Jharkand to Japan and Entrepreneurship: Scaling Meesho

Title Image of Sanjeev Barnwal on Maharajas of Scale

Succeeding in India’s Startup Death Valley: Fashion and Local

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Once Succeeding in India’s Startup Death Valley: Local Fashion was everyone’s dream. India’s most vibrant and largest sector attracted immense investment and interests. Lots of entrepreneurs started up and set out to bring more choices into the hands of customers across India’s burgeoning cities.

However, this soon became a sink hole due to the size and complexity of the Indian market. Excessive investment only made it worse. Succeeding in India’s Startup Death Valley became harder and harder without a meaningful pivot.

Making it in the Indian Market

Succeeding in the valley of Death for Indian Startups meant that entrepreneurs had to invest time and get closer to users and understand their shopping behaviors and pivot their product. That is what Sanjeev Barnwal did at Meesho. Listen to this episode to understand that story!

The Evolution of Fast Fashion and Indian Fashion Heritage

Fashion is perhaps the raison d’etre of modern lives and fast fashion more so. India dominated the world in textile trade for centuries. The following quote from Wikipedia gives us a sense of that domination:

Indian textiles dominated the Indian Ocean trade for centuries, were sold in the Atlantic Ocean trade, and had a 38% share of the West African trade in the early 18th century, while Bengal calicos were major force in Europe, and Bengal textiles accounted for 30% of total English trade with Southern Europe in the early 18th century.

Little wonder that the British systematically hacked at and dismantled this once artisanal industry. This ensured that the mechanised British Looms eventually dominated the world textile trade.

Also, there is enough history to show that Fast Fashion evolved as a result of the inability of the West to get enough textile supply from India. Fast Fashion grew as a result of the mish mash of textiles and fabrics that came out of left over stock.

The Modern Indian Textile Story

Notwithstanding the damage that the British and the Western World did to India’s textiles, this predominantly artisanal industry has straddled between artisanal and industrial manufacture. However, the soul of that artisanal, mostly subdued, still exists and is perhaps going thru a renaissance.

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A cursory map of the Indian Fabric and Handloom Map shows how vibrant this industry was and continues to be:

Indian Fabric Map
Indian Saree Fabric Map


Indian Handloom Clusters Map
Indian Handloom Clusters Map


Listen to our other episode with Dr.Sonal Verma on this industry: Season 1, Episode 20

The Vibrancy of the Indian Merchant and Brick and Mortar System

While organized brands and markets dominate the western world with as much as 85% of retail in America coming from organized retail, India is different. Mom and Pop stores and independent brands make up the bulk of India’s market retaining that old artisanal vibe. The Result is a vibrant market across the country.

Local Retail in India’s Cities


A precursory look at the Retail Landscape in Bangalore gives up a break-up of the vibrancy of this retail landscape

Bangalore Retail Space


Bangalore’s Retail Space

The Birth of Hyperlocal and Social Commerce

However, buyer’s find this alluring and overwhelming at the same time to shop as Indian Cities grow bigger and harder to traverse. Buyers have turned to online channels and social channels to find their brands and their fashion.

Indian Ecommerce habits versus the world


Indian Ecommerce Habits

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The Hyperlocal Opportunity

The burgeoning Indian Startup ecosystem and the penetration of smart phones drove droves of entrepreneurs to startup and organize the unorganized Indian retail landscape. The vibrancy of India’s Fashion scene and variety only meant that technology could play a huge role in unlocking lots of new shoppers. That’s the context in which Sanjeev and Vidit Aatrey started Meesho.

Enter Sanjeev with Meesho

Sanjeev Barnwal can come across our typical IIT Grad. Coming from the small town Jharkand where the dream is to crack IIT, he did not just that but went on to work for Sony in Japan. But a chance discussion with his old buddy led him to pursue entrepreneurship and found Meesho. And he has never looked back. Listen to this small town boy who is going places!

Excerpts from this episode on Succeeding in India’s Startup Death Valley

So to be very open, none of us knew that we were, we will kind of build something of our own ever. We never had that idea, right? This is like 2012 when starting up was not that cool thing to do. I know Flipkart was there, Flipkart was scaling up.

But again, that startup culture was not there. I think, also around us in college, I don’t think anyone did the startup at that point in time a lot of people did after a few years, but yes, to be very open. Yes. We never knew we were going to start up it just happened.

Sanjeev Barnwal 2:02

Steve Jobs used to tout this as one of Apple’s strengths, right that the company makes both hardware and software. And because they write software that works so well with hardware, their code is so much more superior. Did you get that feeling when you were working with Sony, on the Sony cameras?

Krishna Jonnakadla 9:19

So basically the first business that we launched was called FashNear when fashion is fashion near stands for fashion nearby. Which we now call hyper local fashion very similar to swiggy.

Sanjeev Barnwal 16:21

Focusing On Fashion Hyperlocal Scenario

So we thought nobody’s focusing at fashion in a hyperlocal scenario, so we’ll just launch that. And there is a problem, which is, people don’t want to step out. At least we didn’t want to step out for buying something maybe trying at home.

Sanjeev Barnwal 16:51

So we started with that. And very soon, like in two, three months, we realized, okay, this is not working. In fashion, selection has much more importance than delivery date. So you have need to have kind of infinite or atleast a very big selection, which kind of is almost impossible in a hyperlocal setup. You get constrained there.

Sanjeev Barnwal 17:05

Here’s what the Word Cloud for this episode looks like:

Word Cloud for Meesho Episode
WordCloud for Meesho


Meesho on Twitter : @meeshoapp

Follow Maharajas of Scale here: @maharajaofscale

Follow Krishna Jonnakadla on Twitter here: @kjonnakadla

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Episode Transcript

(Automated Transcript)

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

users, resellers, problem, startup, people, build, sony, products, scaling, solve, whatsapp, fashion, super, store owners, insights, tech, scale, working, call, decision

SPEAKERS

Sanjeev Barnwal, Krishna Jonnakadla, Tania Jadhav

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 changing the game completely. I am Krishna Jonnakadla, serial entrepreneur, co founder of FLIT -  the fashion Locator in town and startup mentor, bringing you the stories.  Hey, listeners, this is Krishna, from Maharajas of Scale. Today we have a very young CTO of Social Commerce startup. We will let you in on the name in a moment somebody who's 30 and under 30 when you meet him or when you see him, you can't make out he's making all of this awesome stuff possible. Let's welcome Sanjeev Barnwal of Meesho to the show. Sanjeev welcome.

