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Scaling Your Startup To Multi-Millions: How These 4 Entrepreneurs Did It

Entrepreneurship is a long, laborious road with the risk of failure stalking you at every turn. But sticking it out on this road can often lead to rewards and personal satisfaction that make all the effort more than worthwhile. The following 4 professionals, who have been involved in 4 instantly recognisable multi-million dollar startups which are practically household names in many parts of the world, will show you just how rewarding this road can be. 

1. Kunal Bahl, CEO of Snapdeal, on turning a coupon business into a $6.5 billion company

 Kunal’s story is a relatable one, a boy who worked hard to get into the IITs but couldn’t make the final cut. Then, getting admitted to one of the best business schools in the world, he worked hard at Wharton Business School and got a job with Microsoft, but couldn’t pursue it due to a visa problem. Returning to India, he was faced with a choice – find a job or create one?

The answer to this question is different for each individual of course but when you hear Kunal say with a sparkle in his eyes, “Ever since I was small, I had this ‘keeda’, that I want to do something…,” you know what route he chose.

2. Neeraj Arora, VP of Business Development at WhatsApp, on how it became the app we can’t live without

 WhatsApp’s story – and that of Arora himself – will be an inspiration to everyone who has felt the passion for their ideas, but have struggled to execute them. While acknowledging the difficulties and the big risk of failure, Arora’s experience also shows how careful planning, savvy decisions, and total investment in an idea can pave the way for its eventual success. His story also reflects the emotional investment that a lot of entrepreneurs and developers have in their products, and how beautifully it pays off when a product succeeds. It was this emotional investment that led him to join WhatsApp in the first place, and it is what shines through in his little anecdote, towards the end of the video, about how (and where) the deal with Facebook was signed.

3. Varun Agarwal, co-founder of Alma Mater, on not letting failure in engineering stop him

Like lakhs of other students in India, Agarwal, during his education, went through a period of emotional upheaval, because he wasn’t allowed to do what he really wanted. Put through four long years of engineering, he highlights what is commonplace but never spoken of among children forced into professions they don’t have an interest in – the emotional toll it takes upon them, and the extent of depression and anxiety it induces, something which has even driven many students to suicide in India.

As someone who was lucky enough to learn from his failure during engineering, Agarwal, through his story, inspires us to fight the status quo, and do what we believe in and truly enjoy.

4. Phanindra Sama, co-founder of RedBus, on revolutionising the travel industry

 Sama narrates how the service was conceptualised and what it took to build the success it enjoys today. Like many others who have tried their hand at something new and stepped out of their comfort zones, Sama, who had a steady job before he turned an entrepreneur, was faced with many daunting challenges during the journey, including self-doubt and criticism from others.


This post is a part of a tech and entrepreneurship series by Youth Ki Awaaz, in collaboration with INK. This series aims to highlight unheard stories of individuals who had the courage to follow their dreams, and their journeys of success and failure. Watch more videos from INK here, and if you want to share the story of an inspiring entrepreneur, submit here.