Title Image of episode with Abhishek Desai of Cricheroes
Abhishek Desai: An Unlikely Cricket Success Story

​​Unlikely Cricket Success Story, Creative mind, Failed attempts, Scored Digitally at scale

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Abhishek Desai (@abhishekdesai) of Cricheroes talks about his passion for cricket that helped him to think creatively. He ventured into making “Gully” cricket more digitized and now Cricheroes has over 4 million cricketers from over 50 countries. Listen to Abhishek of Cricheroes talk about his unlikely cricket success story, creative mind, failed attempts and how he scored digitally at scale.

In this episode, Abhishek, based out of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, talks about the accidental sixes and the planned ones as well. About some close run-outs but like cricket, Cricheroes is a pump house of talent, ready to win every tournament.

Here is some interesting commentary from the episode.

How the Cricheroes story began

8:55

Obviously like millions of cricketers like in India and world, we like to play cricket regularly over the weekend. And if you play cricket yourself you must know that at the end of every cricket session, there is always a discussion. Players come together and they talk about the game. They talk about the performances and sometimes these discussions become very hot. The problem with this is that these discussions are never based on data. Because most of the times you have not scored your matches. And even if you have scored the matches, it is more on paper based sheets. And getting data from those four sheets aggregating them and getting all the meaningful insight is very difficult, if not, impossible. So that was a pain point, which I realized with our own cricketing fraternity.

11:50

CricHeroes because we really believe that people like you and me who play cricket for fun and not for money, or for passion. They are the real heroes of the game. And cricket has this level of admiration – cricketers have this level of adulation in India. They have a godlike status because of people like you and me, who give everything to this game, even when there is no monetary return.

Image showing the larger cricheroes Team
Cricheroes Team

CricHeroes Working Model

35:57

I mean, after using CricHeroes for let’s say, to the five matches, you will stop scoring your matches on paper based score sheets. You will only rely on the CricHeroes, which in a way makes our responsibility far higher, much higher. As we have to make sure that the application does not go down at any point. Especially when people are scoring and a lot of matches get played on Saturdays and Sundays during the morning time. So for some time in 2018 Dec-Jan, consistently on Sundays, you know, we will go down for like half an hour, one hour. It was really really frustrating for us and it was obviously more upsetting for our users.


44:46

I have done that mistake in the past, where, I start something, I usually get bored. Then I lose my focus and start something else which basically results into failure of the previous attempts. It sounds very romantic on paper, like getting ideas and working on them and you are to be known as a creative person. But at the end, I realized that until unless you do not execute your ideas and take them to a certain level, actually, it doesn’t matter how many ideas you can come up with, creativity has no value. If it is not adding any value to the society, or at least to the user. So when I started Cricheroes, I was consciously aware about this weakness of myself and I, I try very, very hard not to lose my focus.

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Listen to another great SaaS Story from Ahmedabad: Jimit Bagadiya of Social Pilot: Episode 18, Season 1

Having the right processes has surely helped the team, the chemistry between the players (co-founders) truely shows a remarkable team spirit.

Image depicting the founders of Cricheroes
Cricheroes Co-Founders

Show Notes

Learn more about Cricheroes

Follow Abhishek (@abhishekdesai)

Books discussed in the episode:

Cover Image of the Book Home Deus

Cover image of the book hidden life of trees
Cover image of the book Sapiens
Cover image of the Book Rework by Jason Fried

Follow Maharajas of Scale On Twitter (@maharajaofscale)

Watch out for some prominent words used throughout the episode

Image depicting wordcloud for episode 15 with Abhishek Desai of Cricheroes
Word Cloud for this episode

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Episode Transcript

(Automated Transcript)

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

heroes, people, cricket, cricketers, ideas, scoring, matches, users, happened, decisions, founders, journey, scale, tournament organizers, book, tournament, business, app, started, company

SPEAKERS

Krishna Jonnakadla, Nida Sahar

Krishna Jonnakadla  00:02

This is maharajahs of scale, a podcast where we go behind the scenes and talk to founders who are demolishing the myths around building and scaling a big business in India. These are the stories that have shattered the assumptions around Indian consumers and of changing the game completely. I am Krishna Jonnakadla, serial entrepreneur, co founder of flip the fashion located in town and startup mentor, bringing you the stories. Hey, everyone, this is Krishna from maharajahs of scale. Today, we have a young entrepreneur out of you know, the business state of Gujarat. And he's doing something very interesting for the cricket craze for fans of India. His startup is cricket heroes, where he is helping cricket heroes become a platform for people who want to get better at their sport, right? It is no longer about just playing in the galley and then thinking and going sitting down with a cup of coffee with your friends and bragging that you know what I caught this catch, but the data is going to catch you anyway. So Abby, shake Welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you, Krishna, thank you for having me. So abishek, tell us a little bit about yourself and tell us what you're doing right now.

Abhishek Desai 01:07

Alright, so as you rightly said, I am from the state of Utah, and Nevada city to be specific. I'm a computer engineering computer engineer by trade. I did it from my school of technology, which is again, an institute based in Lubbock University. And right after graduating from Dilma, along with three of my classmates, I started a company called dizzy call, which became our first venture back in 2004. So we graduated in 2003. And almost after six months, we started our first company, we call and it's a software design and development company where we basically started building software for our clients. And fortunately, like soon after starting a company, we got a big break, we got a lead from the United States, where we had to develop the medical software, which is called electronic medical records, or electronic health records for group of clinics in Arizona. And that's how the journey of digital started as we ourselves were programmers, we hired four more people from our last class on this. So we had basically four of our classmates. And we built a team of eight people. And we started coding. And we started developing the first electronic medical record of our company. And one thing led to another and like another reference gave us business from Middle East. So we started getting projects from Kuwait. And we worked on those projects for a long time. And, you know, like, as in when the word spread, basically all of our business started coming, why referencing, and at one point of time, because I was like 150, consisting of product managers, developers, designers, and you know, we all obviously, should create our role came out of the role of our program programmer and started focusing on business development, sales, marketing, and all that business stuff. And during the journey of digital, actually, we always wanted to have our own IP, you know, we always wanted to work on our own ideas apart from working for clients. And that's when we tried our hands on like, multiple ideas in 789 11. And recent, because on 16, in most of the previous attempts, we failed, because they were always like side projects to us. And you know, we could never focus 100% on them, because the purpose of business because generating cash flow, and the other ideas, which we're working on, you know, we're always like losing money, of course, ladies. And probably you were not even, like not mature enough at that time to understand how the product business works, or how the business at scale will work. And, you know, we had to drop those ideas. But when we, when we decided to do it again, in 2016, we decided to change one thing that at least one of us will come out of physical, full time, and we'll give is 100% to whatever idea we come across. And that's when we decided that I like myself will come out of physical day to day operation and start focusing on working on new ideas. We had like three ideas. At that time. One of the ideas was picking out and like pick heroes die of precarious place. The other two did not. And that's when the journey of heroes started. And yeah, we are here in 2019. with you.