Sanjeev Barnwal  00:50

Thanks, Krishna and Hello everyone. Super excited to be here and share our stories hoping you would get a lot of things out of this and probably apply in some former format which will help you to scale your status faster.

Krishna Jonnakadla  01:04

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

Sanjeev Barnwal  01:09

 Yep. So I, so I was born and brought up in a small town in Jharkand. After that, so I went to IIT Delhi and that is where I met my co founder with him. Yes, so I think we were in fact in the same hostel, same department good friends. So after that I was with Sony in Japan for three years. So I was I went to the tech side,Vidit went into non tech side. And in 2015, we kind of just had a conversation and we thought of starting up. So yeah, and then we are here scaling Meesho, if you want I can get into details of what Meesho does.

Krishna Jonnakadla  01:47

We'll get into that in a second. So going back to those times when you guys were together at IIT,was it one of those things that we seen some movies, you go get good at Tech, I go I get good at business. We'll come back and start something together?

Sanjeev Barnwal  02:02

 So to be very open, none of us knew that we were, we will kind of build something of our own ever. We never had that idea, right? This is like 2012 when starting up was not that cool thing to do. I know Flipkart was there, Flipkart was scaling up. But again, that startup culture was not there. I think, also around us in college, I don't think anyone did the startup at that point in time a lot of people did after a few years, but yes, to be very open. Yes. We never knew we were going to start up it just happened.

Krishna Jonnakadla  02:37

Interesting. So what about the IIT journey coming in from Jharkhand? Was it something that you always wanted to do? Or was it some source of inspiration from some other place or is it one of those - Mein IIT karoonga aur baad mein life set ho jayegi?

Sanjeev Barnwal  02:56

Interesting! Yes, yes, I think to some extent, and again to be very open coming from a small town right you your parents people around you have a few things in mind right you you you like clear your board exams you get into a very good college, you either choose engineering or medical and then your life will be settled this is what people tell you right?

Krishna Jonnakadla  03:17

 Right!

Sanjeev Barnwal  03:18

Which, to some extent you You do realize after a few years that see there is there's no kind of saturation level you keep growing, growing whenever you want. So yes I think journey has been super exciting. So after I got into college, I think I had almost same feeling ki ab to teek hai, got into IIT, we'll probably get a good job and settle down. In the sense I'll just get a good job good paying job. Fair, I do get to work on some interesting projects, maybe not always. And that is why I just after college, I went to Japan, assuming Okay, it's a different culture. So it is going to be much more interesting and it was to some extent. So yes, I think our thinking has changed over time. But yes, at every stage, you do have this whole feeling ki Okay, just cross this next bar. And then you're done. You'll you'll just settle down, which has now changed right after starting up, we just start thinking Wait, you start, you introduced start enjoying to solve like difficult problems, which has like scalable impact and so on. But but to be frank in college, I we didn't had suspense.

Krishna Jonnakadla  04:28

So was Sony campus placement, or how did you end up with Sony?

Sanjeev Barnwal  04:33

Yes. So Sony comes to IIT Delhi in as part of the training and placement. So yes, got selected into that.

Krishna Jonnakadla  04:42

Okay. It must have been pretty exciting thinking of working in Sony, Japan. What was what was that phase like?

Sanjeev Barnwal  04:48

Oh, yeah, definitely. So because So, Sony is an interesting company, right? So even if you go back and look at history of Sony, like maybe 10 thing is behind Sony has released a lot of has brought a lot of innovation into hardware. So in fact, if I remember like when when I was a child like Sony Walkman used to be very popular, it was kind of great innovation then from Sony, so Sony is a good company. And that is that was the image always and it was definitely super interesting there. So, but then is in Japan, at least in Sony. And that is what happens in most of the companies. With most of the companies, which comes for placement from Japan, the working language is Japanese. So you have to read and write Japanese to some extent. At least you have to know basic Japanese to just do basic stuff, right? You have to kind of write m in Japanese. So before taking us to so before this. So before taking us to Japan like they have this three month schools, where they teach you basic Japanese and that is where your journey starts. But it's after that, it is ongoing. It's very different culture. So like people are super punctual, taking super high ownership of their work, like probably one of the best planners in the world. Right? So, and I think I got to work on like cybershot cameras and the DSLR and cybershot cameras. So basically in 2014, the premium lineup that they released, I contributed to their application layer and then I contributed to kind of driver layer and hardware abstraction layer of Sony mobiles, which is the Experia Premium lineup, which was released in 2014, and 15. But yes, the experience in Japan is kind of unique, definitely such an organized way of living, you rarely get to experience that.

Krishna Jonnakadla  06:43

So aside from the Japanese culture, did Sony have a different culture of its own, that stood out distinctly ?

Sanjeev Barnwal  06:51

So I think to be fair, when I it's very difficult for me to draw parallels because Sony is the only big company I have work right? So but but even then some of the things that definitely stood out was, not in terms of culture per se, but their tech specifically, their camera tech is super amazing like they've done a lot of things and on DSLR and cybershot. And when they released these Experia phones, they used to have like the best camera in the world. And all of that was possible because again for this, this would have been like 40-50 year old company to kind of release new products and collaborate in this great way. So they are trying to put like the camera tech from DSLR and cybershot to Experia phones. Now, all of this collaboration was kind of seamless. And that was something which I still remember to this day that for such a big company moving so fast, changing directions was no fun music.

Krishna Jonnakadla  07:55

Interesting. I have exposure to Sony as well, but I've worked with Sony in the US.It was part of my portfolio of accounts that I used to oversee while at Wipro, so Sony's US  headquarters, which is in San Diego, I've been there for several months, had an opportunity to see many of these products from close quarters. But the research and the development side of it is a lot of it is actually out of Japan. So not necessarily out of the US, without digressing too much into the Sony story. It is interesting, isn't it that they made the Olympus acquisition and then after that, you know, they've leveraged and doubled down on the research and if you see the latest Experia, half, two, and even One Plus all of the newer cameras are all Sony lenses. Right?

Sanjeev Barnwal  08:43

I think they've always excelled on imaging sensors, even Apple used to use their sensors. And there's a different division very, very super, like critical and amazing division, which was to turn out perfect. They made sensors then. So yeah, doing hardware and software both, at least seeing hardware develop around you is a completely different experience from software only. So you can even even basic things like you don't have enough room to make mistakes in hardware, because if you do mess it up, you're going to burn a lot of money just to correct it because it has already started in production. So it is a challenging job. Right?

