Nischal of WazirX On Scaling Two Startups
Nischal of WazirX On Scaling Two Startups

How Nischal Shetty used a simple formula called ETC to scale two startups to millions of users

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An inventive young entrepreneur breaking the conventional myths of start-ups with his zealous attitude. On a journey to finding solutions and emerging trends. Nischal self-taught organic growth hack and founded start-ups that are today lashing definitions in the ecosystem. Listen to Nischal of WazirX on scaling two startups to millions of users.

A passionate coder realized his IT corporate job did not let him understand the impact he was making on the end-user.  This quickly lead to a career switch at BURRP – One of India’s earliest restaurant discovery platforms.

After learning the ropes of start-up Burrp, he launches CrowdFire which notches up millions of users. Using a simple formula called ETC, Nischal goes on to repeat his success of scaling at his next startup WazirX now owned by Binance, the world’s most pre-eminent Crypto Organizations.

What is ETC? What Growth Hacks did they apply? You definitely want to hear Nischal Shetty’s insight and the start-up story that has an abundance of wisdom to offer. Listen to Nischal of WazirX On Scaling Two Startups.

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Here are excerpts from the episode:

 Initial Growth

And within two days, I saw about five to 7000 signups coming in. And that’s when I realized that what I wanted at least 10,000 more people wanted. That realization happened but like I said, I since I was not, this was not built as a startup startup. I thought to myself, maybe you know, this is just that initial surge of people that come to a product.

And eventually you forget the product and move on, because that’s what I’ve done to a lot of products and read about it, go sign up, use it and then forget.

But surprisingly, with this product that I’ve built, people kept coming back and kept referring their friends too. So within a few months, the number went to I think 100 or 150,000, signups organic, all organic

7:31 – Nischal

Growth Hack by Nischal

I would say the growth hack that I put in into the product. So that helped me really rapidly grow. And that’s when I learned that if you the one of the best ways for you to grow your product if you can make your users get you more users.

10:57 – Nischal

Watch on Youtube:

Listen to another Maharaja talk about his Scale Journey: Nithin Of Zerodha: Season 1, Episode 2

Word To Indian Entrepreneurs by Nischal

I think it’s a it’s a matter of time, before entrepreneurs learn all of these things and started acting. Right now I think it’s, there’s the other part of growth is when capital is cheap, you, obviously you exploit that. And the last 10 years, I think capital has been cheap, but there will come a time where capital will not be cheap, and maybe this time that we are going through might result in that, and that is where I think these organic growth hacks become all the more important.

But I think the other aspect is in India, if we were to spread this, I would say, especially for first time entrepreneurs who don’t usually have access to capital, these kinds of strategies become very, very crucial to take them off the ground. Because as now I’ve learned as a second time, founder third time, it’s so easier to get access to capital.

But first time founders always have it difficult. So if they start implementing these growth hacks with a good product, I think it will help them grow faster.

21:24 – Nischal

Decision Making Is Key!

We got all support we wanted. But I and that’s where I think when you raise money, it’s very, very important to look at who you raise from, and, you know, how can they help you and have they, I’m biased more towards, you know, just having to work with people who’ve seen companies growing or also not growing.

I think if they have seen both of those, then they understand there are decisions to be made at times, and those can be hard decisions. So for us it worked out well I guess

28:49 – Nischal

RBI and Crypto

RBI said none of the banks under the RBI can work with any of the crypto related businesses or crypto activities. So what that meant was we could not have a bank account to accept deposits or process withdrawals for people. So what we did is we said, that’s fine. We can act like an escrow for the crypto, we will hold the crypto in our escrow

35:34 – Nischal

So that’s the other aspect that unknowingly I think I built something that helped our company, but the intention was to spread the right information about crypto and help the situation that was there, which is something this is again, it comes on you know, if you are mission driven, not everything can you look at it from a lens of how do I grow my product, my company my stuff.

You can also look at how do I help them industry, the country, the sector. And if you take initiatives there, it helps you in branding yourself in the right way.

This was I think, probably my one of my biggest learnings in the whole world of branding. And see if you think about it, your growth, everything, it’s never a zero or a one, like, you know, you just do this and you will.

38:22 – Nischal

Crypto is Safe!

Crypto is a new technology that’s all. And you know anything any technology can be misused and also use for the right thing. There is no such technology which cannot be misused. But that does not mean that we do not adopt that technology. Because the thing is, even if one country does not adopt it, the rest of the world is going to adopt it.

Like if you wanted to, even if you had banned the internet, the only, you know, bad thing that would have come out is we would have as a country lost out on learnings and a lot of information that we get today.

And the communication that happens on the internet, we would not have had this we would not have had amazing companies coming out of India, the end eventually because you will have to join in. And that is what always happens, right?

55:55 – Nischal

Show Notes

Follow Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) | Twitter

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Episode Transcript

(Automated Transcript)

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

crypto, people, building, india, product, blockchain, ban, users, startup, launched, learning, growth, happened, realized, ecosystem, country, grow, bitcoin, tweet, indian

SPEAKERS

Nida, Krishna Jonnakadla, Nischal

Krishna Jonnakadla  00:01

This is Maharajas 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 are changing the game completely. I am Krishna Jonnakadla, serial entrepreneur, co founder of FLIT, the Fashion Locator In Town and start up mentor bringing you these stories. Hey, listeners, this is Krishna from Maharajas of scale. Today we have 30 under 30 Forbes entrepreneur, Nischal Shetty of Wazirx, who's really creating a revolution on the blockchain, in the blockchain in the crypto space in India. I'm expecting this to be one interesting interview, Nischal, welcome to the show.

Nischal  00:47

Thanks for having me. Glad to be on the show. I look forward to discussing all the stuff that I've learnt in my journey.

Krishna Jonnakadla  00:54

Wonderful. So tell us about yourself a little bit and what you're working on right now.

Nischal  00:59

Sure. I started off my career as a software engineer, and ended up working in a corporate and a startup, eventually quit my job to start on my own, build a social media product, scaled it up, raise venture capital, and then moved on to building my current startup, which is WazirX again, scale it up, got acquired. Yeah, they're still running in.

Krishna Jonnakadla  01:20

Interesting. Software engineer in India.

Nischal  01:23

Yeah,

Krishna Jonnakadla  01:24

but an Indian company. Okay.

Nischal  01:25

Yeah. So one was corporate for about two years I worked there. Then I moved to burrp.com, which used to be like,  it's a restaurant review website which was.

Krishna Jonnakadla  01:34

Yeah, Yeah, I know burrp, pre eat zomato.

Nischal  01:38

Yes, this is early days. And then from there, I quit to build my own startup.

Krishna Jonnakadla  01:43

Very interesting. Burrp was, I think 15 years old or something.