Krishna Jonnakadla  04:40

That's fascinating. What were the other two ideas?

Abhishek Desai 04:44

Sure. So one of the ideas was revolt. Again, I love that idea. I really wish somebody else can take it forward. So basically, you like this is for the people who read a lot on web site. You read articles you read probably books, like mainly browser based reading. And a lot of people comment on those articles, the books, etc, etc, they make notes, they make highlights. Now, there is no no single tool or platform where you know, like these communications are these cats are stored at one place, right? For example, let's say last week, I commented on 10 different articles. Now, if I want to see what happened to those communication, it becomes very, very difficult for me to, to read, what was the idea where you know, you can comment on some article, and that comment will be stored automatically on reward.io. And others can also explore these comments and you know, join the community join the conversation, basically. So it was like a single a single space for having conversations with leaders of the internet. That would be really nice. Yeah, reward. So that's why read and board basically, it's like a Pinterest. It's a combination of Pinterest, and discus, to find out to put it in one line, okay. And the other idea was PDFs, which basically, business analytics apps. So like before 2016. For three years, we worked on business analytics, related projects, we create a lot of visualizations, and we work with a lot of data. And so based on that experience, we decided to oversize our services, we created like, seven to 10, cool, looking, visualized visualization apps, which can be plugged into any data sources, and automatically visualizations will, you know, like adapt themselves to the newer data source and you know, you can get insights from those visualizations. And you can you can buy these apps off the shelf, rather than giving somebody custom development project for developing visualize and for you, you can buy these apps for yourself, but your data source and you know, who you are, like up and running. In no time. Wow. Yeah.

Krishna Jonnakadla  07:00

Well, no code is supposed to be the future anyway. Right. So I guess that is gonna happen sooner than later. Absolutely. Absolutely. So why did you pick or choose Creek heroes over the other two?

Abhishek Desai 07:13

Sure. So first reason, I guess, because it's cricket. And even like, I have been playing cricket for like, almost all my life now. Not as a professional beginner but as an amateur cricketer. And so of course, that was one thing. Second was I will I have always been fascinated with the b2c concept. So reefer was a b2c idea Vf for the b2b idea. So and because it was cricket and b2c, I was inclined more to towards like working on that. And actually, like, after we launched with heroes in late October 2016, we saw users adopting the idea very, very fast. So you know, basically, the product started selling itself. And, you know, that was the final like triggers, which basically pushed me to show off any efforts on you know, any other ideas I was working on, very interesting.

Krishna Jonnakadla  08:09

So that that actually makes it to offers a mistake. I'm a big fan of b2c as well, right. Nothing gets me more excited than b2c b2b, I kind of find it boring. To be honest, I've done a lot of b2b in my life, but if I had a choice, any day, I would pick a way to see it is more brutal, it is a lot more unpredictable. You don't even know if you're, if you are in a tunnel, if there is ever going to be a light as opposed to that V to be, you know, you're you're in a corridor, the light is a little bit tame. And it's going to be that way right. So, very interesting and I suppose, because he would you pair it with cricket, there is a lot more fun as well thrown in as well. Right. Right.

Abhishek Desai 08:55

So, you know, as the like, if I have to give you a little more in terms of story. So what happened was, obviously like millions of cricketers like like in India and world, we like to play cricket regularly over the weekend. And if you if you I mean if you play cricket yourself, you must know that at the end of every cricket session, there is always discussion, right people like players come together and you know, they talk about the game, they talk about the performances and and sometimes these decisions become very hot, you know, like people, I mean, even though they are your friends, but you know, you you take decisions tend to get hotter in certain certain times. And the problem with this is that these decisions are never happened on data. Because most of the times you are not for your methods. And even if you have code the magic, it is code on paper with pushing and getting data from those four sheets, aggregating them and you're like getting out a meaningful insight is very, very difficult, if not impossible. So that was a pain point, which I realized with our own Creating fraternity. And that's when I decided to start using digital solution available for scoring the matches. So I tried my hands on couple of applications, because they're already in the market, and was not happy with the UX, first of all, and they were also not following a lot of things which we wanted. So because I was, from a technology background, I decided to, like take upon myself, and I did a little survey in my city and figured that this is the same problem with all the beginners, it's not just my problem, not and probably, there is a business. You know, that's when I started thinking more about it, I created the first, like a business plan kind of presentation, I presented that business plan in front of, to my, to my friends and to my family, who got people like who were very excited to see the idea. And they always knew that I, I came in life, I always come up with some new ideas. And you know, like most of the times I failed, but this time, they decided to support me with seed funding. And that's how, you know, like, I was able to raise seed funding from my friends and family, and was able to start building the first version of the product. I'm glad

Krishna Jonnakadla  11:10

you mentioned, somewhere along the here, you saw business, because the little leagues as all these Valley cricket, are all known. Well, the heated arguments definitely are one thing. But we are able to use data and offer defensible arguments for your performance. That was an interesting piece of insight it must have whether it's a really violent drawls that actually led to this or was it just the fascination itself with it?

Abhishek Desai 11:45

I think there is no specific incident which led to this, I just, I just realized that if you know, like, we cannot do this with any existing solution, then there must be somebody must make a solution. And since I was always like, looking for ideas to work upon, why not me. And one thing, I was also sure that I can, I can definitely make better solution than whatever is there in the market. Because of my experience with digipen. I know, because since we had developed so many products for so many startup founders, by the way, I forgot to tell you one thing, in busy for most of our brands, fortunately, we're like startup founders. So we work with founders, like from Silicon Valley to Middle East to India. And we always created the entire solution from scratch for them. So most of our clients came to us with an idea and some capital, and we created the first version of the product for them. And then you know, like, if the idea succeeded, if the product succeeded, we kept working on them and you know, like, be that the product at scale. So that experience was already there. And you know, it really boosted my confidence to make a better solution than what was available in the market for this specific requirement. And I also identified one more thing that I don't I just don't want to create a scoring app, see one by the name trick heroes, because we really believe that people like you and me who play cricket for fun and not for money. Right or for passion. Right? They are the real heroes of the game. And cricket has this level of admiration or cricketers have this level of adulation in India, or they have a godlike status because of people like you and me who are give everything to this game, even when there is no monetary return. So that's when I decided to recognize and showcase and give them ability to showcase that talent also, along with this. So you know, that's how the heroes was. Like, not only I was looking at it as a spring application, but I was also looking at as a business, because I knew that knew something can be worked out if I am able to execute these two ideas. Perfect.

Krishna Jonnakadla  13:55

Very nice. So somewhere along the way, we'll come to the evolution a bit. But have you has this become some sort of a scouting, source of sorts of scouting for talent for any of the minor or the major professional cricket leagues yet?

