Episode 175 / June 26, 2022

Ishan Sharma on Dropping Out, Money, Content Creation, and Youtube

01 hr 01 min

Episode 175 / June 26, 2022

Ishan Sharma on Dropping Out, Money, Content Creation, and Youtube

01 hr 01 min
Listen on


In today’s podcast, we have Ishan Sharma with us! Ishan is a Youtuber, Entrepreneur, and Founder of MarkitUp. He droped out of his college(BITS Pilani, Goa) at the age of 20 and decided to continue his entrepreneurial and content creation journey!

Ishan Sharma has around 500k Subscribers on Youtube and about 100K on LinkedIn. He also wrote a book called “Crush It on LinkedIn” back in Mid 2020 which summarises his experience of using LinkedIn and it is a guide for college students to find opportunities.

Ishan will share his YT journey so far, why he decided to drop out, what motivated him to do so, how MarkitUp was formed, and a lot more!

Let’s listen to his inspirational journey so far and what he plans to do next!


Notes –

0:00 – Intro 2:05 – What drives you in your life?

2:49 – How did you overcome the pain of Failing in JEE Advanced Exam?

6:22 – Do you remember the date you started your YouTube Channel?

7:18 – What’s the main reason behind starting your YouTube Channel?

9:13 – What other skills have you learned after Coding & Content Creation?

11:40 – When did you make your First Money?

12:16 – How was your YouTube Journey & How did you reach 10,000 Subscribers?

13:35 – What are your learnings from YouTube?

15:24 – How did you master YouTube Thumbnails?

17:47 – What are your other Income Streams beside YouTube?

19:56 – What was your income in May?

21:44 – When did you get your First Brand Deal & What does it takes to reach here?

24:56 – What is the Sales Engine looks like for ‘MarkitUp’?

26:20 – Where do you want to see yourself in 1 Year in terms of numbers?

27:15 – How many Brand Collaborations do you do in a month?

28:52 – How much do you pay a Freelancer per month?

30:05 – How does a day in your Life look like?

33:14 – What made you choose not to spend any more time in college?

39:00 – How do you differentiate your income?

39:55 – What do you do with the money you are making right now?

41:08 – Do you draw any salary from ‘MarkitUp’?

43:05 – What is enough for Ishan?

45:02 – Why does $1 Million in Investment important for you?

46:03 – What is one thing that is missing in your life?

47:48 – What do you do to make your growth engine proactive?

49:32 – Have you explored during 10 Day Meditation or Vipassana?

50:43 – What is Your Biggest Fear right now?

53:14 – Do you watch Netflix or any other OTT platform?

54:16 – Do you believe in Manifestation?

55:18 – What’s your process for recording a YouTube Video?

57:08 – What would you do if your Investment Portfolio reaches $1 Million?

59:49 – Outro


Read the full transcript here:


Ishan 00:00

If you have the results, if you can actually show that, hey, here is a list of channels that we’ve grown. Then it’s a lot easier to convince the person in front of you.


Videos by Mr. B’s, though get a lot of views, but the people who watch his content are probably younger.


MarkitUp made around 12 lakhs in the last month, I made around 17 to 18 lakhs on my YouTube channel. So that was pretty much it.


Nansi 00:28

Before we begin, I would like to mention that this episode is brought to you by Prime Venture Partners, an early stage VC fund led by Amit Somani, Shripati Acharya and Sanjay Swamy. Prime is often the first institutional investor in category defining tech startups in fintech, SaaS, Healthcare and Education such as MyGate, PlanetSpark, Niyo, Quizizz, Glip, Bolt . To know more about Prime visit


Siddhartha 1:00

Hi, this is your host Siddharth Ahluwalia. Welcome to 100X Entrepreneur podcast. 100x Entrepreneur podcast gives you tools to become 100x of yourself. We interview some of the best entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across the world. Who share their mental models on how they became 100x of themselves. Through this you can apply their methods and learn on your journey to 100x. I believe this has helped me in the last three years doing 170 episodes on 100x entrepreneur on my journey to 100x. Today we have a person who has grown 1000x. So this episode is really special. Ishan is the founder of MarkitUp, welcome to the podcast.


