Arjun Attam

With Alokik Bhasin.

The Startup Green Room podcast was created to share lessons from the best operators in the Indian startup ecosystem. We spoke with founders and product managers to learn about how they operate: build products, manage teams and keep learning.

14 episodes, recorded between April 2019 to March 2020.

Episode #14 • 19 Mar 2020 • 74 mins

Learning to be great at product management with Taruna Manchanda

Taruna Manchanda walks us through her career as a product manager at LinkedIn, Swiggy and Wingify, and shares how she has built her PM skill set.

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In this episode, we chat with Taruna Manchanda who is currently a product manager at LinkedIn. We talk about her journey in product management, starting with Wingify, Swiggy and now LinkedIn. We also cover how she has built her PM skillset: working with customers, engineers, and leadership.
Taruna also identifies some key traits of successful product managers—especially ones that are often ignored. For example, she emphasizes softer skills like communication. We talk about how great communication has been a critical tool for her, to grow in her career from working in a 10 person team to a company of 1000s.
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Episode #13 • 09 Jan 2020 • 61 mins

Naiyya Saggi: Helping families with trustworthy and deeply personal tech

Naiyya Saggi is the founder at BabyChakra, India's largest parenting community. Listen for amazing insights on how Indian families are interacting with tech, and how to build products that are trustworthy and safe.

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In this episode, we chat with Naiyya Saggi. Naiyya is the founder of BabyChakra, which is India's largest parenting community. Parenting and pregnancy are deeply personal topics, and BabyChakra has been able to create a trustworthy space to help its users become better mothers and fathers.

We discuss how BabyChakra builds trust and safety into their products, uses localization and personalization to drive engagement, and creates a healthy environment for content creators. We also cover the growth story for BabyChakra: early non-scalable hacks, and the team's current goal of "ghar-ghar BabyChakra". Listen for some amazing insights on how Indian families are evolving and interacting with tech.

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Episode #12 • 14 Oct 2019 • 67 mins

Anshuman Bapna: Hustling to get acquired

We chat with Anshuman Bapna about how his startup Mygola was acquired by MakeMyTrip, and look under the hood of how Mygola decided to sell, approached acquirers, and kept investors and the team together.

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In this episode we share a story that is rarely told: of how startup acquisitions look like under the hood. It is said that "startups are bought, and not sold", but that is an incomplete truth. Great teams often build great products that are not great businesses, and getting a soft exit in such situations is crucial to not just the team, but also to the success of the overall startup ecosystem.

We chat with Anshuman Bapna, who was most recently the Chief Product Officer at MakeMyTrip/Goibibo. Before this, he co-founded Mygola, which was acquired by MakeMyTrip. We chat about how they struggled finding a business model, and decided to sell the company. It sounds easier said that done because managing the team and investor relations when the ship is sinking is a real test of leadership, and Anshuman shares how he managed to do that.

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Episode #11 • 26 Sep 2019 • 64 mins

Prateek Sharma: Building Duta, the largest social app you have never heard of

Prateek Sharma is the VP of Product at Duta, a social app focused on the next billion users. Starting with search and content distribution, Duta is defining what the Internet means to these users.

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Duta is definitely the most interesting startup we have had on this podcast so far. They don't have a website/mobile app, and yet have millions of users spread across the globe. All of these users are new to the Internet, and Duta is defining the Internet for them.

Prateek heads product management at Duta, and we chat with him to understand what the next billion users want, what the Internet means to them, and how Duta is solving these problems – logically, but unconventionally.

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Episode #10 • 17 Sep 2019 • 67 mins

Abhinav Asthana: Building best of breed developer tools at Postman

Abhinav Asthana is the founder and CEO of Postman, the world's most popular API development tool. He shares insights on finding the right early users, the SaaS opportunity in India, and leading distributed teams.

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Abhinav Asthana is the founder and CEO of Postman, the world's most popular API development tool. He talks about his journey of building a successful global SaaS product out of India. Abhinav shares some amazing product insights, like how to establish the right feedback cycle early on, which for them often meant ignoring feedback from developers in India. We also chat about advantages of building global companies in India, and his learnings on leading teams distributed across time zones.

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Episode #9 • 12 Aug 2019 • 43 mins

Prashant Tandon: Solving trust and access in the Indian healthcare ecosystem

Prashant Tandon is the co-founder and CEO of 1mg, the largest healthcare app in India. He's a veteran in the space, and shares his insights on healthcare in India.

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Prashant Tandon is the founder of not one, but two successful healthcare companies in India: 1mg and HealthKart. In this episode, he brings a decade of expertise from the healthcare sector, and is full of insights around trust and access. We also talk about how 1mg was launched out of an experiment inside HealthKart, and spun up as a different company. In the end, we talk about what healthcare tech means for the the next 100M users who are new to the Internet in India.