Abhishek Desai 14:12

Yes. So what we have done is apart from so when we started, actually originally, I had only part of recaros as a application, which will be used by weekend cricket to right people who play matches on Saturday, Sunday. But soon we realized that the market of two nominees right, slightly more organized cricket matches. This is far bigger than the individual matches happening on weekends. And that's when we quickly like avoid as more of a tournament registration or tournament management platform and not just the scoring app. And that also led us to pick it Association, which are basically official bodies. through which you can went to the property, let's say go into Indian cricket team or even your state because there is a very, very structured process to that. So, what has happened is, after we closed on, we have been able to, like get more than 50 of Cricket Association as partners who use cricket as their official scoring platform. So that's where the like real talent as in for professional cricket, as it was already there. And we are so glad that you know, we are already covering those that talent when they are just of let's say 12 years old or 14 years old or 15 years old. So you know, do they can they have the lifetime of data digitally recorded now?

Krishna Jonnakadla  15:45

Interesting. So I suppose in several homes where there are youngsters were hopeful of being cricketers can show live data to their father or mother, who possibly doubts that they have professional talent to say, look, you know, this is what my record looks like, for the last five years. And instead of pursuing a mundane college degree, you should actually let me pursue my passion, I might possibly have a shot at becoming something

Abhishek Desai 16:15

absolutely, actually, you wouldn't believe the kind of phrases or the kind of admiration which we get from parents is like completely, like mind boggling out of this world, they thank us so much. Because see before heroes, they had to call up their coaches or they had to call up for like, every 10 minutes that you know, how is my son doing? Right? Is he writing now or not? What is this code how many repeats did he take? So, it was a it was a problem not only for parents, but also problem for coaches right now, because we cannot do both at the same time. And you know, they are like managing 15 children and not just one, so tricky to also solve that particular problem in a great way, now parents can see wherever they are, you know, like, I have even had testimonials from parents sitting in China and their son playing somewhere in India. Right. So, so, this is a you know, like a sort of great gap, which in a way, like, unknowingly, we identified and you know, we are solving that particular thing. And yes, you are right. If you are talented, Piccolo definitely gives you a way to showcase your talent. That is definitely one of the major objectives of

Krishna Jonnakadla  17:28

interesting. So let's talk about scale. What sort of scale have you achieved and share some interesting numbers about Creek heroes, please?

Abhishek Desai 17:37

Sure. So we are being scored our first match on 17 October 2016. Since then, so it's been like, just over like three years, we have people have scored more than 500,000. cricket matches on 50 rows in about 34,000 cricket Heroes is present in more than 50 countries. And like more than 4 million cricketers have registered themselves. And we have a monthly active user base of 1 million users now, day to day basis, we get anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 visitors a week on our apps and the site. And our Android app has been downloaded by like more than 2 million times and our use every time. And like one data point, which I'm really, really proud of is for the lifetime. We have a rating of like 4.8 of our Android app, which is in like very, very rare to see at this scale. So you know, people, people just love what Fitbit is doing. And that is one thing which keeps us going.

Krishna Jonnakadla  18:53

That's fantastic. Can you have a and you are already on the path to monetization, or you're in monetization right now.

Abhishek Desai 19:01

We have been have been. So we have we are already monetizing certain premium features. So basically, it's a premium model. So most of the features are free for users to use. Like for example, you can score your math events folder to nominate for P on heroes, and it will always be like that. But if you are interested in certain premium features, for example, one of the premium features is securos Pro membership, which gives you an access to quick insights which is deeper, deeper dive into your own performance to understand your strengths and weaknesses as a cricketer and to become better. That is a subscription based model. Plus we sell premium features like a white label app or ability to promote your dynamic content. Or to have to do more with immediate responses. So there are like five to seven premium features, which we sell to tournament organizers. Interesting.

Krishna Jonnakadla  19:54

So are you in revenues right now? When did you get into revenues? Are you profitable?

Abhishek Desai 20:00

We started making revenue, almost like almost two years back now, we slowly slowly started building features, which we could sell to tournament organizers initially. And then we will feature which we could sell to players directly. And recently, we have created features you can sell to play to like mayors and organizers both. And plus, we are also targeting businesses around cricket. So we recently we launched something called recruit market, where if you are, if you're an individual or a business or a professional of cricket, you can sell your product or services and pictures to millions of visitors. So we started generating revenue, like two years back, and we are not yet profitable. But we have been able to control our burn rate, like drastically because of that. Interesting.

Krishna Jonnakadla  20:51

So let's talk about the beginning moments a little bit. You, you launched it. The very the very first version. What What was the initial version? Like? What was it a minimum viable product? Was it a mobile website? Was it an app? And how long did it take for you to get your first user?

Abhishek Desai 21:15

Surely, it's a very interesting story. Actually, as I mentioned before, we scored our first match on October 2017, October 2016. Now that was a match. In fact, there were four matches that day, and we were pulling all four matches together in parallel. Okay, and that was the first time we were doing that. So we were not even sure whether it was actually, and we did not have any application for the users, we only had a scoring application that doing like private beta, or private, alpha, whatever you want to call it, only we had access to those applications as folders. Now I myself went with my colleague, me and two other guys, which we hired at that time to for those matches, we were presented in foreground. And this was a tournament between all wizards University colleges. So it was a big tournament, there were like 50 teams, which are participating in that tournament there it is kind of an official tournament, because it is like the first step towards your professional journey of cricket, if you if you want to become a spectator. So at that time, no app for users, and we were scoring and you know, you're going on ground. And we were asking teams that, Hey, you guys need to register these applicants. And obviously, we had all the permissions before, where do you guys need to register. And now you know, your scoring will happen online, it was a very, very new thing for everybody. So they all were regulate quite pleasantly surprised that that thing was happening. And, you know, as soon as we started scoring, they were asking that, hey, when can I Where can I see school. And that was something which we never realized that, you know, that could happen. So then immediately, we had to, you know, like start sharing a link, a web on our web portal, which was not 100% ready, but at least the schools were getting updated there. So we manually started sharing the link to them on WhatsApp, that, hey, this is the link for your match. And you know, you can keep following, you can follow your match here. And then you can share this link with your friends so that you know, we don't have to do it with everybody. So that's how we know it, the entire journey started actually.

Krishna Jonnakadla  23:16

Interesting. And that was something that you scored, how long was it before you had random users or third party users that were possibly not part of your circle become users?

Abhishek Desai 23:30

Yeah, so that was also one incident, which probably will never forget. So after we started scoring this tournament, it was, as I said, into polish to come in 2016, after probably like, 1015 days, we saw one unknown match happening on our platform, okay. Now, I mean, we were not sure how that happened. But you know, we were like, decently satisfied the day, somebody we don't know is calling the man. And then we call that person and he said that, hey, you know what, I was one of the players in the tournament, which you guys are scoring. Right? And now I'm back to my native place. And here, there is one tournament happening. And you know, I want to support that tournament on your platform. So you know, I started putting and you know, is there anything more I can do? Or is there anything else you can help me with? That's when we realized that, hey, this is not just like individual math, these are all we can we can start giving the interface for creating a tournament also to the third party. So initially, for few months, actually, we did not have the interface. What we did is we asked him, Okay, tell us your tournament name. Tell us give us the date. Okay, and what what are you give us the logo of your tournament, and we will create a tournament for you and we will give you an access to for those matches under this to come that's how the journey started for tournament organizers. And you know, we were very, very happy to see that okay. Even at somebody else. Then us is also on a practical format is our platform.