Ishan 1:44

Thank you so much Siddhartha for inviting me over here.


Siddhartha 1:47

I share a special relationship with you since you are a partner to 100x Entrepreneur. And I have seen you grow, I’ve seen you when you left your college, you left your college at the age of 19 years. And right now you’re 20 or completed?


Ishan 02:01

I am 20 and I’ll be turning 21 next month.


Siddhartha 02:05

Birthday wishes in advance.


Ishan 02:06

Thank you so much


Siddhartha 02:07

So Ishan, tell me about what drives you.


Ishan 02:11

I think what drives me is the messages I get from people who have watched my content, and they just reach out to me through in person events or through email saying that, hey, I watched your video. And then I applied whatever you said into my own life, in my own career, and that helped me get my first client, make my first $1,000, get my first job in my life. So all of that is what gets me up and running. Every single morning, I see those emails and I get really pumped up. And that’s basically what my motivation has been. Initially my motivation was to improve my communication skills. And slowly I realized that there are better motives that I could have. So that’s basically how it all started.


Siddhartha 02:50

Take us back through your journey, you applied to IIT JEE, you couldn’t get into it, you got into one of the best colleges in India BITS Goa, but that rejection pained you deeply. So what are the next steps that you took to overcome that pain?


Ishan 03:10

So I remember the day the IIT JEE advanced result was announced. The result was delayed; it was supposed to come at nine o’clock in the morning, but it came at about four o’clock that day. And the entire day, I was super nervous. I didn’t know what the result would be. I knew I didn’t completely crush the paper, I was fairly confident that I would at least make the cut. I would at least get like 7-8000 rank or something. Which wasn’t the best, which wasn’t what I planned. But it was what it was. I always made sure that once I’m done with IIT JEE, I will just never look back. There are people that say that okay, IIT didn’t happen this time, let’s try once more, let’s take a one year gap. I was clear I will not do that. Because that’s just not the best way to utilize my age, this age that I have right now.


So I looked at my result. I could not clear the IIT JEE advance and that was a very strange day in my life. I was sad, that day it was raining in Mumbai, so my father and I went out for a long walk. And I was just thinking about what happened like three years I have put in, I started going into coaching from 10th grade. I was preparing for the NTSE exam. After that I started preparing for KVPY. Then I started preparing for JEE Mains, JEE Advanced. I cleared JEE Mains, but couldn’t clear JEE Advance. So I was just wondering, what should I do next? And thankfully I had given two more exams, one was for VIT and one was for BITS. In VIT I got CS and in BITS I was getting electrical engineering in Goa campus. So I ended up choosing BITS Goa. And one thing was clear that I haven’t accomplished anything in life. So I always had that bug, that I missed out on something. There’s something that I could accomplish. So I just made sure that the moment I get into college, I’ll try to best utilize my time from the first year itself.


So I made it clear to myself that I will not be wasting my time trying to roam around the campus, I will not be wasting my time in activities that most of the people were doing in the first year of college because they were having fun, they were having the fun of their life. But I knew that I had to do something different because I was just not satisfied with where I was in life. So that was my mindset in 2019. And I started programming right on the day when my JEE Advance exam ended, so I remember that day. It was a very long day and there was a lot of traffic. There was this place called TCS ion, that’s where the exam was. And then we went back to Kandivali. It was a long two hour drive. I came back and I immediately opened up Udemy, got the first best selling course of Python and I started learning programming.


Installed Python, installed all the software’s VS code and I started programming and from that day onwards, I just kept upskilling myself. So I also started reading a lot of books. The first book that I liked a lot was one called “Hello World” by Hannah Fry, in which she talks about the applications of artificial intelligence. So all of that was really amusing for me. So that was my journey. I learned to edit videos, I learned to communicate myself better. With the help of this YouTube channel, I learned to design carousels and posters and thumbnails with the help of internships, and, of course, my YouTube channel that I started later on. So that was my mindset. And what I did over there.


Siddhartha 06:23

Do you remember the date you started your YouTube channel?