Nischal  01:48

Yeah, I joined in 2009. Zomato, or any such websites were not there. Burrp was like the default. Right? All of us used to use burrp to search restaurants and that's what I used to use and so I thought and it was one of those early startups. So I thought I should join that. I had an amazing set of colleagues. That's where I actually learned. So that was my entry into the whole startup ecosystem before that in a corporate job. And in 2000, early 2017, it was something like startups was not in my, at the top of my mind, I did not even know a word like that existed till I joined. And that's the whole my whole outlook towards building companies, how you can scale them and all started right.

Krishna Jonnakadla  02:29

It's pretty interesting as a youngster, you're still young, way back then working for a corporate practically most youngsters today, think working for a great corporate as a software engineer, "matlab life set ho gaya", right. But way back then 2007-8, the financial crisis that happened. Yeah. Interesting. What drove you to join burrp?

Nischal  02:52

So I was working for around two and a half years. I think the biggest problem for me in my corporate job. I love the job, I got a lot of opportunities, but it was more of a enterprise product where what I built I never saw anyone using.

Krishna Jonnakadla  03:08

Okay.

Nischal  03:09

And I think that constantly bothered me because I got no feedback. What was I building who I was building for, was I making someone angry or happy? I never got to know about that. And here I was using burrp one of these days for searching a restaurant. And I was like, I didn't know whether the burrp was Indian, because it was a really beautifully made website. So when I researched I realized this was in Mumbai, and I used to work in Bangalore back then. So I just sent an email. And I think within a day, I got a reply. And they just wanted me to come to Bombay for an interview. I flew down there spoke to the founders and a couple of team members. I loved the interaction. And I think immediately I got an offer, I decided I should join. So it was more like effortless, though the interviews were difficult, but I think the whole transition just happened when I applied.

Krishna Jonnakadla  04:02

Interesting. I wish, well, I'm just hoping one of our goals in Maharajas of scale is to enable 100 billion dollar enterprises and entrepreneurs and fire up those dreams. And I'm glad you know you did that. Because  practically everyone forget seeing the customer. Most of the time when you work in software in large enterprises, you don't even get to work on the whole product. Many times you don't get a sense of what you're impacting, I guess, making an impact and entrepreneurship is somewhere part of you. Is your family, a business family or is there entrepreneurship in the family?

Nischal  04:41

Yeah, I mean, my dad has a restaurant in India, he used to run restaurants in Mumbai. That's how he came to Mumbai, from his hometown, very early in life. And I think, growing up I used to see him working on his own. And that definitely was a motivation for me. But here's the thing. I don't think when I graduated, I did not graduate with the whole objective of like, I'm going to be a entrepreneur, I'm going to build a company. My only goal was, can I, I love the software, right in college, I just loved creating software. My idea was, can I just keep doing that? And that's why the first one or two years of the corporate job felt amazing because I was learning a lot. But I think somewhere down the line, then the realization happened that, alright, I'm building this I'm learning, but who's benefiting from this. So it was that curiosity that ultimately led me to do everything in my life is, you know, I think after that has been about who is it that I'm building this for? And when I see motivation, and the motivation is in seeing how people use what you've built, that's been the biggest satisfaction for me. And that's why I think, more than anything else, if I'm not able to reach more people with what I built, I think that's the point where I'm not happy. I think that's the only thing that makes me sad when not enough people are using that product.

Krishna Jonnakadla  06:00

iIteresting, inherent in that I want to build something and then they have to be happy, I think you hit many fundamental truths of building a product, right? Build something that people want, I guess, if you know what their pain is, you already have a user persona and the user segment in mind. So it is, it's great to hear that. So how long were you at work?

Nischal  06:22

About a year and a half? Okay. And here's the thing at burrp, when I joined them, and I joined as a software engineer, I started learning how startups function, the whole flat structure because before that, it was like a hierarchy I came from, right, out here, I saw the founders, everyone sitting together and working. There's no hierarchy. And so that's where I got introduced to a flat structure. I also saw the speed at which you could go live with a startup versus what used to happen before is a lot of stuff before you even send your software to the client. So speed speed is something I learned early on in my job, then eventually I also started realizing that software is something that you can just build alone and launch it. Prior to that, I always used to think you need an entire team of people, you need a lot of preparation, a lot of money, a lot of stuff to go live, here I realized that you could actually build something alone in your free time and do it. And that's how I think I took the decision that I'll try to build something on my weekends. And that's where my journey to building my own startup began.

Krishna Jonnakadla  07:29

Let's talk about that. So then what happened?

Nischal  07:31

So this was the early days of Twitter 2007 or eight, I think Twitter, I joined Twitter 2008, I guess. And I, I was closely following the Twitter ecosystem and the Twitter API was launched. So I wanted to just play around with these API's. And I thought, why not, you know, try to build something that would be useful to me. And one of the problems I faced with my Twitter feed was that I had followed too many people and my feed was really filled with spam and stuff back then. So I build a simple way for me to unfollow people I did not want to follow. And that became the first version of my product. And I just put it out because see, this is again, yeah, like we discussed it was my need to sort of have others use what I made, right. I've never been one that, you know, I want to hide what I did. I want to put it out, right. So I just sent it out. That was not the objective. I just put it out. And it happened to get profiled on TechCrunch and TechCrunch back in 2009 2010 used to be one of those blogs where if you get featured there, you get 10s of thousands of people signed it up. And that's what exactly happened. So this part time project got featured on TechCrunch. And within two days, I saw about five to 7000 signups coming in. And that's when I realized that what I wanted at least 10,000 more people wanted, that realization happened but like I said, I since I was not, this was not built as a startup startup. I thought to myself, maybe you know, this is just that initial surge of people that come to a product. And eventually you forget the product and move on, because that's what I've done to a lot of products and read about it, go sign up, use it and then forget. But surprisingly, with this product that I've built, people kept coming back and kept referring their friends too. So within a few months, the number went to I think 100 or 150,000, signups organic, all organic. And it reached this place where this was free the product was sleep till then. And it was still being built by me in my part time. But it reached a stage where I was not able to pay the server charges. It really got expensive. So I thought why not, you know, try to monetize it a bit. And I put a simple $10 plan as a payment gateway. After you unfollow let's say 20 people a day. I used to ask you to pay me $10 Okay. And it was a one time payment people had to do, and I think they're good. This I still remember this, within a month, I think I made enough money to pay not only pay my server but also I realized that I was it was giving me really good returns. Okay. And I continue working on that for another, I think three to five months after the monetization as a part time thing where it reached a stage where it was paying me more in a month than my salary of of my day job for the entire year. So that was the moment where, you know, I realized I'm making good enough money, I can now quit and do this full time. So for me, the whole reason why I'm putting this timeline is because for me, it was not like, I'm going to quit my job, I'm going to build something. I'm going to make it big. It was more like I'm going to build something because I love building. I put it out people loved it. I tried to monetize it, people paid for it. I eventually quit my job. Right? That was the journey for me in the initial days.