Krishna Jonnakadla  25:04

Interesting? And let's let's talk about that initial journey a little bit. How, how long did it take for the user base to grow? How were those initial moments? Talk about the first maybe 100 users, 500 users, 1000 users? And what were those inflection points where it was evident to you that, you know, something is happening here? Sure.

Abhishek Desai 25:28

So we started in October. And obviously, because it was a for like a big tournament, there were like two teams, we we were able to get about 500 to 700 words in that persona meant to be. And slowly, slowly, people started, like not realizing that there is a platform like pick heroes, and you know, they can download the app, and they can start putting the matches on their own. And we also started supporting them, supporting them come back and buy a new like, creating tournament for them. So I believe by like, December, there were like 1000s of users who were already there, like 10,000 users. And I remember this particular milestone that it took 7.5 months, so seven and a half months, two or 300,000. For us. So that was the first big milestone, which we celebrated of having 100,000.

Krishna Jonnakadla  26:20

Wow, seven and a half months, 400,000 users is real quick.

Abhishek Desai 26:24

Yes, even we were surprised by the space. And you know, this is without any marketing, by the way, right? Obviously, we did not have any money for marketing. Fortunately, as soon as we launched the first version of the product, after a month or two, we were able to raise another round of funding from a friend and an investor. So from that perspective, we were good to go. We still had some money in the bank. But still it was not enough to market anything. And because it was an organic growth even today, like 99%, or let's say 98% of our growth is organic. We have hardly spent, like any money on marketing so far.

Krishna Jonnakadla  27:03

Terrific. How did the You said you are now present in 50 countries? How did this adoption outside of India happen?

Abhishek Desai 27:10

So I think the same way, just the way you would like one guy to get out from under by two nets about another, you know, like people who played cricket here in India, they talked sorry, who scored their matches and cricket heroes, they talked about heroes to their brands, or some some some somebody went to middle east, and then you know, spread the word there. And that's how the like people immediately started pouring. People in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, they all started scoring on 50 Rose, even in the United States and Canada, like where Indians are there. You know, as soon as they hear that something like this is like this thing. You know, they start scoring their matches. And so it's purely like word of mouth, from one pocket to another cricketer, from one organism to another organism.

Krishna Jonnakadla  27:56

So let's talk about the revenue generation, period, the moment you decided to monetize, when did it occur to you that I think you're ready to monetize, was it a internal decision where you wanted to stand the burn? Or you thought that this is the opportune moment? What was that moment like?

Abhishek Desai 28:18

So when we realized that, okay, this platform clickfunnels is getting popular amongst tournament organizers, who are kind of, you know, like, kind of b2b customers inside our our b2c idea. They obviously had some budget. And there were a few features which we, which we conceptualize that point upon which they should be ready to pay us something. So the first feature which we conceptualized was something called Super sponsors. So basically, if you are a tournament organizer, and if you have sponsors of a tournament, and if you want to give more visibility to those sponsors, on the tournament page, you can pay us let's say, hardly, let's say, six double nine per sponsor. And we will put the logos of that sponsor on every match for that, and on your tournament page. So that was the first premium feature, which we launched. If I'm not wrong, it was September 2017, when we launched this particular feature, so, since then, you know, we have been creating even like different different features, via which we are able to generate some revenue from the tournament organizers feature for players, it is picking sides. I think we launched probably somewhere in 2018 in March 2018 or something, where we decided that okay, we are getting some revenue from tournament organizers. But I think the most scalable way of getting revenue is directly from players. So that's when we came up with a concept of freaking sites where they are giving them more insights into their own performance. We are able to help them we are helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses. As a cricketer, we are helping them identify strengths and weaknesses of the opposition team before their match. So these are the features which we realized that okay, some players will be ready to pay for such features. And we started working on that, I think it took us about four or five months to develop that feature and launch in the market. And since then, we have been able to generate revenue from players also. And recently, in 2019, we have launched a couple of revenue streams, which are highly scalable. So we launched our facility to livestream your my case. So now, not only you can live code, but you can also livestream your cricket message with a bricklayer. So, that is one cool thing which which, which is, you know, like kind of something which a lot of cricketer has never seen, especially as at the grassroots level, that, you know, you can see your mat, like a TV, like a match on TV, with sports and everything. And we launched quickly with market where businesses and professionals around cricket can sell their products and services to millions of visitors directly to that town.

Krishna Jonnakadla  31:07

Very interesting. So looks like, you know, you've channeled all the, the business acumen into evolving the right, you know, feature sets. And I mean that very respectfully, because to be able to understand what to monetize, and at what points in time, especially for community or social apps, like yours, is an art form it in itself.

Abhishek Desai 31:33

I agree. In fact, one thing which helped, we were very clear from day one that we do not want ad based revenue. So even though we have a decent traffic, we have never run Google ads or Facebook ads on our platform, because, I mean, they almost always dilute the UX. And, you know, like, in most cases, the revenue is not meaningful to do that, actually. So that, you know, resolve helped us look for revenue at other places. And, you know, that's when the ideas like these come across, when you brainstorm

Krishna Jonnakadla  32:10

So, what were what are some other inflection points that have happened along the way? Have there been big moments? Are there players that came from a little league went went on to become a rugby player or a you know, the state level cricket kPa? Like Karnataka has a Karnataka Premier League I equalent to the IPL. So has any have have any of those big breakouts happened yet?

Abhishek Desai 32:40

So what I would, I would say is that there has been always like little little breakouts happening, like almost every month, but not, you know, like one big breakout, which has catapulted our growth to a next level. But what has happened is, like, throughout these years, is that we always get a big jump when the cricket season starts. So the first big jump was, of course, like November, December of 2016. And you know, we were just starting, right, and that's when the cricket starts in India, then the Li, like, from October onwards, one Come on from the road, or, you know, he's always receding, then, you know, the another same spike happened in 17. Again, Spike happened 18, and the recently 19. And the beauty of the new I mean, the thing which I'm proud of is that we have been able to maintain that level after the spike. So it's not like, you know, the spike happens, then, you know, you're back to the same level, which you were there before. But once the spike happened is we maintained that fight for or in fact, we grow from that spike towards the end of the season. And after that, you know, like after the monsoon is over, another level of next level of jump happens in terms of number of users number of matches. And now the network effect is also kicking in, the more layer you add, the more they are going to talk about and the more they are going to share about ratios and shelter achievement of the table and all. And that's how you know more and more people start moaning about via one of mouth. And in during the journey, actually, one a very, very good thing happened was that we were able to win the confidence of Cricket Association. So for example, as I mentioned, we have 50 plus Cricket Association with us plan, which is mainly the part of my colleague, Amit Shah, who is a professional self made for Google at under 23 and under 15. So he joined cricket very, very early, almost when we started in like September, October, and he's instrumental in bringing onboarding these Association. So what has happened is even though these associations do not get us like, let's say millions of users, but They give us a lot of credibility as a platform that okay, this Cricket Association of bluegrass or Cricket Association of Bengal, is using pretty rose to for the official tournament. Okay, this platform must have something like this platform must have some authenticity to it or some originality to it. And that's how the top down growth happened. And the bottom of growth happened via word of mouth replicator. Two, that is how to like slowly, slowly, gradually, we have grown every month, rather than like, after this one event.