Krishna Jonnakadla  09:19

Steve Jobs used to tout this as one of Apple's strengths, right that the company makes both hardware and software. And because they write software that works so well with hardware, their code is so much more superior. Did you get that feeling when you were working with Sony, on the Sony cameras?

Sanjeev Barnwal  09:38

Oh definitely I think some of the soak in the entire tech stack. So right from private layer to application layer. So of course the core tech that they have that has like good code, right, so it's amazing super performant code, in fact, so it's a real time operating system based tech stack of camera, which which does amazing job. Great tech, even the softer side for cameras, which is fantastic.

Krishna Jonnakadla  09:45

So then then what happened? You were there? Was it operating in a dominant culture as the Japanese is, you know, pretty challenging, right? There are numbers to speak. We don't have a lot of Indians. Was there? What prompted you? What prompted you from Sony to do something else? Or venture out?

Sanjeev Barnwal  10:21

Yes. So no, it was not a surprisingly right. So you do expect Japanese to be traditionally it's a it's a it's old company. So, but surprisingly, they're very open to changing right. And I think I was only Indian in there. This entire 50-60 member, team specific, big group. They did hire a lot of Indians, in 2012, but they were distributed into different teams, different offices as part of this headquarters. But yeah, so coming back to the way they had run, they were running their teams. It was pretty open and it was super exciting for me as well. In fact, like in 2013, or so I was working on DSLR and cybershot then I move to Sony camera to Xperia phones. And that again seems everything right. So again, I had to learn a lot of things. So learning was it was like going great. In fact, a lot of these things was new to me. And it just kept on coming. And it was kind of exciting to see something you build getting released out to masses. So workwise, it's not that I was not happy. In fact, I was kind of enjoying it really well. But there's this interesting thing which changed everything so so I was there in Japan and then some company from Bangalore reached out to me saying, Can you can you could you would you like to join us and they wanted me to solve one of their specific tech problem, which is not related to camera. I had some certain hobby projects, which I was doing. So very similar to that. And so I was in Japan, I didn't know what is happening in Bangalore, at least not to the details. So at a high level, you know, like your ecosystem startup ecosystem is evolving a lot You have like lots of opportunities coming up but so this this startup which approached me and Vidit was in Bangalore then, he was working in InMobi so I just called him up and and this was like we are always we're always connected on you you see right after college you have like these WhatsApp groups where you are all connected same hostel. But we never had a formal call as never to discuss so even though we were good friends, we are always connected on chat but so I just called him like, this is 2015 earlier than April or so. So I just called him asking, so you know, this this startup, which sounds exciting, what do you think should I join? What is the startup scene there? And then he just quickly enough said that why do you want to  join, let let's just start up together and in that call itself, things change, right. So So basically, when you have a friend like very close friend, with whom you're very comfortable in working, let we have done a lot of projects together in college. So you you know that dynamics works. So it was in a soup. It was a very easy decision then. And it is a very quick and easy decision. It was kind of like, ha teek hai, if this is my very good friend who wants to start up and I and we have these complementary skill sets as well, right, I went to the Tech side and he went to the non Tech side and we can come up together, we can build super amazing products. So it just happened. And after one month, I think I had resigned, and I just came back to Bangalore, and he had also resigned, he had clients are doing MBR. So he also signed then we just started up. So all of this happened in a very small time, probably in a month or so everything changed.

Krishna Jonnakadla  13:33

 That's a big leap of faith, isn't it working for Sony in Japan, and then you decide to leave and startup that must have taken what was it? Was it the opportunity that beckoned or the fact that it was going to be a new form of old times, two friends working on something exciting? How did you go about that decision?

Sanjeev Barnwal  13:52

Right. So first thing was so when I was kind of considering that offer from a startup, probably somewhere in my mind, I was already thinking that, okay, maybe startup ecosystem is evolving a lot, why not build something for your own because you always enjoy, I was enjoying my work there, but you always enjoy more when you try to solve a very big problem and that is just that and that is a business that you are building, right. So that that kind of gives a very different excitement, and very different satisfaction. Obviously, you have very big dreams that you will solve a bigger problem and then profit that does impact a lot of people. So I think one was definitely that to, to kind of, if you want to start something, the time is now because and it's not that people don't start later in life, but it just becomes too difficult. You have a lot of other responsibilities. And at that point in time we were young, I am still young. Because we just thought, Okay, this is the time if not now then probably. It's going to be now or never and I think this just this thought of putting a book within the Very good friend was kind of comforting, right? Because I know you know, you're going to take risk, but probably you'd end up doing the best you can I don't think there's a best combination, a better combination possible, at least for me, for us. So I think both these two things made it easier for us to decide and we just jumped on it.

Krishna Jonnakadla  15:20

 So when you did make that move, did you both have a specific idea in mind that you were going to work on or it was like, let's just get together and then start hashing some ideas and then we can decide what to start

Sanjeev Barnwal  15:33

Right again, to be transparent. We did not have an idea in my head. We just wanted to solve a problem at scale. These two things we're pretty clear about. Now, when we started thinking about ideas generally. So you talk to people around you, you talk to other startup founders, you read generally blogs, you general idea is that you you should try to solve a problem which you think is a problem for yourself because, because when you do that you actually kind of end up being even more excited maybe have better insights and get to the solution faster. We are very open to not going specifically in that direction. We were very open to exploring all the ideas possible and again to be transparent we chose hyper. So basically the first business that we launched which was called fashion near when fashion is fashion near stands for Fashion nearby, which was we now call hyper local fashion very similar to swiggy. For fashion you can think of.

Krishna Jonnakadla  16:33

Right.

Sanjeev Barnwal  16:34

we thought okay, people are people want my general idea is that you should solve for your solve your own problems. So we just figured out okay, we don't like to go out shopping and hyperlocal is getting super funded. So it was parttime.

Krishna Jonnakadla  16:49

Right, right.

Sanjeev Barnwal  16:51

So we thought nobody's focusing at fashion for Hyperloop in a hyperlocal scenario, so we'll just launch that and there is a problem which is people don't want to step out, atleast we din't want to step out for buying something maybe trying at home, we'll get that. So we started with that. And very soon, like in two, three months, we realized, okay, this is not working in fashion selection has much more importance than delivery date. So you have need to have kind of infinite variety a very big selection, which kind of is almost impossible in a hyperlocal setup. You get constrained there.

Krishna Jonnakadla  17:26

So what made you think that this was not working? What did you launch? What did you not get as feedback that made you think that this wasn't working?