Krishna Jonnakadla  10:53

Very interesting. So it was more of a transition that just naturally evolved.

Nischal  10:57

Exactly. So here one of the things that I learnt earlier on, and probably this is relevant to this podcast is while I make it sound like people kept signing up and you know, people, the number of users that just increase, it is not done automatically, I had to put in an effort. And the effort out here is, I had decided that if someone's going to use my product, they better talk about so what I did is before this $10 payment that I used to ask them, I also give them an option to tweet about the product to their friends on Twitter. And because because this was on Twitter, I just made it very simple and easy for them to tweet about it. And so, most times what happened, people used to first tweet about it eventually then hit the second pay wall where they ultimately pay. But this first one was my growth, I would say the growth hack that I put in into the product. So that helped me really rapidly grow. And that's when I learned that if you the one of the best ways for you to grow your product if you can make your users get you more users. There's nothing better than that. Because I was a single developer working part time and the growth by the time I left my job, I think I'd signed up 700,000 odd users all just working part time, just because I made sure that everyone who uses gets someone else to my product. Yeah, that that's how my growth hacking journey started, I guess.

Krishna Jonnakadla  12:20

Yeah I was about to say unconsciously you had included a growth hack in that. Right. Right. Very interesting.

Nischal  12:26

And, and this was the time where I did not know about growth, the term growth hack, or, you know, you could really grow products organically and all these things just happened to, right.

Krishna Jonnakadla  12:36

Yeah, no, I, I think growth hack eventually came to be known as those set of things that startups use to create value and then growth for themselves, right? Because there are two ways in which you could build a startup traditional way. And it's all about discovery. Somebody has to know about your product, because the best product on the planet that nobody discovers still doesn't get traction. So the question is, are you going to raise large chunks of capital and then follow traditional media? Or if you believe you build something really useful? Can you get your users to talk about it? The second is where practically every value, or valuable startup has really created value for themselves as well as the users. Right? Awesome. At what point in time, how many users did you already have, when you introduce this growth hack?

Nischal  13:25

Pretty hard to say, but I think maybe 40-50,000 users, because I think it was about four months or five months after the launch. Okay. Oh, no, sorry, the growth hack. The growth hack was right in the first week. So I was thinking of monetization. So this is a story about a growth hack. If you remember what I said, I said that I first thought this might just last for a couple of days because of the feature on TechCrunch. Right? And, you know, people would stop coming. But after four or five days, I realized that people still kept coming, but I knew and this is something I think a lot of entrepreneurs get it wrong is they go for PR they get profile everywhere. After that, the traffic just dies off. And the reason is because you do not capitalize on that traffic. Right? Now you should look at PR, and you're, you getting featured on all the media as you're bootstrapping of your traffic. But if you do not have a way to increase the velocity of that traffic, then that this traffic will trickle down, and like this is the first wave can you increase this wave and within those four to five days of getting profile, I introduced the growth hack. So that's why even after that my growth kept increasing, though I did not do any media reach outs after that, I did not talk to talk to any PR people, you know, asking them to profile about us nothing happened or it just was users continues to grow.

Krishna Jonnakadla  14:45

So the TechCrunch itself was a reach out or the TechCrunch just discovered you guys.

Nischal  14:50

No, that was a reach. I just sent an email saying, you know, hey, I built this. Can you try this out? They surprisingly got the profile.

Krishna Jonnakadla  14:57

Interesting, interesting and crowdfire I see that it still exists. And then you continued with crowdfire for quite some time.

Nischal  15:04

Yeah. So after this and when I had launched this, the name of this product was "just unfollow". Because that's all it did. It just helped you unfollow. So I launched it as just unfollow. But after quitting my job and getting serious about the startup, looking at the growth, I realized that I could not convert it into a large company by just one feature, I need to build a set of features. And the name at that point was one of the things that I believe would limit my growth for the startup. So I rebranded it to crowdfire. With the objective that we would help people grow organically on all the social networks, not just Twitter, we introduced telegram after that. So the way this happened is, I think in after quitting, after quitting, I focused on the growth aspect and we could increase the number of users from about 700 800 k when I quit to maybe six or 7 million users by the time it was 2015. So about two to three years into quitting my job, I could scale this up from, you know, about 10 X in two to three years organically, again, no funding bootstrap. And by this time we had reached about a million dollars in revenue, we were a small team of seven to eight. Now this part is, again, very interesting. How did we scale it from 700 K to 7 million users, you know, organic is, so my early learning was you could capitalize on your user base, you could grow it. That helps. The other learning, I think I got is try to write on the platforms that exist. And along with Twitter, around the same time, new platforms like Instagram, and Facebook's API's, everything started cropping up. So we expanded into these platforms, we put in growth hacks into these platforms as well. The same kind of thing where you can either, you know, freedom wanted to get some limits increase and stuff. So that helped us a lot. We also realized that while this, you know, hitting a pay, like hitting a limit on a product, you have to treat it. But there's also something as that people would love to do. People love to talk about your product if they love it. But the biggest thing that prevents them is if you do not make it easy for that to happen. And you will see this in a lot of products when you use that some products make it so simple, so easy for you to tell your friends about it. And some products just don't care about it, where you might have to just, you know, somehow copy the URL, then you realize what do I tell them? I don't have anything to tell them and there's this whole inertia, then that develops and you don't go ahead. So we made it's really simple. We just put a very small button at the top of our website saying tell everyone about it or tweet about this. And without any incentives, people started taking this and check. So we realized that you know, you don't always need it because I started with, like a wall in between saying no, no, you have to tweet about this. Then you get to use more of it. To go into a place where I realized, you just need to make a good product and make it easy for people to talk about. And that helped us grow even further. During this time, I, this is something I don't talk much about but I think for your podcast, I came up with this strategy which I realized, why would people talk about your product? And we call this as the ETC strategy. So, E stands for ego, T stands for temptation and Cfor curiosity. The thing is, either you do something where it, you know, allows your users to brag about something. I'll give an example of this is ego playing into growth hack. One of the best examples is your Gmail. I don't know if you remember, but when they launched, they had an invite only mode. And this was one of those first early invite only, right? Where if you wanted access, you had to find a friend who would give you and that was a perfect example of ego because whoever had it used to show up saying I have you know few invites for Gmail, if anybody wants it, you can come to me. And that played beautiful in making Gmail viral because though Gmail was innovative, it was one of those, I would say the last email products to come out, email was already saturated. Everyone was happy with what they were using. So how do you think Gmail  really went off is this whole ego aspect of people everywhere, it became exclusive as a product. So I think that's something that is really well in getting people to talk about it. The second is temptation. I think temptation is what I started with, where you said, if you want to use more speak about it. That's a good example. The third is curiosity. Now curiosity again, comes from I'll give you an example of curiosity that has played well for us is since one of the in the feature was about unfollowing, we used to show you let's say you had 50 people who did not follow you. We used to show you 10 people and then say to view the rest of the people you can tweet about it. This gave maximum clicks on the share button because people Just want to know, you know whether they want to unfollow or not. They just want to know who's not following. And that works very well. I've seen this in LinkedIn where LinkedIn tells you to, now they charge for it. But they tell you 20 people viewed your profile, they send you an email, there's always a maximum clicks will be on that email, because you just want to go and see who's visited your profile. It is it's something that a lot of products have used. So these three things are ego, temptation and curiosity. If you start thinking properly in the right direction, on how to bake that into your product, I believe that you will have a really viral element into your whole journey of the startup.