Krishna Jonnakadla  35:31

Very interesting. So I'm hearing you, for the last few minutes makes me feel like this is like, American or Western freeway with no potholes. There, there don't seem to be any bumps on the road. In the journey since you began in 2016. Would that be accurate? Or have you had any challenges along the way? No, we

Abhishek Desai 35:55

have had our set of challenges, I think, one major challenge we have had is, after the point, you know, like after, let's say, some level of growth, we achieved at the peak time, on Sundays and Saturdays, our servers were breaking down. Right. And this is like a kind of a mission critical application, right? I mean, after using tricky rules for, let's say, 235 matches, you will stop putting your matches on paper based four sheets, and you will only rely on three kilos, which in a way, makes our responsibility far higher, much higher, because we have to make sure that the application does not go down at any point, especially when people are pulling, and a lot of matches, get it get played on Saturdays and Sundays, during the morning time. So for some time in 2000, like 18, December, Jan, consistently on Sundays, no, we will go down for like half an hour, one hour. And it was really, really frustrating for us. And it was obviously more per setting for our users. And, you know, like that, you figure this down during these peak hours, especially, we play, let's say, one match every Sunday, and that's when security is down. It's not good. So, but I must give all the credit to our users. They all have been very, very patient with us. And they have always been supporting, we have also helped them for their matches matches later on once the app is up and all. But that, you know, that is that is one time when you know, like we are really, really frustrated. And you know, we feel that we can definitely do better than this. So yes, those bumps were always there specific specifically, you know, those bumps from when you are scaling so fast. And that is something which we are still resolving and you know, like, becoming better and better at it. I wouldn't say we are we are there and you know, it will not happen again. But since last few weeks, at least we are like much more confident than we are now. Interesting.

Krishna Jonnakadla  38:02

How did the founding team come together? Were they all the same people that were a Digi card.

Abhishek Desai 38:08

So from Digi core, I came out and started with heroes. Then as I mentioned, my colleague, Amit Shah, who is basically a cousin of my colleague Quinta, who is also the co founder of Digi cause. He joined kryptos, early, early in the days, and we both started working on kryptos. And the original technology team was, of course, from Digi core, because we already had people there. So we dedicated certain developers on building heroes, developers and designers. And that's how I got my first dedicated team of two heroes. And slowly slowly, we shifted that entire team to create Heroes is a separate entity, a separate company, even though we sit in the same demise, but now we are in a separate organization, separate teams. And recently, like about three months back, my colleague quintel, who was running difficult after I left in 2016. He also joined Victor's full time. So that's how the founding team has been built.

Krishna Jonnakadla  39:11

So any disagreements or any founding team problems so far or everything is hunky dory?

Abhishek Desai 39:18

So we have not had our like major disagreements that showed obviously, you have fair share of discussions and agreements and disagreements, but since I believe all of us are aligned towards the same goal. I think we have been able to avoid major disagreements

Krishna Jonnakadla  39:38

so far. Okay. So what's the dream scenario for cricket heroes when you started? Did you expect cricket heroes to you know be what it is today? And if it has already surpassed your wildest expectations, what's what is the future look

Abhishek Desai 39:56

like? Okay, so when it started the tech heroes, honestly I never knew it could be good to reach such a scale even though it is still very, very small. To be honest, according to our estimate, there has to be at least six crores to buy 10 crores cricketers in India alone, and overall market of amateur applicators. ICC estimated it to be like 300 million. So even like three times our expectation. So obviously, the first goal is to reach each and every creator on this arc, who is playing cricket now, he should be he or she should be on three kilos, scoring their magic, that is definitely the ultimate end goal, right. And then obviously, everything else revolves around these dividends. And we will figure out a way to make money out of this audience. But our first responsibility is to speak better, we need to give them a platform to showcase their talent, we need to recognize their talent, and we need to make them better. That is what ultimately the Heroes is.

Krishna Jonnakadla  41:01

So it's one thing to put a product together. Because managing success is also a big task in itself. A lot of people who are yet to achieve any sort of growth or success in anything that they're doing. Think that Oh, success is all hunky dory. In fact, handling success takes in a much bigger effort than handling failure, in my opinion, right? That means, you know, there are multiple friends, technology people processes. So once you started seeing the scale happened, what it did, did it start tearing you apart? Did you have rudimentary processes? Or what was that part of the scale journey

Abhishek Desai 41:49

like? Sure. So again, here, the experience with digital health. So because we did this, like multiple times in the past, first advantage, which I had as an entrepreneur that you I bought on the kind of ready made technology, which is definitely not the case with many, many entrepreneurs who start from scratch. Because I did my first campaign, this was my second venture, which definitely helped. From that perspective, there was also a little bit of processes in place when we started. And because the people I worked with the new from the days of physical, it was the jailing of the team was quite smooth, according to having said that, I think still a major, like frustrations are there when you're definitely when the servers are not up or the app is down. It is not the case that time which frustrates us a lot. We are learning on our way to the scale. And even though like No, I am not a big, big fan of processes, we have to have certain processes in place to make sure our servers are up all the time. Our users do not face any kind of downtime. And one more thing which which we learned during the journey of clickfunnels is how to interact with customers, specifically in case of b2c because in case of digital arbitrage, like b2b business, right, so at the most you are talking to like one client or two clients or pipelines, if not more than that. And here today, because we are talking to like hundreds of visitors every single day. So to build a team, which can respond to the queries of our users as fast as possible. I think that specific part, like had a lot of learning for us. And we're still learning, we still have not figured out the ultimate way of resolving that. But we are really proud of the support team or the customer support team which we have created. And our bare bones system, which is in place, because it is very, very efficient, very, very fast. We get back to our users within 24 hours. And you know, that is one thing which we are really, really proud of, in this building of the complete process.

Krishna Jonnakadla  44:09

I was really curious about one aspect. You mentioned early on that you are known to be a man of ideas. You are known to be creative amongst friends and family and you personally consider yourself a creative person. And one thing with the creative minds and curious minds is that they tend to get bored pretty fast. Right? Right. And then you are shining. you're chasing the next shiny object didn't happen after you came came up with Creek heroes. Did you ever get bored?

Abhishek Desai 44:44

Actually, you know that is you're absolutely right. And I see that as a weakness actually now, I have done that mistake in the past where you know I start something in the I easily get bored and then I lose my focus and start something else which we Basically results into failure of the previous attempt. It's no, it sounds very romantic on paper, you know, like, getting ideas and working on them, and you know, to be known as a creative person. But at the end, I realized that until unless you did not execute your ideas, and take them to a certain level, actually doesn't matter how many ideas you can come up with, you know, creativity has no value, if it is not adding any value to the society, or at least. So, when I started with heroes, I was consciously aware about this weakness of myself. And I try very, very hard not to lose my focus, even when things are going smooth, I can, you know, I tend to I impasse, I tend to get relaxed, and you know, like, trying to keep on new ideas and all. But this time, I'm not doing that mistake. And, you know, until and unless we do not reach to a far, far bigger scale than this. I am not sitting idle and not losing my focus. And I'm not getting both.