Sanjeev Barnwal  17:35

 Yep. So I think, specifically, we launched our Android app. I think it took us about a month. And we started from this Koramangala and HSR in Bangalore, and we mapped so there are a lot of these offline, multiplied shop outlets. So smaller stores, brandless, on random, whatever. And we just map the stores in the app and then users of this app option of trying before buying as a service. So if a user places an order and we we had a delivery boy but most of the time we had to run around you cannot do this delivery as well. So and this is a very different experience right you you're you're just putting in Sony and then one day you have like you release this app and now you have to become you have to do delivery yourself because your delivery boy is not coming today. It's taken off. So that is like the exciting times right and and then even before that, you have to go to the shops to click pictures of their their collection.

Krishna Jonnakadla  18:35

 Right

Sanjeev Barnwal  18:36

So we had the Sony camera which we used to take everywhere and we end with it we used to do editing and then can do all uploads at night but he is so it started like our friends were using it but then we went scale and then whenever we used to go back to our users, we asked them what happened why are you not ordering so I think it is it is same thing, which is, you know, I'm looking for this kind of stuff, which is not there on your platform. So that is when we realized. So this has a clear constraint in scaling. But a good thing was at that point in time, whatever stores we were working on, we're working with during that time, so we used to talk to them and our pitch was we'll take you online. So we'll take these small stores online and they used to say we are already online. So then you just ask them how so they would say. So these store owners used to be connected with their customers on WhatsApp groups. This is then routine, nobody knew about it. We also didn't know about it. So but with this, we got introduced to this commerce happening on social media specifically WhatsApp to these. What these store owner owners used to do was whenever they bought new assortment, they would just take pictures and share it with their whoever used to come on their store. They would take their numbers and then add them to it. So every new assortment used to get they used to click pictures and send it to the customers. And that is when we understood. Okay, so these guys are now trying to sell it in their network. We also discovered few shopping groups in Facebook dedicated to buying itself. So we thought why not? And then this was a clear problem, which we felt because you understand buying on WhatsApp is I think there are a lot of problems that you have to kind of call to management payment collection. So whatever like Shopify solves this problem, right for store owners, where it provides a platform, a landing page payment collect and a lot of other things. So we thought why not build the Indian version of Shopify, for mobile, specifically for selling on social media? And that is what we did. So we kind of built this again, so we changed our model. This was again end of the 2015 November. So we launched this Meesho which we now permission 1.0. So we launched this and yeah, we started going to these guys to onboard them. We went to a lot of exhibitions as well there is handicrafts and all those kinds of things, products were they are used to onboard their these store owners. So yeah, we built this, this was scaling and this was one working well, and then we went to Y Combinator with this in 2016. After Y Combinator, we raised a small Angel round as well, and then came back. So we had this is like 2016. It it is September. It's delayed. So now we have a business because Meesho 1.0, which is working, which is scaling.

Krishna Jonnakadla  18:46

So when you say scale, what sort of numbers were you seeing? What sort of customer adoption were you seeing that was giving you that feeling that yes, this is clicking this is scaling?

Sanjeev Barnwal  21:35

Yes. absolute numbers. I don't think I remember but growth. I do have a sense, roughly I think during yca for remember correctly, we're doing about 50% or 50, somewhere between 50 to hundred percent month on month in terms of number of orders.

Krishna Jonnakadla  21:52

Any ballpark users or orders back back then?

Sanjeev Barnwal  21:56

So I think roughly we're doing about probably around 4-5000 orders per day or so.

Krishna Jonnakadla  22:03

Okay

Sanjeev Barnwal  22:08

So broadly it was working It was not scaling very quickly, but probably around 50% month on month number. And yeah, roughly the number was about 3-4000 orders per day. But yeah so the problem, again, was that the retention was not as expected. So that was one problem. And I'll come to how did we figure out the whole problem? And second, it was a free tool, right? So it was more like you just come create your online shop. So if so you get your own subdomain, like ABC boutique or whatever. And then you can upload your products and send to your customers, but it's a free tool, right? We  didn't know how to make money online. So there are two problems right retention was not as expected and then it's a free tool. How do you make money?  And then when we used to go back to so it has always been kind of strength. It is this is what we feel of this entire meesho team and us is that we are very user focused. And this I specifically mean, we keep talking to our users because this is not a problem which which we face This is we are trying to solve a problem with someone else's facing. So we are not the social store owners. Right. So, the only way to solve the right problems, and then the right way is to be very close to your users if you're not solving problem for you. And that is what we always did in the in the first one right and fashion yet we want to understand, okay, start small store owners, they maybe need a shop, they will need online presence. So we built for them. And then we went we used to kind of go back to these users to understand what happened and we realized most of these were not these offline stores. Our initial users, which are 1.0 users were mostly housewives, who were using this tool to run their online boutique. And these guys, most of these housewives were kind of had their own supplier connections on WhatsApp, like super aspirational. entrepreneurs, who used to kind of put in a lot of effort to find suppliers in the major manufacturing hubs and then get connected with them on WhatsApp and start selling using this online tool. And when we used to kind of go to them and understand what is happening why are you not, but as your business not growing, why did you stop selling or why are your orders decreasing, everyone had the same problem which is so in this impulse buying ecommerce like this social commerce is more about impulse buying than intent based buying. So this impulse buy, you need a constant supply of fresh products, and building these supply of connections on a constant basis for these housewives and building this whole, Or at least figuring out sending these orders on WhatsApp getting them to dispatch in time getting the right price in the right variety is very difficult for them. And we used to talk to a lot of these users and they said okay, supply is a problem that is clear bottleneck on why we are not growing, so then so this time, what we did was kind of, we know this product 1.0 is running, but we want to try out. Okay, this is a bigger problem, it seems. So we just ran everything on Whatsapp, we did a pilot on Whatsapp this time we didn't build a product, it was one of the products was working properly. But we had an idea which we wanted to try it out. And the best way to try it out is and again, this is a problem is you're trying to validate, right? This is actually a problem or there's a hypothesis that you're trying to validate. So we ran it on WhatsApp, so we had like a bunch of people including a lot of our team members in sometimes me as well trying to kind of get few products from suppliers and then share it with these users of of mutual 110. So and when we started doing that, we realized Okay, this is scaling really well. So then we created a separate team for what with the second model we call it Meesho supply because it was more focused on the entire supply chain side.

Krishna Jonnakadla  25:54

Let's just dive deep a little bit. So the So you saw these store owners or even some women who are really entrepreneurial build a whatsapp group take these pictures so when you launch that the first product the first product was a web store that would allow them just to upload these pictures and accept orders and accept payments as well. So which means you provided the online presence the payments, logistics everything else was still there on lookout.