Krishna Jonnakadla  20:38

Extremely well said, in fact, I think this sort of thinking represents a new way of doing business, isn't it? Because in the past products were all about themselves while they were about the users, but the way in which, you know those products were actually distributed or even talked about, we're not really doing some well I take that back. I think this goes into a level of understanding of the user, what drives the user? How can you get them interested? And it is fascinating to see all of this happen. And I think you represent that newer set of entrepreneurs. We will come back to your journey in a bit. I think this is not very widely followed in the Indian ecosystem. There are a handful of startups that do this, but not extensively. Do you agree with that?

Nischal  21:24

Yeah, I think it's getting better now a lot more. But yes, I think this is something that is lesser in India, compared to the rest of the world, at least in the valley. This is something that is practice more, I guess, right? If you were to compare that versus here, but I think it's a it's a matter of time, before entrepreneurs learn all of these things and started acting. Right now I think it's, there's the other part of growth is when capital is cheap, you, obviously you exploit that. And the last 10 years, I think capital has been cheap, but there will come a time where capital will not be cheap, and maybe this time that we are going through might result in that, and that is where I think these organic growth hacks become all the more important. But I think the other aspect is in India, if we were to spread this, I would say, especially for first time entrepreneurs who don't usually have access to capital, these kinds of strategies become very, very crucial to take them off the ground. Because as now I've learned as a second time, founder third time, it's so easier to get access to capital. But first time founders always have it difficult. So if they start implementing these growth hacks with a good product, I think it will help them grow faster.

Krishna Jonnakadla  22:33

Yeah, I totally agree with you. So let's come back to the, to that journey then. So 70,000 700,000 users and then 7 million, that's and how many of them were paying users?

Nischal  22:46

Ah, I think back then, we had reached about a million dollars in yearly revenue. It was still a very small number because our goal was more than revenue was to become like a large consumer product, right. Because most of our users used to be all the influences on social networks. So you know anyone with a large following, they've used us more time, or verified people, actors, actresses, gig workers, podcasters, YouTubers, everyone you name it has was using Crowdfire back then. So we were focusing more on growth. But I am sure we had 10s of thousands of paid customers back then. But the idea was, can we now grow this further, and I kept focusing only on the growth of the users. So we ended up raising capital, because we did not want to limit our growth, which means we do not want to put unnecessary, you know, a gate in between, and just monetize like the top 1% of users who wanted maybe only the power users to begin. And that's why we raised our first round of two and a half million dollars from Kalaari Capital. And from there 2015 to 2017, we scaled it up to about 15 million users. We doubled the number of users and tripled our revenue to about $3 million by 2017. So, so that was like the second phase. Here, what we did is here, we started scaling up our company. One of the things is we started building more into the product. And we also started doing all the traditional marketing stuff, SEO, and you know, all the low hanging fruit that we never tried, because until this point to reach 7 million users, it was just 70. So it was more of product related growth hacks and stuff. But we also realized, like, after point, you also need to do all the traditional marketing that exists because there's a lot of growth potential there too. Its just that those marketing's are, it's more harder, takes more manpower, more time, and patience, which is probably doable once you raise capital. So we did the traditional route after that.

Krishna Jonnakadla  24:51

Okay, and then how long did you continue with crowdfire as the only venture?

Nischal  24:56

Yeah, so in 2017, what happened is all these platforms, Twitter, Instagram and all they started changing their API terms and policies. And for us, we had to then move and pivot crowdfire into a SaaS model with a monthly payment and stuff and focus on businesses take it more b2b, we could not easily service the consumers because most of what consumers wanted, which was organic growth, Twitter, Instagram, everyone started stopping people from achieving that, because of the business model that these platforms have, which is, you know, to help you grow, they, they will charge. So this, this led me to the whole decentralized ecosystem, because I realized I was building my product on top of platforms, which did help me scale, but at the same time, they had the power to change the rules of the game midway, and you can't do anything but to comply. And that's not something that I was, you know, really happy about when it eventually happened. So I looked around and I saw this whole decentralized ecosystem, where no one can come to you and say, Hey, this is not how you do things, you have to change the way you do it or you can't do this and that you are free to build what you want, in the way you want. And use whatever products you need on whatever platforms that exist, which is, you know, blockchain. So I decided that we need to build something in the decentralized space. And with a bunch of few people from the team, we started looking into what we built in this ecosystem. And incidentally, during this time, in 2017, the Bitcoin boom happened. And a ton of people around the world, including India started buying Bitcoin in large numbers, including me and my co founders and my colleagues, and we realize that the way it used to so here's the thing in 2017, when Bitcoin was booming, in India, if you wanted to buy your first Bitcoin, it might take anywhere from, let's say, two, three days to a week, because you need to sign up then there's this KYC then banking was all Manual, you had to transfer, wait for them to, you know, give you the credit and then you finally buy and the rate at which Bitcoin was growing. By the time you finally get to buy bitcoin, I think the prices had doubled. So that was the situation in the country. And we said, we could build something simpler, easier. And we could ensure that people can buy their first Bitcoin as soon as possible, maybe within half an hour or one hour. And with that intention we launched WazirX,  our second product.

Krishna Jonnakadla  27:30

So crowdfire, you were the only founder did you have another team? But you were the only founder?

Nischal  27:37

No, I had, I had co founders, two of them. Okay, who join me at various stages. So one of them joined me early on, the other join me after a year, I guess, like all of us, were early into that. I started it alone. Yes.

Krishna Jonnakadla  27:49

Okay. And then the same co founding team. Yes, became the cofounders of WazirX as well.

