build India's Netflix writing as many as 70 scripts on her own. She saw the writing on the wall and sold her scripts to launch Instoried. With Instoried, Sharmin Ali is hoping to change the way people write. Infusing their writing with emotion and empathy is something Sharmin is envisioning. Interesting episode with lots of twists and turns.


S2 E9: Sabeer Bhatia of Hotmail fame is back with a bang!

Mention the name Sabeer Bhatia and it evokes memories of startups, the excitement and frenzy of the dot-com era and more. Sabeer Bhatia is a well known name for pre-millenial Indians who all grew up on the dreams of having a startup and exit like Sabeer did with Hotmail. Sabeer and his co-founder arguably kicked off the dot-com boom. The $400+ Million acquisition of Hotmail by the then pre-eminent company Microsoft opened the eyes of entrepreneurs, investors and industry watchers to the possibility of what the internet could bring. Sabeer was the first in a long line of entrepreneurs that tasted success with the ventures they built. Having tasted this success, they went on to try their hand at various other ventures. Sabeer did the same. He tried to recreate eBay in India calling it Aarzoo and he tried at other ventures. Ever the dreamer, Sabeer is back with a bang with an idea that on paper is likely to give goosebumps. He is in a mission to unleash millions of entrepreneurs just like the millions of email accounts that he unleashed with Hotmail 25 years ago. The vision is audacious but seems practicaly and timely. Listen to the episode to understand his story and how he plans to achieve this daring vision.


S2 E8: Gaurav Mathur of SafeGold : Channeling India's Gold Addiction

Gaurav Mathur had a life similar to Hrithik Roshan's life in the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. He was on the trading floor of the London Stock Exchange and thought his life was set. He could not believe that someone like him who roamed around in chappals (Indian for flip flops) was doing that kind of work, rubbing shoulders with amazing people and getting paid such insane amount of money. However, something kept nagging at him. That he was a misfit in a large organization and that he had to do something different bigger and run his own organization. After trying his hand at running a PE fund, he founded SafeGold. India and Indians are perhaps the largest consumers of Gold on the planet. Gaurav hit upon the idea to provide Indians a way to channel their Gold obsession. Today, SafeGold helps millions of Indians invest in Gold safely. Check out this episode for some amazing insights into the Gold Industry and what SafeGold is doing


Winning with a D2C Brand : Pilgrim Cosmetics' Anurag Kedia: Season 2 Episode 7

What does it take to build a D2C brand? How can we become successful at it? We live in the age of individual and local brands. Not a day passes without us discovering a brand in cosmetics or food or another consumer product introduced to us. The advances made by industries make it possible for anyone to launch brands and products with a bit of work. In this in-depth episode, Co-Founder of the successful spa chain Four Fountains De-Stress Spa and Co-Founder of Pilgrim Cosmetics Anurag Kedia takes us thru his journey, how he spotted the opportunity for a D2C brand, how they succeeded in launching during Covid and other aspects. If you want to win with your D2C brand and in online commerce, listen to Anurag here.


S2E6 - Bringing health insurance access to millions at scale affordably- Plum's Abhishek Poddar

Insurance is a very interesting business. Nobody thinks they need one until they face a certain situation. For a country with chronic illnesses and perennial under penetration of healthcare facilities, systemic solutions have not necessarily kept pace with the needs of the people. People in MSMEs or in the unorganized sector don't have access, let alone the right pricing. The result is a large number of uninsured and underinsured employees with no health insurance benefits. This problem begged for an intervention and that's a problem Abhishek Poddar of PlumHQ is solving. Abhishek Poddar is a serial entrepreneur. Having tried his hand at building a couple of startups in the past and having attended Stanford, he knew he had it in him to make it happen. How did Plum come to be and where is it headed? Its in this episode


LoanTap's Satyam Kumar

LoanTap's Satyam Kumar enjoyed a cushy life as a senior banking executive. By the mid-2010s, he experienced a glass ceiling and felt that he had plateaued. In addition, the growing Indian vocal and connected millennials, the black swan event of demonetization, and the startup wave pushed the market in a new direction. Users who wanted better products and the Indian Government's Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile (JAM Trinity) greatly aided LoanTap's Satyam Kumar's push towards better digital products. Driven by the ability to authenticate users electronically and the millions of young users online, LoanTap made a mega push. Backing this mega push was Satyam's ability to raise funding on the back of his experience and the market opportunity. This episode is full of insights into how LoanTap has grown at such a fast pace.