Sanjeev Barnwal  26:23

 So, we did provide a way to collect payments. We had waited logistics was taken care of by them, but we provided a platform and the long term vision was that maybe logistics can be provided as a service obtained by the decoder for example dispatch themselves and upload the tracking number and we will inform the end customer that okay your product is dispatched in show a tracking page.

Krishna Jonnakadla  26:48

And then when when you were sharing these pictures, what exactly was the new product that you tried out or you were trying?

Sanjeev Barnwal  26:56

Sorry, I didnt get you.

Krishna Jonnakadla  26:58

So so that was Meesho 1.0 and then you met with some of these resellers or people who had the stores. And when you saw a plateauing order curve or some sort of a dip in order curve, you realize that you know that you had to look at the supply side as well. So in Meesho 1.0, the supply was all being driven by all these people that had these web stores. Right. So, what did you add on top of it? So it was in the WhatsApp base thing that you tried at that point in time? Can you dive a little deeper?

Sanjeev Barnwal  27:28

So yes, so the problem we're solving then was how do we give them more products to sell to their customers, right, so we started contacting few suppliers in in these manufacturing hubs. And then we used to get product pictures from them and collect product pictures from them and then broadcast it on these WhatsApp this to to these individual resellers using this WhatsApp broadcast feature. So on a daily basis, we used to send like a bunch of catalogs a bunch of products to these resellers. These resellers, which they then go on and share it with their end buyers and get orders, and then they used to get order, they would come back to us saying I want to place an order, this is the address, again, the drop shipping Model, you should go back to the supplier and ask them to dispatch it directly to the end customer.

Krishna Jonnakadla  28:15

WhatsApp didn't have any of those back then. Right. So you built some sort of a hack to do the broadcast to the groups back then.

Sanjeev Barnwal  28:21

So yes, I think you're right.We did build a UI level hack too. So basically, this entire, how does the process of forwarding look like right? So you select a phone, then you probably select hundred contacts, and then the old everyone right? So we automated the selection of hundred, this is a most time taking thing. So we automated the did some some scripting there to again, UI level scripting to auto select these and probably distribute. So let's say I'm targeting like 5000, let's say 1000 resellers, and I have like 10 phones so I distribute it on the back end and each These will get hundred and then it will get selected automatically. And then someone has to just press Send.

Krishna Jonnakadla  29:05

Very interesting. Very interesting. Okay, go on.

Sanjeev Barnwal  29:08

Yeah, so and then we also opened office in Surat, because we had to manage this entire the dispatching side, right because so most of our suppliers within during that time were from Surat. So we have opened a small office and we got products from them. And we used to dispatch. So this is how this started. And this is I'm talking about roughly 2017 January or so. And then we saw, okay, this is working, maybe we should build an app as well for this, because this seems to be taking off really well. So then we built an app as well for this. So at that point in time, we had two apps running which is one Meesho and second Meesho supply. So this Meesho supply is the current app, which we have which we have not rebranded. So we ran this for about six months, and it was a crazy growth, probably doubling every month. So and that is when I think August or so we raised a series A Led by SAF partners, great investors. And so then.

Krishna Jonnakadla  30:05

And what were your numbers, rough numbers at that point in time users adoption when you did the series A?

Sanjeev Barnwal  30:10

Yeah, I think it is. I don't think I can share that. But yes, I think it was doubling probably few thousands per day.

Krishna Jonnakadla  30:18

Any numbers that you can share that will speak to that.

Sanjeev Barnwal  30:23

Yeah. Right. So I can share the financials. So currently we have about, like around 4 million monthly active resellers using Meesho to do their business. So, I think at that point in time, probably most of the startups have roughly like few thousands per year.  Roughly in that range. So yes, and after the series A we had to take a decision, right, because now we have two products. And because you're always constrained on resources, you have to do the right prioritization. So you have like one product is taking off very quickly and just cannot focus on two products. So when we had to shut down this Meesho 1.0 because there is a clear sign to get this 2.0 Meesho supply can become a very big business you have you can make money here and this is going to be very big. And then you align your team like we aligned everyone make them understand why this is the right decision. And of course it's a it's a difficult decision right? Your team has invested so much bandwidth in powering this Meesho 1.0 and everyone now you asked them to Oh, you have to not change it. Okay. So by this over time, I think everybody everyone was aligned and in hindsight, it was of course a perfect decision.

Krishna Jonnakadla  31:39

Interesting. So the fashion vertical segment in India is riddled with it's literally like a graveyard of startups right? Because when you when you think of it fashion and food, they are the top you know needs primal needs. And under roti kapda makan, obviously roti and kapda and then so if we look at all the famous names out there from housing.com which data Makan part, and then myntra, and all of those and then swiggy. So you cover the trinity of basic needs, right? And then and then the thing is all these three sectors or segments right now are riddled with literally graveyards of both startups as well as, you know, many a high net worth individual has possibly lost some money. But it's interesting, what I find really fascinating is what you guys have done with it. 2015 was, I think, sort of like almost the end of the hyperlocal wave had almost set in, right and the funny thing is the hyperlocal has never gained notoriety since then. A lot of other sectors have come back up but hyperlocal and although we've seen Flipkart's, recent delivery, and then dunzo, all of them sort of start butting heads with each other and looks like all of them are now going at the same market in the same use case. But the fashion related one, if I remember correctly Sujata Lee's startup, I forget voonik voonik, which also started with a similar hypothesis, and Voonik cease to exist, I think it's still exist as a brand. So and Voonik is was pretty well funded at one point in time. I remember meeting Sujatha once and he was telling me, we are on track to become the second largest fashion commerce portal in the country. And today voonik doesn't exist, or maybe it does exist. But you guys have made a success out of it. You've grown and is this by accident? Or do you follow some formula, or some sort of a method where you're saying, Hey, we put this out there, we're not getting feedback. Let's go see what what, how, how we can find something working here.