Nischal  27:56

Yes. Since up we've been building and he all wanted to do something else as well. So a part of the team, including my co founders team, decided we would built WazirX and a part of the team who were on Crowdfire, they continue to build Crowdfire, and they even today they run it well, it's a good SAS business, which is working out well. And they love building it, so they're doing it. I think my love was more in the consumerish side of things. So I've been focusing on WazirX.

Krishna Jonnakadla  28:25

Interesting. So before we talk about WazirX, let's discuss another aspect investors, unless your current venture has achieved spectacular outcomes or some sort of an exit. Investors really frown upon, you know, the founder working on a second product, because you had outside capital you had Kalaari did you face anything of that sort before you started WazirX or how did that happen?

Nischal  28:49

See, the thing is, yeah, I agree that focus is very important, but it's also very situational. When and when you have good investors who understand situations and want to help you navigate it. I don't think that's much of a problem. So for us, we were lucky to not be too worried about it. We got all support we wanted. But I and that's where I think when you raise money, it's very, very important to look at who you raise from, and, you know, how can they help you and have they, I'm biased more towards, you know, just having to work with people who've seen companies growing or also not growing. I think if they have seen both of those, then they understand there are decisions to be made at times, and those can be hard decisions. So for us it worked out well I guess.

Krishna Jonnakadla  29:35

Okay, so let's talk about the beginnings WazirX. It is one thing to be, you know, part of a wave because there's always this angle of a wave isn't for most startups, you're either ahead of it or you're in the thick of things. So I guess 2017 when you started, the crypto frenzy was catching up practically all over. Did that give you a huge boost when you launched WazirX. So WazirX is a very interesting journey and when you talk about the wave. When we announced it, the boom was still in progress. And by the time we launched, the bear markets had come in with prices that crashed. So I'll just run you through this whole transition or the period. This was a period of three months, we announced in January 2018, that we would launch WazirX and we eventually launched it in March 2018, about two and a half months after the announcement. So when we announced there was this whole market, Bitcoin prices were reaching the peak and I announced it and immediately it caught on amongst people where it went viral. So how did it go viral? This is, I think, another one of my learnings. So what we did is we did not want to launch a full blown product and only then talk about it because the market already had a ton of exchanges in India, crypto exchanges though not very great, but they existed, there was an opportunity to not like we were the first ones to market. So what we decided is, if we are not the first one to market, we, we should first at least test the waters, at least understand there is a need. So we just built a way for people to pre sign up where you could just, you know, register with our product. And we posted it out. And I spoke about it on my Twitter feed and my Facebook page. And I realized people just wanted to register on it. There's a reason for that. I'll come to that. But within I think within a week, we saw about 40,000 free signup and, and that's crazy because I think it's a financial product within a week getting 40,000 signups. That's crazy. And I'll tell you why that happened. IWith WazirX we became the first exchange in India to also launch our own cryptocurrency called WRX. And the idea was, we will give away a certain percentage of our tokens to our early adopters. That was something that I decided we should do it early on, that we should keep a portion of our tokens for our early adopters. So when I launched, I announced that the early adopters are going to get x number of tokens when they sign up. And this went viral. People started talking about this to their friends, why did they tell their friends because we also gave you extra tokens if you shared it with your friends. Again, all of this is learnings from my previous startup, how I scaled it up, use and using the ETC strategy, ego temptation and curiosity. So this just just worked. It was amazing. We saw 40,000 signups in the first week, the products not launches, just a registration page. So we said, there's definitely demand. This is definitely going to work. Let's talk building it. And we started building the rest of the product from here and the signups just kept increasing. By the time we launched, I think we had crossed 100,000 users. But from this, Jan, when we launched to the, when we announced to March, when we launched, the market has changed, the bull market had converted into a crash. And when we launched eventually, we realize that while so many people signed up, but I think a very small percentage of that users came to use the product. So while we had 100,000, signup I, if I'm not wrong, maybe just under 1000 people use it on day one. And that was, you know, the motivating time in a way because you do really well, the markets don't work according to the growth you expect. And then you're left with a smaller market. But here's where I think in a normal circumstance, you would just give up in after you sign up hundred thousand users and if only 1000 people come on day one of those you would probably just give up on a product. But for us one of the things that we've always focused on is mission and our mission, the reason what we spoke about before is the reason we built it is because the products back then were not up to the mark. And we realized that we are deep believers of decentralization. I always talk about it, I think Indians should participate. And that's what was the biggest motivation for us to even start WazirX. So we said, even if the markets gone down, this is not what we are in for, not for today, and, you know, for a few days, but for the long term. So let's focus on our mission. What's our mission, our mission is to ensure we can make crypto accessible to everyone in India. So what we do is we keep building and we continue building. Within a few weeks, the banking ban was announced. And while that seems like an even worse thing to happen, I think we saw that as an opportunity, because we were new and we had nothing to lose, we could pivot really quick. So while the other exchanges, the top exchanges in the country because of this banking ban, for India are shutting down? We were thinking, how do you navigate this uncertainty of regulation and provide something to the user so that they can still continue to be involved in crypto. And that's where we ended up building our peer to peer way for people to buy and sell cryptocurrency. And so, and that gave us the actual boost where people started coming in. And they came in thousands every day and it grew really quick from that for us.  So the peer to peer was India only or it was global.

Nischal  35:34

It was India only because of the banking man the so here's a bit of a background the ban was not a ban,  RBI said none of the banks under the RBI can work with any of the crypto related businesses or crypto activities. So what that meant was we could not have a bank account to accept deposits or process withdrawals for people. So what we did is we said, that's fine. We can act like an escrow for the crypto, we will hold the crypto in our escrow. You guys, the seller and the buyer can transfer the money between each other's bank account directly. And then we would release the crypto to the buyer if the buyer made a payment to sellers bank account. So this worked out very well for us. And it's spread really fast in India, and everyone started using WazirX next day.

Krishna Jonnakadla  36:20

Interesting. And talk about that journey. How many? So from under 1000 users? How did the numbers started climbing.

Nischal  36:28

So when we launched this B2B, this because it was very innovative in the space, people started sharing about it everywhere. And I think quickly, we went to, we tripled or I think more than tripled within a month, the number of people who are using us every day. And eventually, I can't reveal our actual numbers now, but we have, you know, it's it's an 10s of thousands of daily active users today. But I think the, see the thing is when I look at this it's not just the B2B part, just that you build that and you know, you launch it, and people will use it. And this is another thing, which sounds sounds easy, innovate and they'll come. Right. But I think one of the things I learned here also was, and this is all on hindsight, is you need to innovate. But you also need to make enough noise about that, you know, right. So the thing is that what we did if we had only innovated and you know, just if we were just sitting on our laptop, and waiting for people to come, that would not happen, but what I did was, I started talking about it everywhere, because there was a problem that existed, which is there was no banking access for crypto businesses. I started making sure that I spoke to everyone about the solution we had, media, our users, everyone and I made sure they spoke about this with their friends and families everywhere. So I think that gave us a big boost the awareness that there was a solution. And this is a very different from the marketing that we are done before that this was not just, you know, putting into the product. But this was more of boots group for forcing your way into success, I guess, by constantly talking about it. So it was not like an overnight increase in users. It was a gradual increase in users over time, because of the noise we started talking about the solution we had.

