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Decoding Success: Top Indian Entrepreneurs Share Insights Through Podcasts



wtf is by nikhil kamath - the reelstars

India’s podcast scene is booming, with over 57.6 million monthly listeners according to PwC’s 2020-2024 report, third in line after The US and China. This surge in popularity of podcasts isn’t just about entertainment; it’s creating a powerful platform for Indian entrepreneurs to share their experiences, insights, and advice with aspiring business minds. In a country with millions of young listeners looking for new opportunities every day, this is exactly the kind of content that can help fuel real growth.

For the entrepreneurs themselves, starting their own podcasts allows them to benefit personally even while giving back to the community. By sharing their knowledge and insights on a podcast, these Indian entrepreneurs have positioned themselves as thought leaders in their industry. The podcasts also allow them to connect with their audiences in a more intimate way than if they depended on traditional media. As they share their stories, struggles, and successes, it fosters a sense of connection and trust with their target audience. And more importantly, this form of content is a powerful marketing tool that allows them to promote themselves as a brand and the products or services they offer. A successful channel will also make them more attractive to any potential investors looking to back promising ventures. Is it any wonder that so many of the best entrepreneurs in India have ventured into the podcast arena?

Let’s delve into some of the top podcasts hosted by successful Indian entrepreneurs and explore how they benefit listeners:

“WTF is” by Nikhil Kamath:

This popular series by the young entrepreneur and co-founder of Zerodha, India’s largest stockbroker, delves into a wide range of topics relevant to today’s business landscape. From technology and social media to startups and venture capital, Kamath’s casual yet insightful conversations with industry experts offer valuable insights for navigating the ever-changing world of business. The podcast’s availability on Spotify, YouTube, and other platforms makes it easily accessible for listeners.

SparX by Mukesh Bansal:

Mukesh Bansal, the founder of Myntra and, brings his entrepreneurial experience to the table with SparX. One captivating episode features a conversation with Nikhil Kamath himself, where they delve into the world of stock trading. Kamath’s emphasis on responsible trading and the importance of recognizing one’s limits are valuable lessons for anyone considering this path.

The Neon Show (formerly 100x Entrepreneur):

This husband-wife duo, Siddhartha Ahluwalia and Nansi Mishra, recognized the need for guidance within the startup ecosystem. Their podcast, now known as The Neon Show, fulfills this need by featuring interviews with successful startup founders. Listeners gain valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs of building a business from the ground up. The show’s evolution from a knowledge-sharing platform to an investment fund – The Neon Fund – further highlights the impact it has on the startup world.

Indian Silicon Valley by Jivraj Singh Sachar:

This podcast by Jivraj Singh Sachar offers in-depth explorations of the Indian startup scene. Sachar’s hour-long discussions with founders provide a comprehensive understanding of the Indian startup ecosystem, its challenges, and its triumphs. Listeners gain valuable knowledge about navigating the Indian business landscape and the journeys of those who have paved the way.

The BarberShop with Shantanu:

Shantanu Deshpande, the founder of Bombay Shaving Company, also has his own podcast, “The BarberShop with Shantanu.” Shantanu’s casual, intimate conversations with big names like Aman Gupta (boAt), Ankur Warikoo (Nearbuy), Vineeta Singh (Sugar Cosmetics), and Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal) painted a refreshingly human picture. Listeners don’t just hear about billion-dollar ideas; they are privy to the struggles, the doubts, and the sheer determination that fuels a founder’s journey.

These podcasts offer a valuable resource for aspiring entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in the Indian business landscape. By listening to the experiences and insights of successful founders, listeners can gain valuable knowledge, avoid common pitfalls, and be inspired to chase their own entrepreneurial dreams. The accessibility of these podcasts, generally available on platforms like Spotify and YouTube, makes them a convenient and information-rich resource for anyone with an internet connection.

So, if you’re looking to learn from the best and navigate the exciting world of Indian entrepreneurship, tune in to these top podcasts by successful Indian entrepreneurs, and get ready to be inspired!