Ishan 06:25

So that was 8th January, 2020. That was when I put my first podcast, which was an audio podcast on Spotify, converted that into a video by putting out a static image. And just having that audio in the background. That was my first video. I think my very first video was me documenting the first month of whatever happened in BITS Pilani. So I was lucky this first month has been amazing. I got to meet some amazing people. I got to hang around with seniors, with alumni as well, there was a ceremony over there. So I wanted to document all of that and keep it somewhere. So that was my first project. It wasn’t like I wanted to do YouTube full time or anything like that. But I just wanted to keep it somewhere. So that was my first video. September 2019 is when I uploaded that, but I actually started uploading videos consistently from the 8th of January 2020. So yeah.


Siddhartha 07:19

Why did you do that, is that you wanted to grow a huge subscriber base, or you wanted to get popular?


Ishan 07:28

So it was December 2019. We were about to have our final exams for the whole semester. And one day before my prop stats exam, I was just laying down on my bed. And I was just thinking, what did I do this entire semester, what did I gain out of it. And one week before that day, I had this hackathon. It was from Microsoft, it was a 24 hour hackathon. And we had to talk and explain and sell our project to the judge. And I was not able to speak, I was not able to explain the application of what I had built in the last 24 hours. I thought a lot about that, why that was the case, I was not able to communicate well, I was not able to sell this idea to that person. And there was a group of 10 people over there in the room. So I thought I had to improve this. And that’s when the idea came to my mind. Let’s start a podcast.


So I started on Spotify. And most people in my college did not know what a podcast was, every single time I went to lunch, I always used to sit with a new person right next to me. And I was like, hey, I launched my new podcast, you should listen to it. And they’ll be like,what’s a podcast? So a lot of people did not have knowledge about podcasts. And this is like 18 year olds who should be knowing everything. And they don’t know how to listen to a podcast in India. So I thought everyone knows what YouTube is and how it works. So I just transitioned into YouTube putting audio content, audio podcasts every single week on Sundays, then I started doing video podcasts, then I thought that I can even speak in front of the camera and deliver some quality value to the audience that is watching this video.


So that’s basically what my journey was and how I started, then the pandemic hit, we came back, the lectures were boring. So I thought let me just put all of my time and energy into learning new skills, meeting new people, and then making as many YouTube videos as possible. So that was the story of how I started.


Siddhartha 09:14

So coding is the first skill that you learned by yourself. Making content for YouTube, doing podcasts, and making videos by yourself is the second skill, what are the other skills that you learn by yourself?


Ishan 09:26

I think with the help of MarkitUp, I learned to also hire people, I learned to understand what are the basics of a business. I also learned a lot about machine learning. So that’s another skill that I had. I learned Python, and then I eventually got into data science and machine learning. And I realized that machine learning is a field in which I have to do a lot of research. And that’s not something that I want to get into in my first year of college. So I went a little back, I got into web development, and I started exploring that. That was in 2020. And luckily, my senior from college, Mehul Mohan, just reached out to me in May of that year, and he was just like, Hey, bro, we want someone who can market our product that is Codedamn . And we want you to talk about it.


And I was at that point learning a lot about marketing. I was heavily inspired by Gary Vee, Ranveer Allahabadia and other people. So I used to watch a lot of videos and courses about Facebook ads. And I used to learn a lot about viral marketing, marketing in general, listening to as many videos as possible of Seth Godin, and I just wanted to learn as much as possible at that point. So that’s what happened. After that, I started working with him as a growth marketer in Codedamn. I worked there for about seven months, I was at a point at which the base had three customers, three paying customers, and right now they have like 3000 or something. So I helped them try using multiple traction channels and see which one works the best.


So that’s basically what my work was over there. So I did all of those things, I learned a lot about marketing, about just human behavior in general with the help of YouTube. I understand what people want, what their needs are, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So I learned all about that.


Siddhartha 11:11

So I would say that categories into psychology, psychology is the fourth skill that you learnt, marketing. And machine learning you have already talked about, but you figured out that area you don’t want to go deeper.


Ishan 11:26

It’s interesting, but it requires a lot of time for me. And I wanted to go as broad as possible in my first year of college. There’s this thing called Pi-shaped learning, to know a lot about a few things and know something about everything. So that’s what I wanted to do in my first year of college.