Krishna Jonnakadla  38:19

see. So how did the binance acquisition happen?

Nischal  38:22

Yeah. So one thing before that is while we had the solution, the other important thing that I did is again, this is coming from the mission of making crypto accessible to everyone is I started a campaign called India wants crypto. And this I started in October, I think October 2018. With the objective that I'll tweet about crypto and spread the right information every day at least one tweet about it with the hashtag India wants crypto. And I started tagging our Prime Minister and our finance minister because it was just surprising that you have a banking ban on a very new technology in the country, when the rest of the world is innovating on that, so I started tweeting about it every day. My intention was will I get heard? Can I represent the industry or something. But what happened beautifully around that, which I never expected is that the entire ecosystem started rallying behind it. And people started talking about this campaign, sharing this campaign re-tweeting, and that, you know, gained a lot of awareness about crypto. And, you know, the ecosystem started recognizing us as a brand, which was trustworthy and important in the sector. So that's the other aspect that unknowingly I think I built something that helped our company, but the intention was to spread the right information about crypto and help the situation that was there, which is something this is again, it comes on you know, if you are mission driven, not everything can you look at it from a lens of how do I grow my product, my company my stuff. You can also look at how do I help them industry, the country, the sector. And if you take initiatives there, it helps you in branding yourself in the right way. This was I think, probably my one of my biggest learnings in the whole world of branding. And see if you think about it, your growth, everything, it's never a zero or a one, like, you know, you just do this and you will. It's always a combination of all of these factors, where branding plays a very, very important role branding brings in trust, trust brings in people to recommend you to their friends, especially true in a financial product, because I would, if you know, let's say I am friends with you, I might read 100 articles talking about product x, and you tell me that you know, Nischal you just use product y. Because it's amazing, and I trust that I will just go and use product y. And this comes from the branding that you can create in the market for yourself, which usually is by picking up real causes that you believe in that sector. And for us, this was a cause that we could pick up and that gave us a really good, I would say, learning in terms of branding, and how do you take your name and company forward in the right way by just thinking about the ecosystem, rather than your own, you know, internal company stuff and all. And so yeah, so these these things happen. And we kept growing. And eventually in 2019, I start so Binance acquisition was not like a, you know, where I set out to say, let's sell this company or something because I was really motivated in growing the crypto ecosystem in India growing awareness about crypto. So I was looking for funds. And because of the banking ban, the problem was that traditional VCs were not interested in investing in the Indian crypto ecosystem. Now, they're just opening up but not back then in the last year in 2019, they were not because of the banking ban. So I reached out to a few companies including Binance and I told them how I want to continue growing this because I believe in the sector and I believe that India will eventually allow crypto businesses because its tech and its innovation is going to be part of it. So while talking to them, I realized that our mission was very simple. They wanted to ensure that crypto is accessible to everyone around the world, I wanted to do it for India. So those stocks of capital and all move towards why not just be together and work, because Binance, I could learn a lot from them. They could provide whatever help needed. And I realized that if I wanted to grow, I could grow faster with it. So here to my objective was can I grow faster? When I was thinking of raising money, it was the same, Can I raise capital so that I can grow faster, which meant talking to Binance realized even better than raising money was to go with a company that has scaled itself really fast. I mean, in two years, they've crossed a billion dollars in revenue, and they've done this all bootstrapped in a way as a company. They did have an Ico but there's no traditional fundraise. So I thought why not join them. And that's how the actual acquisition happened. And I think that was a really good decision because we got acquired in November 2019. It's been about, I think, six to seven months now. And we've grown 10 times in terms of our trading volume, number of active users, everything I think, whatever we can think of, it's 10 X for us. And that's been because I've been able to two events. One is the banking ban was lifted. That was one major event. The second is, I've been able to sort of expedite the whole growth by learning from a company that has done it better than me at a tremendous scale. So a lot of new learnings came to, which I could not have done organically. So that was the second, you know, the last six months for us was the next phase of growth by learning from someone who's done it way better than, like 10 times or 100 times better.

Krishna Jonnakadla  43:59

So how are the volumes and the users right now, I think they're in the, you know, hundreds of millions and then the similar hundred hundreds of thousands in terms of the users.

Nischal  44:09

Yeah. So be in terms of volume, we do over 100 million dollars a month. And in terms of users, we have I think, 4 or 5 or 600 K, I guess, or 600 K, right.

Krishna Jonnakadla  44:21

Okay, awesome. Let's talk about working with a larger company. I will come back to or rather we'll touch upon the blockchain and crypto need in India in a minute. But when you get acquired are you now completely owned by Binance? Or do you still own a stake in the company?

Nischal  44:41

So we are acquired by Binance and you know, but the way we function is like an independent brand for them. Right, the way let's say, Whatsapp or Instagram functions. It's a completely separately running, but yeah, we are now a part of the Binance.

Krishna Jonnakadla  44:59

Okay, so how is it, in a large company, you have complete latitude and freedom to implement the agenda. How does that work?

Nischal  45:08

Yeah. So I think I can only speak for Binance. I think this is a very different company in terms of the base structure. It's completely decentralized. And when I say that, it's like the decision making powers are righted, whoever's running the show, like, for example, in our case, I'm the guy who takes all the decisions, I don't have to like, go back and forth on these things. All I have to do is probably, you know, set goals, and then I am the one responsible for them, and I go off there. But the good thing is that because its a large company, there's so much of learning and knowledge that I can, you know, immediately get helps. I want to connect to anyone in the ecosystem, I get connections. I want to understand how a particular thing is done. They've done it, so I just have to talk to him on when I say I, it's anyone from my team, but things that used to probably before take us a week to figure things out a week or two. Now we can do it with one discussion with someone who's already done it in Binance, because they've seen it before we've even experienced. So the rapid education and application helps you grow faster, as against, let's say what we were doing before where it was, you know, you encountered a problem and then you try to do a lot of research learn implement two, three things, and then you come to a solution that has expedited for us and that helps a lot. Right?