Magic Pin's Anshoo Sharma : S2 E4

Anshoo Sharma joined Bain Consulting in Boston and cut his teeth in the world of management consulting. Anshoo moved to India when Bain opened an office and soon moved to the emerging world of Venture Capital. After watching startups rise and fall, he was itching to start one himself. He teamed up with one of his buddies and soon they launched Magic Pin in the world of Hyper-Local in the year 2015. Why is Magic Pin still standing where others have disappeared? Magic Pin's Anshoo Sharma and his team had a clear agenda and goal from the beginning. Their goal was to build a startup in the hyperlocal space. One that would help users and customers discover new and exciting places. Their scientific and growth-oriented approach is the key success ingredient. They launched a series of growth hacks that helped them gather accurate data that enabled them to drive traffic to offline stores. One of their first growth hacks - selfies in front of coffee day stores garnered 100K responses. Tasting first blood early, they went for the kill and methodically implemented their growth plan. Today, Magic Pin has emerged as an exciting player in the Hyper-Local space and one of the few in its categories to be standing. How did Magic Pin's Anshoo Sharma pull this off? What were their growth hacks and tactics? We go deep in this episode and bring it all to you on a platter


S2 E3 : Jumbotail's Karthik Venkateswaran

Jumbotail's Karthik Venkateswaran is an interesting man. He came from a middle class background and rose to the rank of a major in the Indian Army. After a decade of serving in the army, his heart bled for something else. That something else was a larger goal - a goal of makings people's lives better. Making people's lives better is a common thread we see across a variety of entrepreneurs who are working on goals and problems that are very large. Karthik wanted to work in India's large retail sector and on large problems but had no credibility. He chose to get some credibility since he had no entrepreneurial experience. He enrolled in Stanford where he met his future co-founder. Organizing the $883 Billion Indian Retail sector made up of 12 Million Kirana stores was the target. Jumbotail today has outgrown its roots in Bangalore and is spreading its wings across the country. How big can it get? What were the initial challenges? This and more in this episode


S2 E2: Viraj Bahl of Veeba Foods and Sauces

Viraj Bahl of Veeba sauces is an interesting man. Upon graduation, his father told him that he would have to earn his way into a life of prosperity. His father told him that he would have to earn outside the family business. He would have to establish a basic lifestyle before participating in the family business. Once he established a basic lifestyle, his father was good for his word. Viraj joined the family business - Dr.Oetker's fun foods around the year 2003. Amidst the back of the IT Offshoring and India's decade of growth, Oetker took off. It became a massive success, and Viraj likes to quip that it succeeded despite him. His family business was sold and Viraj tried his hand at a restaurant chain which failed. Not one to stop at failure, Viraj set about starting up again. However, this time around, he was going to do something familiar with. Only, he was going to do it bigger and better. He founded Veeba. As he likes to say and we totally, the sauce is the unsung hero of the Indian palette, kitchen, dishes, and Indian cooking. Without the sauces, the dish is just a skeleton of things. The next time you try your favorite Bhel Puri or Chicken Tikka Masala - imagine the dish without the sauce, and you'll understand. Today, Veeba has grown into one of India's largest foods companies, especially in sauces. They have recreated every imaginable amazing flavor on the planet and brought it closer to us. How did Viraj Bahl of Veeba do it bigger and better? Where do new flavors come from? How do they bring out new sauces? What is their secret ingredient? It's all in this episode.


S2 E1 - Amit Gupta of Yulu Bikes

Welcome to Season 2. After a rocking Season 1, we are back yet again with amazing speakers. In this Episode 1 of Season 2, we feature Amit Gupta of Yulu Bikes. Remember those cute small little bikes that we see in the central business districts of cities such as Bangalore, that's Yulu for you. Amit has seen a startup or two in his life. Amit was a founding team member of InMobi, one of India's lesser known Unicorns. At InMobi, not only was he instrumental in InMobi becoming a Unicorn, he eventually worked on Glance, which became a Unicorn created by another Unicorn. After an amazing ride, Amit decided to use his smarts and experience fixing India's urban transportation problem. He is making a dent or two in the problem. Another outstanding episode for you to listen. Listen, share and leave us a review wherever you get our podcasts.


Ep.50: Anupendra Sharma of SLP - Enabling thousands of entrepreneurs across the globe scale their ventures from the shadows

Our Season Finale - Grand 50th Episode features Anupendra Sharma of the Startup Leadership Program. Today, Startup Leadership Program has grown to enable 4000 entrepreneurs who have raised $3.5 Billion in funding for 2000 ventures spread across 28 cities in 14 countries. Around the year 2006, two different types of people embarked on creating an organization that would enable entrepreneurship. One was Paul Graham of Y Combinator Fame and the other was Anupendra Sharma. While Y Combinator and Paul Graham have become famous and enabled the creation of billions of $ of wealth and transformed ventures, Anupendra Sharma built Startup Leadership Program from the shadows. This episode is all about how Anupendra built this with a frugal team of just 3 and yet created this massive impact.


Episode 49: Knorish's Kinner Sachdev - Helping 1000s of Content Creators Launch and Scale Academies

Kinner is an unlikely entrepreneur from the likes of it. With a master’s in molecular biology, he jumped into management consulting. Along the way, he discovered that one of the challenges that enterprises and companies grappled with was making knowledge and learning available to their employees and team members. In the process of helping companies overcome this, Kinner saw an opportunity in making it easy for content creators to launch their academies online. Kinner's Knorish is right in the middle of perhaps the most massive remote working and learning wave we have seen to date. With the help of funnels and automation, Knorish has to date enabled more than 17000 academies to launch and go online. And this is just the beginning. How did Kinner and Knorish get here? It is all in this episode.