Wielding a keyboard for a katana for 11+ years, Anusuya is a content samurai by day, slaying mediocrity with creativity. This Calcutta-born and Bengaluru-raised girl spent her formative years in boarding school, reading Enid Blyton under the covers. Her tourism degree makes her a travel writing wiz, but Anusuya loves crafting compelling content across all realms; social media posts that pop to website copy that sells. When she's not hunched over her laptop, you'll find her creating Pinterest boards for her next vacation or binge-watching Asian dramas.


Nikhil Kamath Backs Collective Artists Network in Creator-First Move



nikhil-kamath-vijay-subramaniam - the reel stars

Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath has joined forces once again with entrepreneur Vijay Subramaniam, this time by investing in Collective Artists Network (CAN), a talent management agency led by Subramaniam. This marks Kamath’s second venture with Subramaniam.

The investment facilitates a significant return (over 5x) for InMobi’s Glance, which had previously invested in CAN in 2021. This signals a strategic exit for Glance.

Collective Artists Network

Originally known for its expertise in talent management, Collective Artists Network has evolved into a multifaceted new media powerhouse. Its services now encompass talent management, creator tech, production, creative strategy, influencer marketing, youth marketing, sports sponsorship and consulting, and media distribution. This broad-based approach, as per the company, aims to redefine the creator-driven new media landscape and maximize impact in today’s dynamic media scene.

Collaboration and Shared Vision

This investment comes on the heels of a recent collaboration between Collective and Kamath-backed Gruhas. Together, they launched the ‘Gruhas Collective Consumer Fund (GCCF)’ to support consumer-focused businesses and attract external investments. The fund offers not just financial backing but also mentorship and operational assistance, empowering portfolio companies in marketing and brand building.

Kamath and Subramaniam Have A Shared Belief in the Evolving Media Landscape

Commenting on the investment, Kamath stated that supporting Collective’s vision feels like a natural progression. He has closely observed the company’s growth over the past few years and shares a similar outlook on the potential of the Indian media scene. He expressed his enthusiasm for being part of Collective’s journey as they challenge the status quo and redefine the media landscape and creator ecosystem.

Vijay Subramaniam, Collective’s Founder and Group CEO, echoed Kamath’s sentiment. He views Kamath’s investment as more than just financial support; it signifies the trust and collaboration they’ve built over time. Subramaniam has long emphasized the need to institutionalize the largely unorganized media and entertainment space in India. This vision, he believes, will ensure shareholder value and set new benchmarks in media, technology, and entertainment.

Subramaniam further acknowledged Glance’s role as a valuable partner and expressed his appreciation for their trust in Collective. He also highlighted his shared belief with Kamath that India is poised to become a global media powerhouse, with media and entertainment playing a pivotal role in the country’s growth story.

Stay tuned for more updates on this new collaboration between the Bangalore-based entrepreneurs.

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EY-BigBangSocial Predict Major Surge in India’s Influencer Marketing Industry



India's Influencer Marketing Market Set to Boom: Report by EY

India’s influencer marketing space is experiencing a period of explosive growth, fueled by the increasing power of social media and the growing influence of content creators. A recent report by EY and Collective Artists Network’s Big Bang Social, titled “The State of Influencer Marketing in India,” paints a promising picture for the industry, projecting a surge of 25% in 2024, reaching a value of INR 2,344 crore. This upward trend is expected to continue, with the market reaching an estimated INR 3,375 crore by 2026.

Social Media is the Engine Driving Growth

The report highlights a key factor propelling this growth: the dominance of social media in the lives of Indian consumers. With a staggering 50% of mobile usage dedicated to these platforms, and the projected rise of smartphone users to 740 million by 2030, social media offers a powerful avenue for brands to connect with their target audience. Recognizing this shift, marketers are increasingly integrating influencer marketing into their overall strategies, with a whopping 75% expected to consider it by the end of 2024.