Krishna Jonnakadla  46:31

So let's touch upon the crypto in India. I'm an ardent believer that not just crypto in general, I have this philosophy that for a nation of our size, for the kind of minds that we have and the genius of our people. Practically in everything we seem to be behind the curve. There is some sort of some sort of us scared mindset. We constantly it's 70 years past, you know, independence. We keeps saying we are a poor country. We don't have money to do this. We don't have money to do that. We should not be dream dreaming about these things. But I fundamentally see, notwithstanding what McAfee said that on one of his tweets that a bunch of Indians actually invented Bitcoin, I fundamentally see, there are very few things on the planet where there is an opportunity for wealth transfer between nations, right, colonization, when the Asian economies India and China accounted for more than 50% of global GDP. The colonization wave actually, literally was significant, perhaps the largest organized wealth transfer process, that cycle that happened in the world, all conquests by one king or the other was in some sense, both political dominion as well as dominion over economy. But in India, we continue to be behind the curve. We keep saying we can't do this but I think for the minds that we have, cryptocurrency represents a genuine chance for us to be ahead of the curve or adopted. I see this as another opportunity like IT services where we caught on early, and we started having our own enterprises and then and then we fell behind the curve. You know, you know, we were we were early in that, we were we pioneered the offshoring wave. But unfortunately, you know, I have my own opinion that because all of these enterprises were run out of here as opposed to the market in which they were in. We failed to capitalize on the early lead that we did, that we had as a country, but with crypto with so many Indians being global, and so many of this, it is a genuine opportunity also, for us to be ahead of the curve. I can understand the government's reluctance because whoever controls the money controls the guns and vice versa. Historically, so I don't think in anytime soon we are going to have any government that is going to give up control of you know, money. And that's also partially, or maybe 80% of the reason why they would don't want cryptocurrencies to happen. But I do believe we genuinely have an opportunity to dominate that, notwithstanding the fact that I think over 60 70% of Bitcoin is controlled by China. So what are your thoughts about it.

Nischal  49:28

See I think I'm a big believer of this being an opportunity and an equal opportunity for countries around the world to be ahead of the curve in terms of tech, and these opportunities don't arise every few years. You get them once a decade, like you rightly said, we got the IT services wave correct, but then we got a lot of other waves wrong. Before that, we missed the manufacturing wave. We've also missed, you know, I would say the product wave, now we have companies which are trying eventually, we will probably catch on. But you realize how difficult it is. If you do not catch on, like don't get the country in the right timing, it gets really hard to capture the market after that. And in crypto, unfortunately, what has happened the last two, two and a half years of the banking ban has actually almost destroyed the ecosystem that was built before that by the early people in crypto and blockchain. And now, it's just so hard. We're still trying. We're trying to spread the right information. We're trying to get more and more people to start up in the crypto space. And we are beginning to see that happen. But yeah, we still have an opportunity I believe that because it's still the early days of crypto, think of crypto as like the 1992 of the internet. Everyone's still building infrastructure. And if we can get in right now we can participate in the infrastructure building stage. In the internet what we lost was the infrastructure stage, which is why if you look at all the infrastructure companies of the internet today. It's not really Indian companies. But in crypto if Indian startups get in now, we have a couple of them. But that's just it. But if we can get in enough companies building infrastructure for the decentralized world, 5 to 10 years from now, we would have a stake in the infrastructure of this old decentralized ecosystem. Now, what you were talking about, like governments being afraid about, let's say the money part and all that's probably a part of it. It's true, but I think the biggest fear comes from the misunderstanding of what crypto is, what blockchain is. And that misunderstanding is something that I'm trying to, you know, do away with in our country. The biggest misunderstanding is that with crypto that is anonymous, and hence there is ease of using crypto for illegal acts. And, you know, the funny part is the solution to that is being suggested as a back but what we need to understand is crypto is a technology that is built such that it's resistant to a bank, which means what is going to happen is that the good people who want to innovate will adhere to a bank, because they don't want to do anything illegal. But at the same time, you're still not stop the very illegal activities that you want to, you know, stop, because your suggestion to stop illegal activities want to put a ban, which makes all the good activities illegal by default, so the good guys are not going to do it. But the bad guys are not going to stop just because there's a ban in a country. That's, you know, that's the part which actually comes in because there's a lack of understanding of what to do. And the solution is something if you look around in the US and Japan, UK, is regulation, because when you regulate, what happens is you're then ensuring that the right way to do this is to get the liquidity into your sort of your white market. There's no black market after that because all the good players create liquidity for crypto in a more KYC you know, adherence and all of these happen. So you know what all activities are happening in the white market and then the black market will never have liquidity, because no one needs to go to the black markets after that. But if you ban it, what happens is good players are out. So then you're just giving rise to liquidity for the black market. So the worst thing that a country can do is actually to ban crypto and give rise to an underground economy that they can never figure out and help increase the liquidity in that underground economy. The best thing that a country can do, which is what us and everyone is doing is to regulate so that you control the liquidity and you see where the liquidity is you have KYC and all the laws applied. And you make sure that no one goes out of this transparent system that you help, which is I'm pushing so much for regulation, because the misinformation leads to thinking that crypto is going to be a bad thing. Let's ban it. But that's actually aiding all the nefarious activities not getting rid of.

Krishna Jonnakadla  53:50

Yeah, I agree with you. In fact, it represents a fundamental shift in governance because historically the Indian state has always reacted to practically anything and everything with a ban, whether it is you know, drugs or a book, let's take, you know one of our infamous bans, Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, there is enough psychological research to actually prove that once you ban something, even those that are not interested in it actually get interested in it. Right, like you're saying, it gives more liquidity to the black market. India has a huge hawala market. Perhaps we are the fountain head of the hawala market globally. And Indian Government has this fetish because hey, the ban is easy, right? It is just it takes one tik tat and Indian Government is playing God practically almost all the time with everything that it touches. So it just bans but the fundamental truth of that they don't understand is that like you rightly said, as soon as you ban it, it goes underground, which means you have zero visibility whatsoever. Because it doesn't go through the usual all the channels that you are, it is just like traffic. Let's say today, we ban traffic. People have to get to work, they are going to use, you know, all sorts of underground routes, perhaps I don't know what that will look like. But as soon as that happens, that means people are going to use unofficial routes, which means your own control over it your own visibility into it actually doesn't happen. So therefore your chances, in fact, when the ban is counterproductive, because you're less in control at that point in time, because you have no visibility into it. So I totally agree with you. But I also think in some sense, the US is possibly, you know, employing in some sense, some double standards. So on the one hand, they say they want it, there is, you know, there are all sorts of Attorney Generals that go after crypto, I still think it's early days. It's a technology that has not yet understood it is perhaps a knee jerk reaction, because governments don't like things that they don't can't control and they can't get visibility into right.