Siddhartha 11:41

And when did you make your first money?


Ishan 11:43

It was18th of July 2020. That was when the YouTube monetization turned on. I had like 3000 subscribers back at that point. For six months, I’ve been working, uploading a video every one or two days. And that’s when I got the 4000 watch hours and 1000 subscribers, and I got $1 on that day, that was a very special day. Because I didn’t know that you can actually make a living doing that. I was doing that for fun, Like Naval Ravikant says, do something that looks like play to you but feels like work to others. So I just used to do that every single day.


Siddhartha 12:16

And tell us about your journey. Building content since then, the day you first monetize the $1. After that, how did everything transpire? The first 10,000 subscribers?


Ishan 12:28

Luckily, my parents were very supportive of me. So they were just like, you attend all the lectures. And by four o’clock you do whatever you want to do, we don’t care but at least attend the lectures. So I used to try to attend the lectures, which was always a daunting task for me, then focus on how can I myself learn something and then share my learnings with people? Or I thought about what it is that the audience really wants? What would I want to teach myself one year ago? So that was what I thought. So I knew that I wanted to talk about skills that people can learn, I want to talk about programming, I want to talk about career in general, how people are able to get jobs in FANG companies. And that is what the audience wants.


So I delivered exactly that. I did a lot of podcasts with people who are in this field, and collaborated with a bunch of YouTube creators. And by the end of 2020, there were a group of creators that will be informed in this industry, like coding creators or college YouTubers. Started talking to them and made a bunch of friends. And that was a great period, because previous to that I just used to do everything myself. Then I met people like Yash Garg, Love Babbar. I talked with all of these people, they became friends, and we meet every single month today.


Siddhartha 13:40

Do you remember the day you hit 10,000 Subscribers?


Ishan 13:43

I don’t remember that. It might be that I made a post about that somewhere. But I don’t particularly remember that right now. 100k I remember I made that in March last year. We had that. And right now it’s 4x of that number. I’m soon gonna be hitting 500k subscribers. So that’s another milestone. But you know, the first 1000 is always special.


Sidhhartha 14:06

What’s your learning rate going from that 3000 subscribers when you hit your first dollar to reaching 100,000? What works on YouTube?


Ishan 14:15

I think what really works is either to try to entertain people, or to try to give advice that is contextualized for them and try to be genuine. And stories work really well. I have found out that whatever stories I’m talking about, about my life have worked out really well. I recently made a video, Seven lessons I would like to tell my teenage self, that we did really well. I made a video of my tragic IIT JEE preparation experience. That one got like 500k views, it’s still getting views right now. So stories work really well. People want to connect, people want to relate with you, people want to see that. Okay, this person is also like us.


So they want the relatability factor. And that’s what makes YouTube different. There is a difference between Hollywood celebrities and their movies and us creating not so highly produced content, but creating stories that people can relate to. So that’s basically what I think works on YouTube. Of course, you need to also master the thumbnail, the title, and all of those things are really important ,the metadata for it. So that’s what I will say. It’s all about understanding the human brain, what did they really want.


Siddhartha 15:25

And how did you master, for example, the thumbnail in your journal?


Ishan 15:29

It was a game of experiments. So I used to watch a lot of Pat Flynn, Pat Flynn is a great YouTube creator, I used to watch a lot of media. So all of these people are into YouTube growth. They made a lot of videos about how to get your first 100 subscribers and how to get your first 100k subscribers. So they made a lot of those videos. I used to make notes on every single point. I used to study every single creator trying to understand what worked for this person and what worked for that person. And I also learned about audience demographics, So a lot of people that get a lot of views, just make random videos like, for example, Mr. B, videos by Mr. B’s, though get a lot of views, but the people who watch his content are probably younger.


And then we have people like Akshay Shrivastav, he’s an amazing creator. And he makes videos in depth, like 20 minute long videos, about finance, about politics, and like geopolitical issues and all that. And he gets viewed by people who are much more mature and have a higher paying capacity as well. So I think I learned all of that, and how can you understand which creator is more valuable than the other. There was also this creator who got a lot of YouTube fame very quickly. In just two months, he made roast videos of white hat Jr. So it was trending a lot back then. And he got a lot of traction. So I was working in the influencer marketing segment in Codedamn. So I thought, let me experiment with this.