Krishna Jonnakadla  46:08

I'm glad you said that. Because coming up with new ideas within an idea is also a creative process. Because one of the things that people don't realize, and I am a creative, I consider myself to be a creative person, as well. And what I did over a period of time was, once I started working on an idea, if a new idea occurred to me, I would just jot it down. And then I would say, I'm working on this, I'll come back to this later. And, more importantly, one of the tweaks that I made was that let me just stay focused on this. And let me just stay and channel on all my creativity into this new one, because there are endless number of things. So for instance, you just began with scoring, and look where you've gotten today. Right? Right. So that takes Herculean effort to stay away from all the distractions and, and there are, if anything, the described distractions that we all have are only multiplying by the day. Right. So great. So let me ask you another question. In the cook hero's journey, did you ever feel that you it was all falling apart? Or did you ever feel? Have you ever come on the brink of collapse other than the server outages or the technology outages that you talked about? Apart from that?

Abhishek Desai 47:43

I don't think there has been like, there have been any major incidents or events, where I am I felt that okay, this is not working. I think the only time when I really get frustrated, and you know, sometime I like to maybe I'm a very patient, person, I do not get irritated a lot. But you know, that is definitely one time when I get derailed. It's the most when the servers are not working. Apart from that, I think, what, what is happening is probably this is also an answer to one of the previous questions you asked about, about the success. I know, and maintaining the success is very, very hard. And you were absolutely right in saying that. So let's say let's, let's assume that, okay? Because at this stage is, is let's say a little bit of obsessive with not much. Now, because of this, what is happening as a founder is that many times I live in fear many times I leave that okay, what if Amazon goes down tomorrow, right, when all my servers are there, what if earthquake happens? in the data center, where all our data is stored? You know, these are I mean, they may sound like a silly thoughts, but these are kinds of nightmares. You know, like, which which you get when you become successful? Or are when you feel that Okay, there is a little bit of success now. So definitely, you know, like handling success is much, much harder, then handling a failure, as you rightly said, and I think it is going to get worse and worse. Imagine when 50 rows lead to more scale and make apparently becomes more successful in the eyes of our users. I think there will be more pressure on us as a founding team personally, to you know, to hinder the success based

Krishna Jonnakadla  49:52

Well, let's speak well, that speaks volumes for I guess the maturity you know, that has set in and perhaps A lot of the experience that you've had in delivering multiple projects and you know, prototypes and apps only goes to show that you have to be patient, you have to worry about so many aspects to make sure that you live up to the constant changing expectations that all stakeholders have it. Right? So let's talk about decisions in in this journey. What have been some decisions, when you look back, that really worked out? And what have been some decisions that absolutely did not work out at all. And in some sense, I don't want to get into the good versus bad decisions, or discussion, because most of good versus bad decisions is only in hindsight, if a decision works out, we say it's good. If a decision doesn't work out, it's, we say it's bad. But usually, if you make calculated moves, if you considered most aspects is circumspect decisions tend to largely pan out, what has been your experience in terms of decisions?

Abhishek Desai 51:07

Great question. So see, I think the main challenge, when you are developing a product is to handle priorities, right? There are so many things which we can do, but we cannot do everything. Because obviously, there is a risk constraint of team size, there is a constant of resources, money, etc. So the number one challenge for a product manager, which is handling that role in three key roles right now is to prioritize the features. That process is, fortunately, is enough, it's quite a, like, more or less set in curriculum right now. Because, again, because of my previous experience as product managers in various products, but still, I sometime, you know, like given to my emotions, and come up with an idea. Even though let's say, No, that is not a priority at that time. So there have been few instances like that, where I was very, very bullish on certain idea, we worked hard, we implemented that idea. And, you know, then nobody uses it. Right? So you fall flat on your face, one of the ideas, which we implemented on creaky rows, like, somewhere, I think, after one and a half years, was a challenge challenge for a match. So I thought that why don't we give a facility to our users to find the teams around them, and challenge them for a match. So that, you know, this way, new people, new teams can play against each other, and you know, new matches can happen, etc, etc. And it will be very, very exciting. Now, we long develop that feature, we launched that feature with all the fanfare and everything. And we know, like, probably hardly, like 100 people use that feature so far. So, you know, it's, it's, it's very, very difficult to, like, predict, in product game, that what ideas of yours will work out at a grand scale and know which ideas will not work at all. So that is where, you know, I think in terms of decisions I have had to face like most number of challenges. The second second aspect to this question will be, I think, decisions to hire people that, you know, how do you know? How do you identify the right person for your team. And for us, the culture has been asked a number of priorities in the days of difficult. When we started back in 2004, we wanted to make a company, which developers would like to work with, and we were fan of 37 signals, and we read getting real and we were and like the distributed copy 100 copies of rework to like our clients and to parents and everybody and they said, Okay, now we want to work. So, you know, that, that we're creating that kind of culture has always been a priority. So when making decisions to hire people, right, this becomes very, very challenging that you know, the person has to be a culture fit first, then the product. So, yeah, I think the second challenge, which I have faced is, you know, when when hiring, and hire had had, like, my fair share of mistakes, in terms of decisions in hiring people as well, that you know, somebody you hire, and you are very, very bullish on the exact person that, you know, he or she will bring so many changes and so many new ideas to the team. And unfortunately, it never happens, or it happens too late. And you know, you have to like to that person. And, you know, these are the experiences you really don't want to have during your journey.

Krishna Jonnakadla  54:49

So, I'm glad you brought out the culture aspect as well around decisions. It's a it's a tough cookie. It's easier to talk but extremely tough to do that. One of those topics, I guess, every one of us can write blogs and books about, but when it comes to implementation, for instance, it is there's emerging evidence right now to say, four day workweeks work, right? Microsoft, Japan seems to have tried it. You know, while a set of people has come out against it saying, you know, the Japanese are very overworking population. So it's not surprising that it actually clicked so well in Japan. But I have my own, I will admit, I have a personal bias in favor of the four day workweek. Because increasingly, when you factor in your the commute and all the other things that you need to do on a regular basis, if you're not rested, if you're not doing something else, interesting and take a break, and we're doing meaningful stuff, you won't bring a lot of new energy into what you're already doing. Right? So, but it's easier said than done, because the whole world is working. And in India, in most cases, maybe in tier two, tier three, you're even seeing six day work weeks. So when you see that situation, coming up with a process to implement the 64 day workweek is far more challenging to do, you're constantly doubting yourself, you know, have I made the wrong decision? Right. So now, let me ask you this. And I saw on that culture count, let me take a small digression into into a tweet that I read recently, about a month ago, in entrepreneurial organizations, and startups or companies, extraordinary growth is achieved by enabling managers, on, you know, people with entrepreneurial style abilities in an organization, put them on top of ideas that scale, and really get out of their way. Right. So it is one thing to hire people that you think are going to work. And it's a totally different things to create the culture at the adornment, assuming they are a cultural fit, you should also have an environment where they can sort of be their best. Right? So what have you done within Korea heroes obviously do you with when you're seeing this sort of scale, you must be doing something right in that direction.