Nischal  55:55

Yeah, I think even in India, if you look at it, even in India, what is happening is, see, I don't believe that it's going to be a ban and while a lot of comparisons can be made, but look at crypto. Crypto is a new technology that's all. And you know anything any technology can be misused and also use for the right thing. There is no such technology which cannot be misused. But that does not mean that we do not adopt that technology. Because the thing is, even if one country does not adopt it, the rest of the world is going to adopt it. Like if you wanted to, even if you had banned the internet, the only, you know, bad thing that would have come out is we would have as a country lost out on learnings and a lot of information that we get today. And the communication that happens on the internet, we would not have had this we would not have had amazing companies coming out of India, the end eventually because you will have to join in. And that is what always happens, right? It's very similar in the decentralized and the crypto world that even if we ban it, the problem is that after a point we'll have to open it up again because the rest of the world is not going to stop for India. And if that happens, then we have lost out on that. portunity to be on. And then we have we just become like the back as, you know, back offices of the world again. Right. And we will never be able to get out of this whole services thing, you know, right. I think we need products we need innovation to go to the next level as a country as well.

Krishna Jonnakadla  57:18

Yeah, I agree with you. In fact, if you see the basic premise of blockchain, which is about, you know, trust, and about really increasing the degree of transparency, everywhere you see in India take property matters for example. In fact, I remember going to this blockchain conference a couple of years ago in Hyderabad, Amitabh Kant, who was the CEO of NITI Aayog at that point in time, had some really startling numbers to share. 83% of cases in the Indian judicial system are all related to property disputes. And if you see blockchain properties one single matter that can be so beautifully addressed with blockchain. And then you just start building on top of it wherever there is need for trust. And there is a lot of need for that in multiple places in India, where central actors are either so powerful to actually damage the ecosystem, or there is no central actor per se. Let's take for example, traffic. Traffic is so badly regulated and there is nothing that is put in place to regulate. Of course, the constraint in terms of infrastructure is one angle there are so few roads and there's so much traffic that's another angle too. So everywhere you see it from issuing driver's licenses to the frauds that happen in education, where students come up with fake degrees. Everywhere you see it, blockchain can literally transform but the adoption of it would obviously give around for the existing stakeholders, right? The vested interests that benefit from it, obviously do not like to see that happen and when you extend that to crypto you know, it becomes beautiful. Now blockchain is widely adopted. If all of that is tokenized from one industry after another, a lot of transformation can happen. But that story is sort of similar across multiple sectors in India.

Nischal  59:15

Yeah. See, I think the thing is you cannot stop innovation is going to happen one way or the other. Yeah. So I think what we can do as entrepreneurs is to keep building and keep innovating, the rest of the things we just learned how to navigate it. And that's how even we look at adverse effects. We have to navigate the regulatory environment. But we have to keep innovating. Because I think if as a country, we have to grow, we have to focus on what we can contribute. And I think as startups we should all focus on innovation that will help us grow rapidly as a country as well, I guess.

Krishna Jonnakadla  59:49

Absolutely. Absolutely. So where is WazirX headed next few years.

Nischal  59:53

The idea is to you know, continue growing the whole awareness and understanding of, you know, crypto and blockchain because clearly there's a lot of misconceptions and stuff. And the best way to do that is to present the right products for people to use, which is what we're doing. So we will continue making access easier for people into the crypto world by making our products simpler and more easy and efficient for people to use it. That is a boon. I want people to be able to buy their first Bitcoin within maybe, you know, 16 seconds. There are some barriers to that which we're working on. We'll get there.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:00:30

Yeah, I think that's another impediment to implementation because cryptocurrency and blockchain is right now shrouded under so much text of the common man does not really understand. Right? A lot of it. I think we are yet to have that moment. I have a metaphor, for instance, until the movie Baahubali was made. There was no belief that films that were made on such large budgets and on such you know, bigger ideas. The story may not have been very nuanced. But it was in some sense, a beachhead, that proved that there could be very large global cinema and more importantly, it could come out of the South. Right? So every technology, everything needs its moment. You know if it was Google and eBay and some of those for the early days of the Internet, and then Facebook and Twitter and a lot of them for web 2.O and, and then you had the new financial FinTech Revolution, the best is yet to come. I think we've only scratched the surface of crypto, a lot of it is yet to unfold.

Nischal  1:01:40

Absolutely. I mean, it's a very new industry. And you know, the opportunities in front of us are immense. And that's something why I keep increasing all of those to at least look at this sector and figure out if we can build solutions, because this is like you know, the early days so you have a short saturated, you can think got so many ideas and built for this ecosystem?

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:02:02

Yeah. Well, this has been a fascinating conversation. And when I look at it, I can't realize that one hour has passed by. It was awesome to listen and hear what you did with crowdfire. And what you're doing at WazirX. I'm an ardent believer in the spirit of the Indian people, our resilience, our ability to rise about ourselves and all the impediments that most of it self inflicted. I hope we get this crypto revolution right I hope we get this blockchain revolution right. And I think yours will be a story that we write at the edge to emulate and then follow both on the, both in terms of what you're doing for the community. We want with your we want crypto community as well as what you're doing with WazirX. And I'm certain you will scale greater heights. Maharajas of scale will come back to you when you reach another Pinnacle. Another another summit. And then, you know, let's see what that vantage point looks like from there. Any thoughts before we close up?

Nischal  1:03:07

Thanks a lot for having me on the show. And I think it was amazing to discuss the journey, it gives me a lot of more perspective and this whole talk for myself to take away from, I think, yeah, the way you are surfacing stories of growth. This is very, very important to build out the ecosystem to help more entrepreneurs. And I think as entrepreneurs, our eventual goal is always that others can learn from our successes and mistakes and maybe do it better and faster than us. So I think you're able to achieve that in this podcast, then that's amazing.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:03:42

Absolutely. Thanks, Nischal. Thanks for being very candid. And also discussing what you did in great amount of detail. I can definitely tell this will be one offer the best episodes for entrepreneurs to pick up right there, especially the ETC model that you shared the growth hacks that you shared .When I usually listen to a podcast, I have my ear glued. And I usually have a pen and paper ready to make notes in terms of things that the founders might have done to put their own startup onto a growth trajectory. And I know this will rank up there in one of those. And it's a gift that will keep giving, because entrepreneurs I'm sure we keep coming back to this episode and say, Oh, Nischal did that. And then look at what he showed us with the ETC framework, we should go do something of that sort. So that is fabulous.

Nischal  1:04:30

Sounds good. Thanks for having me.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:04:32

Awesome. Thanks, Nischal, and we wish you the very best.

Nischal  1:04:35

Thank you.

Nida  1:04:36 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 collaboration. Write to me at heythere@maharajasofscale.com