So we did one integration on his channel, we called Zero ROI on that. We paid him like $500, and did not get a single rupee or dollar back. And that was because he was early, and people did not know him or connect with him that well, people were just laughing, along with him on his jokes on his videos. And that was it. There wasn’t a human touch connection with the audience that he was able to form. And right now, that creator is not doing anything on YouTube. So I learned a lot about all of these things. I also learned about how creators have a lifespan. Here you keep reinventing yourself, it’s not exactly a career, it’s an opportunity that you have as a creator, you can either go into the entrepreneurial way, you can launch an app, you can launch a service, course, whatever it is, or you can try to go into Hollywood. So that’s basically what I learned.


Siddhartha 17:47

And when did you form the MarkitUp? When did you start monetizing besides YouTube? What were the other sources?


Ishan 17:53

So the funny story about that is, I used to get a lot of messages from companies by the end of 2020, saying that, hey, you seem to have grown your channel a lot. And we want you to create similar content on our YouTube channel. So here’s our offer, you become a content strategist on our YouTube channel, show your face and you make videos for our channel. And I was and I got this offer from like three or four coding tech companies. So I thought why not work with all of them to launch my own agency. And prior to that, I was working as a freelancer. So I knew a little bit about how all of this works. But again, launching your own business doing all of that sales, I didn’t have much experience of that. Because till then, all the reach, and the clients I was getting were inbound. I haven’t been on a sales call with a client or something.


So that was my experience. I just called up my roommate. I was like, bro, what are you doing these days, so he is like, nothing bro just chilling. Let’s just try to build something interesting. So he’s into Instagram, he helps a lot of companies with their Instagram. So I thought you handle Instagram, I handle YouTube, and we will try to build this from scratch. So the initial clients, we got Coding Ninjas, as one of our clients, we got Raj Shamani. He’s also one of our clients, we got a lot of clients. So my learning from all of that was that if you have the results, if you can actually show that, hey, here is a list of channels that we’ve grown. Then it’s a lot easier to convince the person in front of you. They’re already convinced they just want to see how well you can contextualize a strategy for them particularly.


So that’s basically what it was all about. I launched a video on my YouTube channel, saying that I want to take this opportunity to the viewers that I will get clients and I want you to work with me for all the clients that I have. So it was like a two way thing. My audience was getting value. And people that I was working with are also getting value. So that’s basically how all of that happened.


Siddhartha 19:48

And today, how many clients do you have in MarkitUp?


Ishan 19:50

We have 14 clients and we have 25 people working remotely. And that’s basically what we have.


Siddhartha 19:56

And if you can, I know you have shared a video on your income. But let’s say if you can share blessing your main income later liberty to income. And what’s the bifurcation in each category?


Ishan 20:09

MarkitUp made around 12 lakhs in the last month, I made around 17 to 18 lakhs on my YouTube channel. So that was pretty much it. It’s about three lakhs on YouTube, AdSense and the rest is brand deals, then there is affiliate marketing from Amazon, which doesn’t pay as much, which is surprising to me. For some reason. There are some issues with my Amazon affiliate because of which it just doesn’t show the sales. Everyone else is making a lot of money on affiliate marketing. I don’t know what’s happening over there. I have not launched my own course. I don’t want to do that right now because I feel like it’s a part of my journey in which I need to grow a little bit more, then launch a course maybe. So that’s basically how the income side looks like right now.


Siddhartha 20:51

Dear listeners, before we dive deep into the podcast, I would like to have a quick conversation with Prashant about Zoho payroll, Zoho’s payroll management software. Prashant Ganti is the head of product management at Zoho payroll and Zoho books. Prashant, what does Zoho payroll do and what is the story behind it?


Prashant 21:11

Zoho payroll is a payroll solution, from the Zoho products, designed from ground up to completely upstrike the payroll complexity and put your payroll complaints on autopilot. We mean that a business needs to know just who their employees are, where they work and how much they get paid. And by putting your payroll complaints on autopilot mode, what we mean is, there are ever changing rules and regulations that affect your payroll. Payroll takes care of all those things.