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Episode #8 • 10 Jul 2019 • 78 mins

Tapan Pandita: The Indian fin-tech landscape digest

Tapan Pandita is the Chief Architect at ICICI's Innovation Labs, and takes a deep dive into the Indian fin-tech opportunity space.

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Given the rise of newer platforms (mobile, India stack, UPI) the Indian fin-tech landscape has evolved quickly in the last few years. Tapan Pandita is the Chief Architect at ICICI Innovation Labs, and walks through the Indian fin-tech landscape. He structures the lay of the land into 4 verticals: assets, liabilities, payments and insurance, and dives into the history, role of regulation, and opportunities in each one of them. We also chat about Facebook's Libra currency project, how tech incumbents outside fin-tech are now innovating in fin-tech, and how to keep up with fin-tech regulation activity as an outsider.

Find Tapan on Twitter

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Episode #7 • 27 Jun 2019 • 52 mins

Zishaan Hayath: The secret sauce of product management at Toppr

Zishaan Hayath reveals the secret sauce behind product management at Toppr, and how they achieve best-in-class retention metrics.

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A few weeks ago, we came across a tweet by Zishaan Hayath where he shared some amazing product metrics from Toppr. In this episode, we peek under the hood with him, and dive into how product management at Toppr works. Zishaan talks about the importance of a north-star metric, building product intuition and empathy with users, and establishing an effective process for product managers to work with sales and engineering teams. It's very clear that Zishaan is a passionate product builder, and it was valuable to learn what he looks for in product managers, and get his advice to newcomers.

Zishaan on Twitter / For opportunities at Toppr reach out to them at pm@toppr.com

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Episode #6 • 06 Jun 2019 • 35 mins

Ankit Nagori: Building for customer experience at Cure.Fit

Ankit Nagori is the co-founder at Cure.Fit, where they are building an expansive health and fitness company that is focused on customer experience.

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Ankit Nagori is the co-founder at Cure.Fit, where they are creating a truly expansive health and fitness company: covering mental health, nutrition, physical fitness and primary care. We talk about how Cure.Fit is focused on customer experience, and how that leads them to owning supply. Ankit also shares his approach to learning consumer behavior, and creating an organization that can deliver on this expansive vision. He also shares what inspires him, and what he would be building if it wasn't for Cure.Fit.

Find Ankit on LinkedIn / Career opportunities at Cure.Fit

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Episode #5 • 22 May 2019 • 45 mins

Shrey Gupta: Achieving product-market fit for Oyo's supply-side

Shrey shares his learnings in pitching to, transforming, and onboarding properties on OYO Rooms – and then scaling this across the country.

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Shrey takes us back to the early days of OYO Rooms, and his role in building the supply-side of the hospitality marketplace. Shrey talks about how they pitched to hotel businesses, transformed them to meet higher quality standards, and onboarded them to the marketplace. Interesting tidbits on how the supply-side grew from a handful of properties to multiple cities in India and abroad.

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Episode #4 • 02 May 2019 • 27 mins

Swetabh Pathak: Consulting services to SaaS product at Elucidata

Swetabh shares his learnings as his company Elucidata transitions from consulting services to a SaaS product.

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Swetabh builds Elucidata - a data analytics product for research scientists at pharma companies. In this episode, Swetabh shares how they started out with consulting services, discovered patterns, and then steered the organization to building a SaaS product. Lots of interesting tidbits for other companies following this route.

Connect with Swetabh on LinkedIn / Elucidata website

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Episode #3 • 24 Apr 2019 • 34 mins

Sanjeev Rao: Scaling Swiggy 10x

Sanjeev shares his learnings from leading HR at Swiggy and growing the team from 70 to 800 people.

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Sanjeev shares his learnings from leading HR at Swiggy and growing the team from 70 to 800 people. His journey is full of insights on recruiting, coming from a ex-management consultant who ramped up quickly. Bonus content: his thoughts on compensation negotiations, and how applicants could approach them.

Connect with Sanjeev on LinkedIn

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Episode #2 • 18 Apr 2019 • 37 mins

Deepit Purkayastha: Product learnings from Inshorts

Deepit walks us through product milestones and decisions that made Inshorts successful.

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Deepit is the co-founder at Inshorts, one of the most popular news apps in the country. In this episode, Deepit talks walks us through product milestones and decisions that made it successful.

Connect with Deepit Purkayastha

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startupgreenroom.com / Arjun on Twitter / Alokik on Twitter / startupgreenroom@gmail.com

Episode #1 • 04 Apr 2019 • 7 mins

Pilot

Arjun and Alokik walk you through the idea behind The Startup Green Room, and share a sneak peek on what to expect from the following episodes.

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