Engagement Over Reach is the New Mantra

The report emphasizes that Indian brands are prioritizing quality over quantity when it comes to influencer selection. Gone are the days of solely focusing on mega-influencers with massive followings. Today, brands are placing greater value on engagement rates and the influencer’s ability to connect with the desired audience in an authentic manner. However, This shift in focus creates an opportunity for micro and nano influencers who boast highly engaged communities.

tanmay bhat foreward for EY report - the reel stars

The Power of Micro and Nano Influencers

Interestingly, the survey reveals that nano influencers, those with the smallest following sizes. Furthermore, achieve the highest engagement rates compared to other categories. This, coupled with their lower cost per reach, makes them an attractive proposition for brands looking. Besides, to maximize the impact of their influencer marketing campaigns. In fact, 47% of brands surveyed reported a preference for working with micro and nano influencers.

The Rise of Strategic Partnerships

While micro and nano influencers are gaining traction, the report acknowledges the continued importance of mega. Furthermore, macro influencers in driving brand awareness and fostering loyalty. Savvy brands are striking a strategic balance, leveraging both categories to achieve their marketing objectives.

Emerging Trends and Challenges in India’s Influencer Marketing Scene

The report also explores the growing importance of specific sectors within the influencer marketing landscape. Lifestyle, fashion, and beauty are expected to remain dominant players, while automobile, e-commerce, and FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) are projected to see the most significant increases in influencer marketing spending.

However, the report also identifies key challenges. Brands struggle to accurately measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of their influencer marketing campaigns. Besides, on the other hand, face difficulties in building long-term audience loyalty and maintaining their credibility.

The Road Ahead involves more Collaboration and Growth

The report concludes on a positive note, highlighting the evolving strategies of brands. Many are building in-house influencer marketing teams while simultaneously engaging with agencies to leverage their expertise. As the influencer marketing industry matures, both brands and influencers will need to adopt innovative approaches. Moreover, foster collaborative partnerships to navigate the dynamic and competitive Indian market.

This report, based on a survey of CMOs, influencers, agencies, and individuals. However, offers valuable insights into the current state and future potential of influencer marketing in India. It’s clear that this space is poised for continued growth, offering exciting opportunities for brands, creators, and the Indian digital marketing landscape as a whole.

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Zomato’s Pay-Day Party Gets a Financial Twist with Sharan Hegde



sharan hedge for zomato - the reel stars

Food delivery giant Zomato is shaking things up for their “Pay-Day Party” campaign with a surprising influencer choice: Sharan Hegde, a popular personal finance guru known as “@financewithsharan.”

Top Secret Investment Strategies (or Are They?)

The campaign revolves around two key ads featuring Hegde. The first, titled “Top 1% Mindset,” throws a curveball. Instead of the usual focus on mutual funds and SIPs, Hegde, in a podcast-like setting, unveils the “secret” investment strategy of the wealthy: investing in relationships. He encourages viewers to celebrate paydays with friends, subtly plugging Zomato’s special offers as the perfect way to do so. The ad cleverly plays on the “1%” reference, suggesting that financial success goes beyond just traditional financial instruments.

Beyond the Balance Sheet: Treating Yourself

The second ad takes a more lighthearted approach. Here, Hegde ditches the charts and graphs and unveils a different kind of “portfolio” – a celebration of indulging in good food at the start of the month. This resonates with the audience, reminding them to treat themselves after a hard month’s work.

Why Sharan Hegde? A Strategic Choice

Zomato’s decision to partner with Hegde is a strategic one. He boasts a massive following of 2.8 million YouTube subscribers and 2.5 million Instagram followers. Further, his exclusive platform, “The 1% Club,” caters to a financially savvy audience. This campaign cleverly taps into that audience, subtly suggesting that celebrating with friends is an investment in happiness, complementing their existing financial strategies.

Following a Trend of Influencer Marketing

Zomato is no stranger to influencer partnerships. Last year, they collaborated with comedian Samay Raina and actress Sahiba Bali, and also partnered with popular YouTuber Mumbiker Nikhil. This latest campaign, timed perfectly for payday week, demonstrates Zomato’s understanding of the power of influencer marketing and their ability to connect with audiences in unique ways.

So, will Zomato’s gamble on Sharan Hegde pay off? Only time will tell, but their unconventional approach is certainly grabbing attention and sparking conversations about how to celebrate those hard-earned paychecks. Whether viewers choose to invest in friends, treat themselves to a good meal, or do both, Zomato is hoping to be a part of the celebration.

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