Episode 48: An IITian Who Solved A Common Everyday Problem: Signing Documents Easy And Hassle Free: Story Of Sunil Patro Of SignEasy

While on a vacation in Mexico, Sunil Patro, an IIT grad and a software engineer at Microsoft, got a call informing him about a job that he had been offered. All he needed to do was sign the acceptance letter and send it back. Simple right? Well not so much. It was like as if he was like stuck in a government office! The struggle in finding a printer, scanner and a fax machine made Sunil realize that this is a problem. This incident led Sunil to finally realize his life long dream of entrepreneurship.


Episode 47 - Millions of Jobs thru Entrepreneurship Education - Monica Mehta of The Wadhwani Foundation

Every year, Monica watches about 10,000 startups go thru the motions, highs and lows. She watches it from close quarters and gets to see varied practices from across the globe. She sees myths being broken and new models formed. She heads up the Wadhwani Foundation's NEN Program that focuses on teaching entrepreneurship to students. Monica is an entrepreneur's entrepreneur. Having started her own venture about 20 years ago and having spent time with the likes of Omdiyar Network, she has had a ring side view of everything related to starting up scaling and entrepreneurship. What does this vantage point offer her? How did her own experience of starting up shaped her perspective and much more in this episode


Episode 46: The Art Of Scaling With Creativity-How Issac Wesley Has Built And Scaled Inkmonk

From dreaming of being an engineer to then being an entrepreneur, the story of Issac Wesley from Inkmonk is truly remarkable. Low scores in mathematics led this young tech enthusiast to take up a design course rather than engineering. Yet, it was Issac's father, an artist first and a printing guy second, who inspired him to start Inkmonk and the rest is history. Focused on small businesses who need printing of visiting cards, flyers, custom packaging, t-shirts, labels and stickers, Inkmonk has come a long way. Listen to Issac Wesley from Inkmonk talk about the art of scaling an E-Commerce platform, growth tactics, his entrepreneurial and personal journey, Printo acquisition and much more! This episode of the Maharajas of Scale Podcast is not one to be missed!


Episode 45: Woovly and a Million Bucketlists - How Neha Suyal scaled a bucketlist platform to a million

An engineer who had the desire to build something after attending the Stanford Insight Programme on entrepreneurship and leadership and here, she also met her Co-Founder Venkat, that is Neha Suyal for you. Her humble beginnings and what she has built, go hand in hand. Checking off entrepreneurship from her own bucketlist despite her simple background, Neha has built Woovly so as to bring together people of similar interests and goals. And thus share their experiences so as to help each other check off goals and ambitions from their bucketlists. How did they scale to more than a million bucket lists? It's here


Episode 44: Head winds and Tail Winds founding and Scaling OnSurity

Yogesh and Kulin can be called the Jai-Veeru of the Insurtech start-up space. The two met at ACKO, a private sector general insurance company. And since then, the two have a strong entrepreneurial bond which led them to start Onsurity in early 2020, with the primary goal being enable to allow SME’s to provide their employees with proper healthcare facilities. So In May 2020, Onsurity launched India's first healthcare membership. This runs on a monthly subscription, which enables SMEs to provide health care support to their employees. One, having spent 14 years working in the startup ecosystem and the other being the youngest one to clear the actuarial exam, this duo is the prefect combo. Listen to Yogesh and Kulin from Onsurity talk to Krishna Jonnakadla from Maharajas of Scale, about building and scaling an Insurtech startup, the challenges that come with it and much more on this episode of Maharajas of Scale Podcast.


Episode 43: From Trading To Scaling An EdTech Platform To Millions Of Users-Prateek Singh's Journey To Building LearnApp

Born in Abu Dhabi, then moving to Singapore, then to Malaysia and then back to India, Prateek Singh spent most of his childhood travelling. Prateek credits his dad for getting him into trading. This trading experience led him to write a blog called Market Scientists. Here he taught people how to trade. Post Market Scientists came an investing and stock trading education platform called Trade Academy. From here, Prateek talks about the many lessons that he learned from these ventures which eventually led him to start LearnApp. Prateek is a true example that shows with a whole lot of experience, comes a whole lot of wisdom. You don't want to miss out on this one!


Episode 42: From an HR Executive to Founder of a Multi Million $ Pet Care Company

Many pet parents have faced trouble finding the right product for their beloved pet, for example one might not be able to find a comfortable blanket, bed, toys etc for their pets, as each of them are very different from each other. One such pet parent is Rashi Narang who, not only solved this problem for her own pet only but found Heads Up For Tails which provides products to help build a deeper relationship between pets and the owners. Hear Rashi speak On Scaling with Unconditional Love for Pets.