Sanjeev Barnwal  33:48

Yep, sure, I think I'll just give you a few few anecdotes and also, few major decisions that we took in that journey. So one thing which hasn't changed Since the beginning, is again, user focus, so you can only build the right things and build the right solutions. If you talk to your users just stop imagining problems. Of course data will help you to some extent once you have a certain scale, but just just try to build hypotheses on data, but definitely talk to users to validate those hypotheses instead of going ahead and jumping to the solution directly, or at least jumping to the problem, even problem ustick Is that a real problem that you're trying to solve? And this is how all this happened in our generate. I'll give you some examples. So even all of these both these pivots were not always inspired or triggered by conversations from these users, right? So the way we have always grown as we keep solving hard problems every few months, and the souls are these hard problems is again user. So for example, in the beginning, we were targeting only existing resellers So even with this Meesho supply, which is Meesho 2.0. Our product was built in such a way that people who are already selling in the network can very easily come onboard and start using this entire supply chain. So, but after a few months, we realized again, so Okay, so now we have a product which existing resellers can use to take it to the next level, we have to onboard new resellers. By new I mean people who will start reselling with us for the first time. Again, source of this was we were seeing new users who were coming to me Sure, but they were not scaling as expected. So when you talk to them, you understand Oh, this these guys are doing it for the first time. So you have to make them aware of what is reselling, how does it work, what are the best practices and a bunch of other things. So then we customize our product and added features to support these new resellers as well. So that was again, one great insight and this is how it always works, right? every few months you discover new insights and you double down on it.  And even now, like are so. One metric one internal metric that we track very closely is income per reseller. So how much income does a reseller make with Meesho and that in a way signifies how your resellers are growing with you because only if your are resellers through you have improved it so to ensure a good time to kind of enable them to grow their income. We started expansion into newer categories so we started with for example ethnic fashion right so Ethnic was the category which was selling very well in social commerce at that time we started with Ethnic but now we have almost everything. So everything in fashion home, kitchen and other things. So this insight was also driven from a from users, right? You want to ask them okay, how's it going? They'll still up who can say selling Lego maybe but my customers are asking for missing in. Do you have this? So all of these insights you can never have unless you and in fact, we have this practice in the company as well. Where we ask everyone to kind of do reseller calls once in a while to understand how is it going in to uncover new insights. And I definitely recommend everyone to do that.

Krishna Jonnakadla  37:18

 I totally agree with you. In fact, there is a, I wrote an article on our podcast site about building an MVP. And in an MVP or while  building an MVP, having these conversations with users, especially if you're able to have an hour long conversation with your potential user throws up so many insights. It's an unbelievable because what happens is, historically, you know, when you go to all of these pitching events or investors now that you know, startups have become sort of a household topic to talk about. When I go to pitching events. I hear a lot of people investors, potential entrepreneurs, just keep it just keeping or others just repeating the same question. Again and again, right? What problem does it solve? Or, you know, what is the user going to use it for stuff like that, if we had to distill that it comes down to this age old example that's been given when you're selling a drill to, you know, that can that is capable of drilling, you know, six inch holes. The question is, are you buying the hole? Or are you buying the drill? Right. And Clayton Christensen, who is this Harvard professor who applied pioneered this whole idea of disruption, posed this question, there is another gentleman who actually went a step further and said, What if they're not buying both? They're neither buying the hole not the drill. They're actually buying place for the picture frames, for instance. And the funny thing is, 3M, which is very well known for its innovation asked these questions, what exactly are they using the drill for? And then they've created products that do not even drill a hole into the wall. You know, just to give you a metaphor, talking to users, what it can do for you, it can uncover those actual endpoints that the users are trying to get at? Which enriches your own product creation journey? Right? So you keep talking about the user part. So then Is it right to assume then the initial, the very initial user, which was at the very beginning, where people like you, right, so the fashion year was born or created for people like you, but when you started seeing that it, it wasn't working and selection was more important. At that point in time when you saw all these retailers and store owners or other resellers create WhatsApp groups, your user actually shifted from the end consumer of fashion to the reseller correct. So if all the other innovations and all the other products that you've launched is based on these resellers, this interesting, interesting that's a big leap, isn't it?

Sanjeev Barnwal  39:55

Yeah, definitely. I think when you when you're trying to again, every pivot is a big leap  right and specifically for us pivot from 1.0 to 2.0. was a very big leap again, because you have something which is working and then you want to invest additional bandwidth and figuring out a newer problem, which you think is going to get bigger is definitely, I think, and that is where what we always feel that all of this again ties back to the user conversations because building things is easy being a techie, techies love to build things, but if given an option, I would just keep putting  new things that is easier, but building the right thing is very hard. figuring out what to build and figuring out how to build it is is extremely difficult.

Krishna Jonnakadla  40:36

So talk about the inflection points of it. How did you when you launch one, when you launched 1.0 and 2.0, what were some of those defining moments that gave you the feeling that Yeah, numbers are one thing. Obviously, you had 3000 4000 orders back then, which you alluded to some time ago, but what were some of those inflection points where you got a feeling that this is going To go somewhere This is going to beyond numbers what were those inflection points?

Sanjeev Barnwal  41:04

I think yeah, So apart from numbers a few things, yes. So the in the first problem with the older business model was there was no way to make money right? So you know, okay here you are delivering something you are kind of you have this option of building a sustainable business model out of it. But again, more than that, I think, what is more important was you enabling your resellers to grow? And I think that is phenomenal, right? So imagine these resellers. Most of these are housewives, right. So about 70% are housewives and more than the income. So basically, of course, a lot of these housewives the kind of income that they make through Meesho is significant portion of their whole household income. So 80% of them are from below to Wednesday night so that the kind of money that they make is significant. And even more than that, this enables them to have some social recognition. A professional identity, which is much more empowering for them, which enables them to gain much more respect in the society, they can now say I'm a business owner, which is a great thing. And this is what we kept hearing from our conversation. So our users used to love us, in your life, because you have enabled me to do something, which is never possible. So I think all these conversations kind of give you a sense that okay, this thing is now working out well, and your users love, love you. So is going to take off right, and you are seeing numbers, of course to validate that, but I think conversations, again, it goes back to the conversations and kind of that is when we understood right, it is more about social recognition than numbers than the income that.

Krishna Jonnakadla  42:42

By how many folds has their own income capacity increased from from the time you began.

Sanjeev Barnwal  42:49

Yeah, so I think so that changes a lot for different types of users. So let's say my top five to 10% users currently make about 30-40000 rupees per month average user makes about 10,000 to 15,000 per month. And all these keeps changing? Right? So, a new user moves into this average category loans, reselling, you know, does it right? follows all the nudges that we are giving in the prabably graduates to become a top reseller. So all of this changes a lot with with what kind at what stage of their reselling journey they are. But is this is how they're This is the kind of scale of the income that they make looks like with Meesho.

