Episode 191 / October 17, 2022

5 Most Important Decisions of Our Lives | Journey of Neon’s Founders

22 min

Episode 191 / October 17, 2022

5 Most Important Decisions of Our Lives | Journey of Neon’s Founders

22 min

About the Episode

What are those 5 key decisions Siddhartha and Nansi took to building 100x Entrepreneur?

The new episode with our duo is out now!

Tune in to hear their journey, learnings, and the hard work they put into bringing the best startup podcast to you all!

We hope you enjoy this podcast.

Make sure to watch it till the very end and share it with your friends!

Read the full transcript here:

Siddhartha 0:00

because as an entrepreneur, you’re only a cocoon. In your own shell, you don’t move out of your shell often


Nansi 0:05

that something happened with me when I decided that is the person I want to marry.


Siddhartha 0:09

It was a super difficult decision, right. I guess they almost cried, right.


Nansi 0:14

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the 100x Entrepreneur podcast. I am Nansi, and I’m back on the show with Siddhartha. Thank you so much, guys, you gave so much love and support on the first video we recorded together. That’s the reason we are doing the second podcast together. And I’m so happy that we could publish that episode. It needed a little push from Siddhartha, because I was a little nervous while recording that video. But I’m happy we could do that. And you guys have to listen to this podcast till the end, and tell us in the comments, If you want more podcasts from me and Siddhartha.


And just before shooting this podcast, I was just telling Siddhartha that we have been married for the last five years. And in five years, we are going to shift towards six thumbs. Yeah. So I was just telling him, we have made so many decisions in our life. And, people think too much before making decisions. And I think we never gave too much time. And just like that we started focusing on the key decisions we made together in the last five years that made all the changes in our life, and helped us reach where we are now. We have a long way to go. But we have come a long way. I believe. we are sitting in this beautiful cowork in Bangalore, and we have a three year old kid, we run this very successful, knowledgeable, insightful podcast where we talk to super successful entrepreneurs and VCs every week, and we have now started investing in startups SIddhartha has a job and so many things we have done in the last five years. But what are the top five decisions that we took, and that made all the changes in our life? So let’s start Siddhartha.


Siddhartha 1:57

So I think the biggest decision that impacted both of our lives was getting married to each other. Nansi comes from a Brahmin family, which is based on how most of the family traces its roots back to a village in Uttar Pradesh. And they only marry among their daughters to and their sons to among Brahmins, I’m a Punjabi, so, it was a very big decision. And this is a decision which we both took when we were the only people at that point in time who were in support of this decision. It was a tough, more tougher decision for Nansi to take.


Nansi 2:30

Yeah, I was just 21 year old, I interned with Siddhartha startup. And Siddhartha was I think, 28 that time and we didn’t even date for one year, we after knowing each other, I won’t even call it after dating each other sort of knowing each other for one year, we decided to get married, it was a very challenging decision, because we had no other people in our life who were supporting this decision, because we had age difference. For our parents, we had lots of differences. But we were very sure of this decision, because we always believed in each other. And we thought we both were very ambitious. And there are so many things we wanted to do. And we always thought about big things. So we thought when we are together, we’ll be able to give more time to our careers. It was a very difficult decision. But we were also very sure that we wanted to do that thing.


So getting married was one critical decision, but we made it and it made a lot of changes in our life. I think after four or five months, only the Siddhartha startup got acquired by SHEROES and Siddhartha joined SHEROES as a co-founder. And later on I also joined SHEROES and we worked together. And that was the time when we thought of starting 100x Entrepreneurs. There was something happening in SHEROES. When I met Siddhartha, he was the founder of this healthcare startup Baby GoGo. And I always saw him working on so many creative initiatives. He used to attend these investor meetings, he was looking for an office and he was always outside the office attending so many meetings. And whenever he is in office, he’s leading these team meetings and having these one on one meetings and talking about these important things.


But then when he became part of SHEROES, he had so many things to do, but I think he didn’t have much responsibility. I’m not really sure. But I was not liking the way he was living his life at that time because I kept on thinking that he’s not the person I married because I always saw him in action. And we started discussing, we are not , utilizing our full potential and maybe we should try something else. And if you will live like this, what will happen to me because I always look up to you. So that was the discussion we were having that time and that’s when we started the 100x entrepreneur podcast because we were not very sure what next we wanted to do. But we certainly had this idea that maybe if we talk to these super successful entrepreneurs, investors, who have clarity about markets and many other things like that they can help us. So starting podcasts was also a critical decision in our life. And I think that is the second decision that helped a lot because it opened a lot of doors for us.