Abhishek Desai 57:26

Right. So let me start a little bit before the heroes. So you mentioned about for a while, we, when we started the G chord, we were six days, what we write, and we were the then we started giving alternate Saturdays holiday. And at one point of time, we decided that, okay, we want to give Friday, we want to become a five day work week for the company. And it was a big decision, believe me at that time, there were like hardly any company in Ahmedabad, which was doing it that way. And we feel like we were in a way kind of pioneers of this concept in the city. And at that time, really, it was very, very hard for us to, you know, like, imagine whether we have done the right thing or not. But I'm so glad at the end of the, you know, at the end of this, I am so glad that we did that. And you know, it has worked fantastically for us throughout our journey. And you know, like, we have had a very, very low attrition rate in the G Corp also, and in Greek heroes, because because of these experiences, and because of these failures, and you know, successes, which we had, I was I have been able to implement a lot of things, which will keep the team jealous with each other, we have all like, only probably like one person, which left the company in three years in quick heroes, and we have to let go only one person, which was not like performing up to the mark so far. And we are 30 people company right now. So from that perspective, we have had a pretty, pretty good, we have done pretty well, I believe, and it's only an only because of companies like 37 signals and looks like people were rewarded, we have been able to you know, implement such practices which keep the team agenda. And as you rightly said, I am a firm believer of like, you know, hiring, hiring the right person and you know, getting out of the way to make sure that they do their best work. And you know, I have seen that working like for the period of like 1516 years now. And a few more things which are done in curriculars, which was not there in difficult ways. For example, we got rid of the the overly thing, right, it's difficult for the consulting company. So you know, we had to keep log of everyday work, because that's that's how you know, clients paid us on our early contracts and all That is not required in curriculars and get rid of them. We do not have any leave policy. We have, we do not have any specific vacation policy, if you need lived, take a leave, come back when you can, and you know, keep working do your best. So I think these are some of the policies which have definitely worked in favor of curriculums.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:00:17

While that's fantastic. So, somebody takes a vacation, and and i'm assuming they're getting paid. That's paid leave, right? Yes. Oh, that Oh, that's fascinating. Well, no wonder. And and you're a lean team, and I'm certain you're, you're a thick set of, you know, team members, and which is why you're seeing what you're saying. so fantastic. So let's get into the personal side of abishek. What do you as a person, what do you like? What do you do for fun? That sort of stuff? Sure.

Abhishek Desai 1:00:50

So I think one thing, which keeps me personally going is a weekend ticket. That was the main reason, you know, like, that was also the root reason why we started with heroes. So we are very, very passionate group of people who play cricket every weekend. And we have been doing this for almost like 810 years now. So and it's a very, very competitive cricket. By the way, it's even though we're playing it, you know, at a very, very early level, or you can say, but, you know, it's it's like, the full ground is a full astroturf wicked. A very, very competitive cricketers who have, like, some of them have played professionally before in the past, and you know, almost all of us play for clubs. So we all like loved cricketers. So very, very competitive, but at the same time, extremely friendly. So after school, I think this is the best set of people I have had in my life. And that is, you know, one thing which keeps me going apart from work. And of course, my family, like, my wife, my children, they both are growing right now, my, I have a daughter and son, my daughter is 11 son is nine. So we like having them in my life is in our life, is the probably the only thing which I require, you know, to to keep to keep myself going.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:02:06

That's what that's wonderful in this personal journey. Running a startup means you're a leader and leadership is usually not given, it's taken. You have to, and a lot of people also don't understand what it means to be a leader, there is so much uncertainty, there is there is a burden of expectations. And you know, contrary to what what is popularly thought, it is actually a thankless job. Because you have to assume everybody's responsibility. But nobody assumes you're wrong. Right. And and there are things that you can not tell anyone, no matter what sort of an environment you have. So how has it been? How have you seen yourself grow as a leader?

Abhishek Desai 1:02:55

So very interesting question. Actually, when when we started, like, when I started my first company, I had three colleagues, right, three co founders apart from myself. So that way, even though I have been at a leadership position since 2004, I have never felt lonely, because I always had my colleagues, my friends first, right, they will think we are all friends first. So you know, it was it was not a lonely job, even though it was a leadership role. And definitely, we learned a lot during these journey by doing things by reading by following people. And you know, by, in fact, a lot of our clients also inspired us during the journey. When I started click heroes, I was the only person from like the four people, the original four people who started with us. And for quite some time, even though my colleague meetcha was there he is a he's a much, much younger person. And you know, obviously, you have not worked with him before. So for quite some time, it was a lonely job, honestly, for me. And, you know, that was something which was completely new, right. And I was, I was never this lonely before. So not only I had to take all the decisions myself at the end of the day, but I also had to make sure that my team is in place, and no, everybody is happy at the work. And at the same time, you know, like my users are growing and my product is performing so many responsibility. And at the end of the day, I'm the only one who is responsible for everything. Now, after my colleague punter joined, like about two, three months back, I think, you know, that thing has more or less in your life has been resolved. Because you know, I have somebody I know who I know, who I can trust and somebody I know is, you know, like, smarter than me in many aspects. So that you know, the database the loneliness is like little bit less now, even though even though you know, still, at the end of the day, all the responsibilities mind. I am responsible for all the successes and failures of this company, but I think having to share share that with somebody is a very, very important thing for any company or any startup. So I think that way, that's probably you know, everybody says that, you know, it is it is always better to have a co founder than not. Yeah, you

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:05:12

true that having just another prospective sounding board definitely helps, especially given that you're both invested in one outcome. Right. Right. That that makes a big difference. So you mentioned books. Are you an avid reader? Yes. Okay, awesome. What sort of books do you read? And what has been a book that you read recently that sort of left you thinking or fascinated for quite some time?