Krishna Jonnakadla  43:31

Interesting. And in all of this talk about the relationship between you and with it, you're managing the tech side and whether there's managing the business side, how do you both decide how to work what what to pick what to choose what to go after? Who takes the lead role? What sort of process do you have there?

Sanjeev Barnwal  43:52

So yeah, so again, all of this ties back to what I said earlier, which is, I think having a complementary skill set Amongst founders helps a lot, right? So I look everything tech, he looks everything non tech, same goes for the decision making as well because he understands business really well I understand tech in general. And that solves a lot of problems, right? He doesn't have to worry about building the building it the right way. I don't have to worry about the decision making because I know it is going to be right. So I think in all of this, the best thing which happened is of course, starting with with it, right? So having a founder, whom you can trust. And so this entire startup journey is going to be with kind of extreme ups and downs, right. But one thing which never changes is having someone whom you can trust and starting up with such a co founder, the kinda solves a lot of problems.

Krishna Jonnakadla  44:41

Yeah, true. So looking back, let's talk about decisions. What were some decisions that went right and what were some decisions that didn't go right or went wrong.

Sanjeev Barnwal  44:51

Right. So again, in the pivot itself, figuring out in uncovering that insight and pivoting it the right time. Changing business models adding new types of features at the right point in time. I think those were the best decisions right and that is why we have managed to grow this quickly kind of the fastest growing startups, I think a few learnings from this not per se decisions but because in startup is its ongoing journey right? You keep making mistakes, you keep learning from them, then you try to improve to try to iterate I think in the first time itself when we launched fashion year a lot of that was motivated by kind of hyper local is getting funded and this is beginning kind of mid 2015 when a global was. So hyper local is getting funded, maybe build something talk to VCs to figure out okay, what is the next big thing which is going to get funded, and then try to build it right and we used to then build it and go back to VC saying, okay, we have built this, they'll just kind of tell you that okay, it's nice, but then let's look you have to kind of finish these These and then let's have a conversation. We used to do that maybe once or twice, and then you realize, okay, so you have to figure out what is the right thing and you have to believe in your business. It's not going to be VCs, it's not going to be your friends, it's always going to be you who can figure out the right thing for you. So I think that was one learning. Definitely. Second was, I think, so in a hypergrowth page, the way we have seen making past one or two years, getting building the right team is very important. And specifically, getting the right culture fit. In the beginning, at least trying to define the right culture and culture is not something you define you try to derive it from your existing folks. See, try to drive and just putting it out there and maybe using it as a filter for your next hiring helps a lot in smoothing things out, right? Because you know, when you're scaling very quickly, one thing which is very important, it's communication, and all of that and expectation setting and all of this becomes easier if you have the right person Probably defining those early in the stage helps a lot. I'm from the tech side. I think a lot of learnings, the thing balancing, and I think this is a typical problem which every startup faces, like you have to balance between growth, which is building new things, which prioritizes growth versus clearing out your tech side, right? So, refactoring re architecting, whatever. And finding the right balance is very difficult and probably in some ways, trying to predict like six months down the line, okay, you're going to reach at this stage, and having that clear view, okay, things are your systems, maybe few of these are not going to scale up, you have to revisit it. And we'll prioritize that. As opposed to do it when it is required for probably taking that decision. It is very hard. It is no formula there, right. It's very subjective depends on what is the need of that. So having those things clear in your mind helps a lot in running this.

Krishna Jonnakadla  47:56

Interesting on the yc angle. How easy or tough was to get it getting to Y Combinator. And what was that experience? Like?

Sanjeev Barnwal  48:05

Yeah. So I think one good thing about applying to yc without getting applying to yc is the kind of questions that you have to fill. It forces you to think a lot about your business. Maybe in some cases, you wouldn't have thought about it. So I think that application process itself is quite overwhelming. You go deeper into what you're trying to do. At least try to articulate it out. But yes, getting into yc Yes, of course, we were lucky enough to get into yc. And finance was amazing, like you get to so basically what happens is, you're divided into smaller groups, right? So during our time, we had about 100-105 companies. We in 2016 somewhere. So there were about hundred and five companies in our batch, we're divided into smaller groups. I don't remember the exact number probably somewhere 15, about 15, I guess. And then each group has two partners assigned and it's very open. You just go out there. Discuss problems with other founders. We just see them facing similar problems. And they're at a similar stage. Right? So, generally trying to brainstorm. I think that is a clear value add, right? You're just surrounded by such an amazing set of founders, you get to learn a lot. even beyond that they have, they have like, super interesting and very helpful conversations on different topics about running startups, building startups, how to handle scale, how to hire right. And then they also call like, few seasoned entrepreneurs to share their journey. I think the those learnings are kind of very helpful. So yeah, and after Demo Day, you get to kind of pitch so many investors at the same time, save a lot of trouble. A lot of time in raising money.

Krishna Jonnakadla  49:47

Any lessons from yc that you took, obviously, there are the usual suspects, hire the right team and think about product adoption in terms of data, the ones that are widely known any smaller ones. That are not known that sort of stuck with you that helping help you in the eventual journey.

Sanjeev Barnwal  50:05

Yep. So one again. So this user's talking to your users is enforced a lot, I think. So I remember there's a T shirt, which yc gives you and it's written there build something people want. And they teach you a lot of, you know, minor details about how to talk to users. And then they they focus a lot on talking to users, probably they would enforce what what were their insights, and we went into the user calls and stuff like that. So and that is very helpful that kind of enforces you to and we were already doing that but also doing it in the right way is important trying to for example, not ask leading questions, let's say if I were to ask them okay is so clear example would be in this case, where we figured out okay, we Meesho 2.0 is required is actually solving a problem. I wouldn't go and ask them where their supply is a problem for them, then I'd ask them why their business is not scaling and they could be n number of reasons, right? It's just that they're starting up. It says that they don't have time right now. There will be a number of reasons. So not asking those leading questions are very important. And I think they're a bunch of such minor learnings, which on aggregate level adds a lot of value.

Krishna Jonnakadla  51:08

Right. Looking back, are there some things that you would you would have done differently.