Siddhartha 5:15

A lot of doors and as well as a lot of new learnings, which we were previously unexposed to. And I think if we both could have been entrepreneurs, those learnings would have never come because as an entrepreneur, you’re only a cocoon, In your own shell. you don’t move out of your shell often. That podcast was like just breaking our shells apart to new people, new learnings.


Nansi 5:36

You learn marketing, you learn content writing, you meet these people who are doing these cool things in their life and you pick small things from them, you learn these small things from them, like from Gaurav Munjal, when we recorded his podcast, we learned how much obsessed he is with the product he’s building, the habits he has set up and the culture he has built and the marketing initiatives and the vision he has for Unacademy and, pick two three things. Suppose we have recorded 200 episodes, suppose we have picked one good habit from each of these people, how much have we learned in the last two-three years? So that kind of learning we have gone through in the last three years. So starting a podcast was a critical decision in our life. And it helped us tremendously, I believe, and Siddhartha, that will tell about the third decision.


Siddhartha 6:28

So once we had the podcast and there was a time when we had recorded like 40 episodes from 2018-2019 I was still working with SHEROES. there came a time that I had to leave SHEROES and interacting with so many investors, I was really clear that as the next phase of my life, I want to be an investor and I started reaching out to venture capital firms, I would have reached out to like so many more than 10 and most of the response that I got from these were you are a black sheep to be in venture capital. You are not from IIT, you are not from IIM, you are not from a consultancy background and your own startup was not such a large exit. You are not Kunal Shah Freecharge.


Nansi 7:12

That’s the exact words he got.


Siddhartha 7:14

There are many people like you who want to get into venture capital. I used to tell Nansi coming after him after each of these conversations, it’s becoming really hard for me to get into venture capital. And at that time, Kabir was about to be born


Nansi 7:26

We had so much pressure that time because we were not very sure of our careers. And there was some personal crisis


Siddhartha 7:34

My father had passed away. Yes. So it’s just like you can say like hell broke loose at the same time. But we kept on hammering each guest that I used to record the podcast in person with. I thought this might be my break into venture capital. So what I did was on one of such trips to Bangalore, back then we were living in Delhi. I asked Amit Somani, managing partner at prime time . And I heard so fantastic things about prime. Amit, if you have an opening at prime, let me know. And after some time, say three months, Amit called me suddenly, one of the days when we were shopping for about to be newborn baby.


Nansi was eight to eight and a half months expecting that he said, ‘I checked with Rajul Garg, Who was your investor. Rajul today is the founder of Leo capital and previously founded GlobalLogic and PineLabs, two unicorns. So check your references with Rajul Garg Berg, who was your board member and first investor, he had great things to say about you. But we don’t have an investing role at prime, we have a role which is in the community and your podcast is doing well. So we also want to continue the podcast at prime. We previously started it but now we want to take it to new heights. And we thought with your kind of passion and consistency for the podcast and other initiatives that we can build for the community you might be a great fit for a head of community role. And I said yes, thinking that I might not be getting an investing role at a VC firm but this might be my break into venture capital. And in 2019 Kabir was in October just one and a half months old I shifted to Bangalore.


Nansi 9:05

I still remember that Kabir was, I think, just two months old. And Siddhartha left for Bangalore we were super excited for this new opportunity he got with Prime Venture Partners and Siddhartha was adjusting in Bangalore , the kinds of things you experienced when you move to a new city while I was getting all things done in Delhi like getting the birth certificate made getting his aadhar card, even passport made, because I thought it wouldn’t be possible to combe back to delhi since kabir is small so I got all things done when I was in Delhi in 15 days or one month and I called these movers packers got all the things packed and landed in Bangalore with the two and a half month old baby you can’t carry two and a half month old baby in one hand you have to use both the hands so you can imagine how I used to keep my bags because I used to hold Kabir using both my hands. It was super challenging, but I was super duper excited to be with Siddharth and lead my new life in Bangalore.


Nansi 10:10

Hi, everyone. Before we begin, I would like to share that this podcast is brought to you by Prime Venture partners, an early stage VC fund led by Amit Somani, Shripati Acharya and Sanjay Swami. Prime is often the first institutional investor in category defining tech startups in FinTech, SaaS healthcare and education, such as Markit Quizzes, Planet Spark, Bolt and Glip to know more about Prime visit


Nansi 10:40

It was a very beautiful phase when he worked with prime because prime has a beautiful culture in the office. I think Siddhartha had a very nice time in prime. And he was super focused during that time, because he was very excited about the initiatives he was working on. And he was so focused that he used to finish all the work by 7 and be home by 7:30, So we could spend more time with Kabir. So that was a very beautiful time. We were living in Whitefield, Bangalore, and we thought this is how we’re going to spend the next one or two years then something else happened. And Life changed again