Abhishek Desai 1:05:43

I think in terms of like, recent reading list, I think sapiens, I read from Yuval Harare, that is one book, which has kept me fascinated for a long time, I'm still fascinated with it. There is another book called fact fullness, which which talks about how the world has evolved in our world world is today's world is a much better place than before. And it is backed by data. I think that is another book, which has fascinated me a lot. In fact, that has changed the way I perceive the world. Because you know, like, especially if you are an avid news follower and all, it's always gloomy, right? It's always dark, because only negative things make the news. So and I'm not I'm not that person. But you know, even if you're reading this the newspaper, you know, you you, you seem that you feel that the world is going haywire. And a lot of negative things are happening. And you know, there is no end to this. Actually, it is not the case. And, you know, I was made to realize that by reading this book, tactfulness Sapiens helped me understand how humans have evolved. how, you know, like Homo sapiens survived when the other species of humans did not, and we were not the only species of human insight. The second book commodious talk about future more how future is going to be challenging, when you know, there will be what happens when not a lot of people are working, what what they are doing, and in a lot of stuff. So yeah, these are some of the books, which have fascinated me a lot. Generally, I read a lot of business books. I always read business books, but recently, I have also started reading a slightly different genre. Like, for example, the current book, which I'm reading is, is from an author from a gentleman author, who it's a book countries. So I'm fascinated with trees and jungles, specifically forests. And you know, in this book, he has shown how trees are social animals just like us know how trees communicate, basically. So the Secret Life of trees. Yes. The Secret Life of trees. Yes.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:07:46

I'm reading that one, too. Okay, great. Super. Yeah. So you know, absolutely fascinating, right? Yeah, it's a it's a fascinating read. I'm reading that. And I'm also reading another book called Banaras, the City of Light, because I have an upcoming trip to Banaras. What what are some people that you idolize and possibly look up to? And if I could use the phrase, when Abhishek grows up? Who does he like to be like?

Abhishek Desai 1:08:10

So I have been, you know, like, now in a slightly older generations of entrepreneurs, I'm not in my 20s anymore. So I have a grown up reading a lot about Bill Gates. And later on about Steve Jobs, like the two, probably the biggest icons of that time, right. So these two personalities have always fascinated me. And I'm like, I'm a big fan of both of them. Even though most of the people are either fan of Bill Gates, or they're fan of Steve Jobs, somehow, you know, that kind of rivalry is also there in the fans, but I'm fan of both of them. I admire them very, very, very, very much. And I think what they have achieved in the life is something, you know, like, very, very rare. And, you know, if I could do even say 1% of it, I would be very, very happy

Abhishek Desai 1:09:01

after that. I respect because, again, I'm from a technology background, all my inspiration from the technology world. I respect, Mark Zuckerberg, a lot. You're much much younger than me, but I mean, it's,

Abhishek Desai 1:09:16

it's fascinating, what he has built. Obviously, there are likely no like people in favor of it and against it. Nowadays, he has like more people against him and his companies, but I think what whatever he has achieved in his life is definitely like, is not a cup of tea for you know, like a lot of people. So yeah, these are And apart from that, of course, founders of 37 signals are a much, much smaller organization compared to the previous one, which I mentioned. But still, whatever they have built is very, very inspiring to us, specifically, the kind of company they are made, the kind of products they make. And then I also grown reading about Joel's father Who is the founder of epic software and founder of Stack Overflow, co founder of Stack Overflow and co founder of Trello? So, that guy, you know, like, writes, I mean, I'm a big fan of his, his, his essays, and, you know, his his articles on his blog dwell on software. And a big fan of Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator. Yeah, I guess, yeah, these are the personalities, which have shaped me and my thing,

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:10:30

Oh, that's great. The guys are 3037 signals definitely have an approach. And it's always fascinating to hear them talk. Because when you are an entrepreneur, cultivating multiple points of view has to become sort of a sort of very second nature trait, right? Because there are multiple ways to look at an angle. And that's where you get your decision making ability from, because if one approach has already been presented, that means it doesn't make or the return on thinking in, in the same on the same lines is actually negligible. And since you mentioned the Mark Zuckerberg, if he read up about the decisions that he made, so for instance, when Yahoo made a bid to, you know, buy Facebook, or how did they buy Instagram? How did they make decisions to buy WhatsApp? So very, very fascinating. Especially these are not small decisions, and it is not callous decisions to just pay a billion dollars or $19 billion, no matter how much money you have. Right? So those are all amazing sources of inspiration. I do wish, though, that a lot of the Cambridge analytical stuff and a lot of the political, you know, leveraging of Facebook that's happening, you know, stops and maybe changes. But hey, you know, what, we don't live in utopia, and there are a lot of angles that we are personally not aware of. So we'll see. So great. Abby, shake, it's been terrific chatting with you. Before we wrap up, what would be your advice to let's say people who are starting out building, you know, newer businesses in India, because the ecommerce, the online, all of that is jaded, and it's refreshing to hear a slightly different venture that is working at scale. And you're not even tapping into the usual IPL, fantasy, cricket, that sort of stuff, you're tapping into some real world stuff. And to see that it's a, it's a revenue generating enterprise, and it's growing is fascinating. So having created a venture with a difference and taken a different point of view, and being a creative person, what would be your final thoughts, and inputs to potential founders and wannabe entrepreneurs listening to this podcast? Sure.

Abhishek Desai 1:13:09

So one question, you know, when, when I, when I visit, like startup events, like startup weekends, or, you know, like, we have Chai here in Ahmedabad, they do a lot of events like this. So one question which repetitively comes, from a perspective from potential founders or founders is that I'm thinking about this idea, and I'm still not sure whether I should do it. And you know, there are so many challenges, etc, etc. But I think, you know, at the end of the day, if I have to give only one advice to these founders, is that just do it, right. It's a tagline of Nike, but I think it's very, very true at multiple levels, right? where sometimes, you know, we think a lot, and we don't do much, which is, I don't think a positive trait for any entrepreneur, I think the only way you will learn whether this works or doesn't work is not by thinking, but by doing. So, you know, just just go ahead and do whatever you want to life is short, you will not get a lot of chances. And you can take a lot of risk when you are young, and when you do not have a lot of responsibility. So that is the best time to start a venture. And that is the best time also because you do not have a lot of experience. Many times when you have experienced, you know you have your own ways of thinking and you know, your mind is trained to think in such a particular way. And that becomes a hindrance in starting specifically a new type of venture, because you're still so used to certain processes and know certain elements of business and all but that's not how the new ideas come. So you know, just do it and do it when you want to and do it when you have less experience. Yeah, I think probably these other things which I would like to say. That's That's amazing.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:15:00

Do it young and do it when you're a little inexperienced, because you don't have the burden of knowledge that actually stops you from taking any action, right, or maybe a lot of actions that you're embarking on. That's amazing advice. I've not heard that one before. So on that count abishek. Fantastic. Thank you for sharing your journey with us at muhajirs of scale. I know this is just the beginning and horizons of scale. And I say this to every every entrepreneur that is on our platform. And we will be back with you on another session. We'll be the next couple of years, where we'll hear about new scaling new heights, and we'll do a session to then to cover what that vantage point looks like.

Abhishek Desai 1:15:48

Yes, thank you. Thank you so much, Krishna. It has been a one it has been wonderful talking to you. And I wish a lot of success to this podcast and to your ventures. And I really hope that you know, this, this podcast reaches to like many, many entrepreneurs, who are just about to begin their entrepreneurial journey and you know, they find a lot of inspiration from this podcast.

Nida Sahar  1:16:15

We hope you enjoy the story. If this story made a difference to you. Tell us by leaving a comment on the website or our social media channels help us spread the love by subscribing liking and sharing our show. We welcome speaker suggestions and collaborations write to me at heythere@maharajasofscale.com