Sanjeev Barnwal  51:13

I think I've already answered this. So probably it goes back to fascinate, don't always try to solve your problem. Figure out what is the right problem is, that is definitely a learning theory. So I think one thing I can definitely highlight so when your team is exploding, like specifically in tech team, we grew from like 20 to 100 in 1.5 years, that was like hyperspeed. So and one thing which which creates a lot of problem is communication, your communication breaks down, if you're not trying to solve with productivity, because you expect like it's 20 people team it's a smaller team. People know what is happening, what are the projects going on, but the moment you scale it to 100 it's very difficult. People just don't know what is happening. It becomes a chaos. I think I would have set up better processes, better communication, or at least Have that clear view of which process needs to be introduced when more towards solving the communication problem. Because when you are when you have smart guys just throw problems at them, they'll definitely solve it. But then they need context. And that context can only come if you are communicating it in the right way. But the priorities of the company, where do you fit in? What is your team trying to solve? What is and it's a hyper growing startup, right? Every month, you're solving different problems. So probably giving that view and giving them a clear picture of what other people are working on and how do they fit into this entire entire puzzle that becomes super important. One thing definitely, I'd focus a lot more on communication during this stage.

Krishna Jonnakadla  52:40

 So for a startup that is scaled as much as you guys have, one of the things that keeps coming at you is all the various newer ideas and the newer ways in new in which you put and the directions that you could take right because the vantage point is different. The resource set that you have is vastly different now. So What's in store? What are some things that are a bit different? One thing is data that reinforces the hypothesis that you're already working on or the products that are already out there and from 2015 till 2020. I think we have seen three significant events in Indian history Demonetization, GST, and the pandemic, the COVID pandemic, what sort of insights have these thrown coming from the kind of business because what you are in resellers as they are in tier two, tier three tier four towns, that should be giving you some insight and also throwing up a lot of opportunities?

Sanjeev Barnwal  53:37

Yeah, sure. So I think with this soup one, I'd say there were two macro trends, which have definitely impacted our business. And maybe some of these happened before us. So when Jio was launched, right. So Jio brought a lot of people online in below tier one cities, and like 70% of our user base right now, roughly About 70 80% are from below tier one cities. Now all of this is possible only because they are actively using WhatsApp. And probably if you ask them what is what are your two top apps that you think will be Whatsapp and Facebook. And all of this is possible because Jio was there and second is definitely UPI has enabled them to collect payments very easily right. So they can always sell it to their customers. But collecting payments was not as smooth. I think when we started, a lot was on the bank transfer side. But definitely now we see a lot of people using UPI payments or resellers collecting payments from end customers. So I think and then now in fact post COvid we're seeing even better traction, probably because now more than ever people are trying to figure out how can they make money by sitting at home maybe kind of alternate sources of income because the primary source has taken a hit. So I think now more than ever, it is More important for us to support them. And that is what we are seeing. We are doing kind of to build everything we can to enable a new lease, enable user to become a reseller like PayPal, if you join, you become a reseller, and build and grow business with us. Interesting.

Krishna Jonnakadla  55:17

So this is fantastic. Your journey from Jharkhand to Japan. And then to Meesho, it's pretty fascinating looks like you have a very focused approach about what you look for what you listen to, and what sort of products you build. And looks like you have a terrific understanding between you and Vidit as well. It comes across when you talk about how you both manage your own responsibilities. So what's in store for the next five years.

Sanjeev Barnwal  55:46

So of course, a lot of things will change. We might figure out a new audience, we might figure out a new category, we might figure out a new business as well. But I think one thing which is definitely not going to change is our user focus centric approach to solving all the problems because that is what has taken us. That is what has helped us kind of scale until now. So very difficult to comment on that. But definitely we keep focusing on our users and keep going. Five years is a long time.

Krishna Jonnakadla  56:17

Interesting, any words of wisdom for potential entrepreneurs,would-be entrepreneurs and current entrepreneurs that are listening to this podcast?

Sanjeev Barnwal  56:25

Yeah, definitely. I think one one kind of idea or one thought which is very close to me is and which we have all of course learned throughout learning our journey is in don't stick to an idea just maybe pick up a pick a vertical. But just don't love your idea. Just love problem solving please that is what has always helped us. If you if you try to keep focusing on a very specific problem. If you try to not have a broader view on what is happening out there, it becomes very difficult. Because what you are holding close to your heart might not be a big enough problem to solve. So just keep looking out and just love problem solving rather than solving a specific problem.

Krishna Jonnakadla  57:12

I think you're that's that's fantastic advice, because I've seen that many times. The problem or the idea that we imagine in our mind is actually just a tiny speck of the larger possibilities around that idea that can actually happen. Right. So Sean Ellis, when he talks about the Dropbox, scale story, you know, for instance, if he were to go back to your own, the wording on the T shirt that says in YC that says, build what people want, right? And then we'll build something that people want. And Shaun Ellis talks about this Dropbox story is part of folklore that Dropbox created this slide deck, slide deck and put it out on Hacker News, way back then, and then if I If I remember correctly, they had 200,000 people that said they want to tag staff. But if you read Sean Ellis his own detailed story about the later on journey, the first six months, Sean says, there were no Google search terms for this. There was nothing where people said I want an online file storage service. Right. But, and they initially experiment with that. The funny thing is they do a very tiny, what I wouldn't call it a hack, but some sort of a tiny change in the wording. They position it as a online file sharing service as opposed to a file storage service. And then usage, and then conversion changes drastically. So it just goes to show that in our mind, we see it as storage but in the users mind and the users eyes it is seen as sharing the means is the means are the same, but the end looks slightly different. And to discover something Like that you definitely need to go out and have user conversations. And you're right. What you just said right now about not just holding on.And I also see that. I mean, if we think about Facebook itself, if it was just about a few things about what our college buddies or classmates did, Facebook wouldn't possibly grow into what it is. And every idea out there that has scaled into something larger has done has found multiple ways. And the original idea might be might be the kernel or the seed, but the actual tree is much bigger.

Sanjeev Barnwal  59:34

Definitely, totally agree on that.

Krishna Jonnakadla  59:36

 So fantastic Sanjeev this has been a great conversation. You know, for someone who's helming such a large company, you're full of humility and honesty, and it comes across it looks, it still feels like you're getting started. And we know that a lot of scale is ahead. We haven't yet seen, you know, the real larger behemoths of social commerce or the larger of opportunity to I'm sure you're still scratching the surface and you still feel the same. I know. We'll see Meesho 3.0, 4.0 and Maharajas of scale, We'll be there to talk to you and see what advantaged point looks like. Any closing comments before we sign off?

Sanjeev Barnwal  1:00:17

No, I think that's it, hoping people get something out of it and just hope people have enough learnings to apply. Thank you.

Krishna Jonnakadla  1:00:24

Wonderful. Sanjeev you have a great day.

Sanjeev Barnwal  1:00:26

We do. Thank you.

Tania Jadhav  1:00:28 We hope you enjoyed 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