Siddhartha 11:19

Yeah, so that’s the third big decision that we took. So, what happened is before applying to prime, I had also applied to Amazon Web Services and they took six months to interview and after three to four months at prime I finally got a call that hey you are selected for the venture capital business development manager role that I applied for Amazon Web Services India. Then me and Nansi went for a long walk, because I had such a fantastic time at prime and with my boss Amit Somani, he was personally invested in my growth. He used to spend time with me on what is required to grow into an investing role. And we used to spend so much time discussing markets discussing which kind of entrepreneurs is Prime looking for, which was not even my domain at the head of the community. This was outside my role that Amit was spending time with me so it was a super difficult decision? I almost cried at that point in time because I had one chance in my life to get an Amazon like logo in my career working with Amazon. I never worked at a large corporation. I’ve been a startup guy throughout my life.


Nansi 12:24

Our long walks used to happen when we were making difficult decisions in life, we would walk for one hour, two hour, three hour discussing all the pros and cons. So I remember we were super duper excited when he got a call from Amazon because this was the first time when he was supposed to join a big company like Amazon. And I was also really excited, because we never hoped that he would get selected by Amazon. I don’t know why I had so much faith in him. But I never imagined he would join Amazon.


So we were very happy that we got an opportunity. But we were also very sad to think that we will no longer be part of prime. Prime was like a family. We attended this Christmas celebration party and Kabir also joined. It was such a warm gathering we had and then around during that time, or maybe after one month, we had to decide that you have to join Amazon, you have to stay at prime. So it was one more difficult decision we had to make at that time. But the hard


Siddhartha 13:29

We finally took that decision, resulting in me moving from prime to Amazon Web Services. I think growth is always difficult from what we can see from all the first three decisions that we take, getting married was super difficult.


Nansi 13:43

because I was very young, I had no clear path in what I exactly wanted to do. And I was also doing my CA, so my family members used to say that you have enough time to study and pursue a career you want to pursue. And now after this three month internship, you are suddenly talking about marriage. What is this but something was going on in my mind. And maybe I was thinking about something which I was not able to make my family understand.


So there are few things, I call them, gut feelings you get when you can’t explain to everyone what you exactly want to do. But you get this feeling that this is something I want to do. Something happened to me when I decided that Siddhartha is the person I want to marry and I was 22 when we got married. And I was very sure of the time that this was the right time because I still think that you have to make the time right, there is never a right time. And even when Kabir was born, I was just 25 and got pregnant when I was 24 and I used to feel little sad on some days thinking like my classmates are doing MBAs joining these new companies and putting nice things on LinkedIn and I’m just sitting at home visiting gynecologists every other day, getting ultrasound done. My life was completely different than all my batch mates.


Siddhartha 15:05

Dear listeners. Before we dive further into the podcast, I would like to welcome Prashant Kunti, Head of Product Management at Zoho payroll and Zoho Books. Prashant, what is your long term vision for Zoho payroll?


Prashant 15:17

Thanks, Siddharth. So for us at Zoho, everything we invest for the long term that includes Zoho payroll, we will continue to invest in r&d Push innovations in the payroll domain. And what we are we will also do is the payroll straddles both HR and finance. And many times we see many of these problems as situated applications like payroll or something that just addresses one domain. What we have observed is all these applications have wide implications for all these departments like payroll have wide implications across the organization. So we will continue to ensure that the data residing in payroll applications disseminate across the organization and help with decision making across various departments.


Furthermore, we are emerging as a payroll platform. We encourage our customers to solve problems that we ourselves have not imagined. And they are also seeing that payroll plays a larger role in the ecosystem, for example, payroll, connect to banks are going forward, we might talk to insurance providers with regulatory authorities, so end to end automation across the entire ecosystem. So that’s our long term plan for payroll.


Siddhartha 16:51

Thank you, Prashant. Dear listeners, you will find more about Zoho payroll in the show notes. Now let’s further continue with the podcast.


Nansi 16:59

My colleagues at work I was just 24 working in the office with a baby bump looking like a baby of myself, but it was a beautiful phase. you have to make tough decisions. Not all your decisions will be similar to what your colleagues or friends make, but everyone is different. So decisions should also be different.Not everyone has to go to the same place. These different decisions are what makes your journey different from rest. This is something I have believed in my life. So we made the decision that Siddhartha would be joining Amazon and we will change to another house within three months. We changed our house in Bangalore. Siddhartha joined Amazon and I started managing home and Kabir but something interesting was also happening.


We never stopped doing the podcast. We never ever stopped publishing the podcast. It’s something great we did together that it was not. We have got a job at Amazon, what is the need to still do the podcast. Siddhartha was also working on podcasts at prime, what was the need to still do the podcasts. We never even thought of this. We never even discussed that, the podcast was always going on. And thanks to that habit. We have now completed 200 episodes. And we are now going to have our own studio in Bangalore. And I’m super excited about that, that we will be hosting these entrepreneurs and investors in our studio and doing an in person podcast. So watch out for all our upcoming podcasts because we are going to share superduper amazing offline podcasts with you all in the coming months.


Siddhartha 18:44

So now after almost three years at Amazon, the biggest fourth decision that I would tell you that we did was whatever little money we got from the exit of my company, BabyGoGo. We never saved it for a car. We never bought a car. We never bought a house. We put all that money into startups. It was a very risky bet. And what happened is, it just took us to another path. We never intended to be investors. But what happened is one after another, because of the podcasts opportunities kept coming, entrepreneurs started reaching out and I think after I left at prime, I started investing actively. And we’ve decided that, when I was running my company, one part of b2b SaaS the other part was b2b2c, where the consumer industry was the mother was using baby GoGo App decided we’ll never focus on consumer startups. We like to build large businesses with revenue from Day Zero and b2b SaaS was one opportunity where we could contribute in building that journey to 10 million or so.


We started investing in Airmeet as the first check. Along with Axel we invested in inFeedo along with Y Combinator and then after a few months Tiger global came in along with jungle ventures similarly Rocketium Affable we invested in. This journey kept going on, we kept on learning so much from the entrepreneurs grateful to them for making us part of their journey, their cap table, giving us ownership in their company. And we tried to make sure that we delivered more value, which was like thrice or four times of the check that we put in so that the entrepreneur tomorrow is proud of that, hey, we took 100x entrepreneurs on the cap table. And today, I, , we have made more than 35 investments in startups, some of them have become particularly big, like Neeman Shoes is one of them. So that’s the fourth decision like investing when you had very little money or no money into a startup, I would not encourage you to take a loan. But yeah, I didn’t take a loan, I invested whatever we had saved into startups.


And the fifth decision that we took recently is to build a fund, we have created a $10 million fund. And we are investing now into startups from that fund which is only a SAS focused fund. And it was so tough raising that folder, because the markets today are in recession, but we finally raised it, we got to close that, like 2.5% More commitments in the fund. And today the fund is at 10.25. And the fund also decides to go all in, we cut a 500k check into each company, which is like 5% of the fund. And the journey is, I would say, really rewarding and takes us out of our comfort zone. And we are not left as much on, I would say let’s say we don’t take long foreign vacations or anything like that. You still don’t have a car, we don’t own a house. But I think this excitement of being part of startups that are going to change the world in the next five to 10 years is very fulfilling, and it gives us so much joy when we see these startups. And


Nansi 21:36

The best part is we don’t have to fight because we both feel the same about the work we are doing. So we don’t have to argue, we don’t have to fight that this is something I don’t want to pursue. What are you doing with the kind of arguments we never have? And this is the beauty of our relationship. Touchwood. So these were the five decisions we took in the last five years. And I’m very proud of these decisions. And we believe good things will start happening with us in the coming years and good things have already started happening. We have a baby. And we’ll be shifting into our new studio next month.


And we are hosting these amazing entrepreneurs and now that we’ll be hosting these people in person, we will get a chance to meet these people, which we missed out on in the last two years because of COVID and other things. We have been doing these podcasts online and So I’m super duper happy for the coming time hosting these people in person. and all the marketing initiatives we are planning for our fund. So thank you so much for listening to this podcast and do tell us in the comments about your favorite decisions you made in life that you’re very proud of. Thank you.


Siddhartha 22:47

Thank you so much, guys.



  • Prime is a high conviction, high support investor, backing star teams with differentiated ideas. All partners at Prime work actively with the entrepreneurs post-investment to accelerate building a great company. Prime focuses on building differentiating companies whose solutions are 10X better and are powered by technology and product. Prime is now investing from its fourth fund of $ 120M and is often the first institutional investor in category-defining startups such as MyGate, HackerEarth, Niyo, Glip, Bolt, and Wheelseye. To know more about Prime visit
  • Being an entrepreneur means balancing a lot of tasks, and payroll is just one of many. But handling payroll manually is particularly time-consuming and chaotic. Teams inevitably end up processing inaccurate salaries, struggling with compliance, or losing track as your business expands. With Zoho Payroll, you can automate routine payroll tasks such as salary calculations, payments, payslip distribution, and compliance. Set up payroll once, and as your employee count grows, your payroll process scales without you spending additional time or effort. Try our 30-day free trial, and simplify your journey as an entrepreneur with Zoho Payroll.
Vector Graphic Vector Graphic

Know when new episodes are released. Subscribe to our newsletter!

Please enter a valid email id