Siddhartha 21:39

Thank you so much Prashant. Listeners, let’s further continue with the podcast.


Can you describe when you got your first brand deal and what it took to reach here? In MarkitUp what it took to reach this point in time?


Ishan 21:52

The first Brand deal, so I was working with Unacademy as a coding instructor. I made a playlist in Python on my YouTube channel itself. There are five videos, they’re still available right now on YouTube. I just made that I got like 20-30 views at max. But someone from Unacademy seemed to watch that video. They just approached me on LinkedIn saying that, hey, we saw your playlist on Python. And we want you to teach students and we’re launching a new category. That was a strange thing. I didn’t know even this would happen, how would 20-30 views matter. People might think it wouldn’t matter, but it’s always an opportunity that is there. And you might not know when it knocks.


So I just started talking with them, got the deal and started teaching students. I taught coding on Unacademy for about a year, I taught 350 hours to over 1000 students. These were like kids in school. So they just reached out to me saying that in October, that was my first brand deal in October 2020, we are doing this carnival, and we want you to talk about it on your channel. So here you go. How much would you charge? I didn’t know how much to quote, I had like 7000 subscribers back then. So I just quoted like 5000 rupees randomly. And we’re like, Okay, fine. I was like wow one can get 5000.


Because back then, my dream was, you go to IIT JEE Crack it, get into IITs, you go through that procedure, then you get to interview and if you’re lucky, you get a 12 LPA package. And here, I’m sitting here in my own room, and I’m just making videos, and this brand is ready to pay me 5000 rupees for one minute integration. And I said yes to them. And I made one video for them, which was integrated. I was always cautious. I thought that my audience would not like integrations, they would always be like he is sold, they say that a lot. So I thought that might happen. But that surprisingly did not happen. So I just used to ask my audience every single time how many integrations is enough? If I do 15 videos every single month? How many of those do you want to be? Are you okay with me integrating a branding that I personally trust? And they were like you can integrate as many brands as possible if they’re particularly useful to us.


That’s what I used. I try to start with one integration and then two, then three. And that’s how it started. For MarkitUp. I think when I launched that first post on LinkedIn saying that I’m launching this agency where we’ll help you grow your YouTube channel. The same day itself, I got a call from Stoa Raj Kunkolienkar, he reached out saying that, hey, you’re also from BITS, you seem to have grown your channel a lot. And we would love for you to help us grow our YouTube channel as well. That was the first client after that Coding Ninjas was another one.


The trick that worked with the MarkitUp was that because I was getting a lot of brands on my own YouTube channel, I used to divert them and offer them another deal saying that, yes, I’ll integrate you in my videos. But we can also help you grow your own channel so that you don’t have to do these high volume deals with other influencers, you can have your own content that you can work on. And that’s how it worked out. We got Coding Ninjas as our first client then we kept getting more and more.


Siddhartha 24:59

Marketing spend is zero for you. So what does the sales engine look like for MarkitUp?


Ishan 25:04

So it’s completely organic. I make videos on my YouTube channel, I talk about what I’m doing on LinkedIn. People just DM me saying that hey, Ishan I looked at what you’re doing. And I’m working in this company, I want to start my own company. And then we want you to help us grow our own YouTube channel. That’s completely organic. I just kept getting people messaging me or emailing me. And that’s how I just have a conversation with them. And that’s how it happens.


Siddhartha 25:27

So Ishan what’s your goal right now for MarkitUp and for your whole self as a content creator.


Ishan 25:33

The goal right now is to first of all focus a lot more on storytelling, I have been making a lot of 10 minute long videos in which I’m just talking to the camera. And just doing one thing, that is one thing I also want to do more in person podcasts like here we are doing right now because I feel that the Kinect is a lot better. So that’s the goal for my content. For MarkitUp we want to focus on a lot more optimizing and automating all the things that we are doing. So the first six months were all about me and Sharansh doing everything ourselves. So we used to divide our work. We were uploading all the videos on the client channels and then we hired Simon, then we hired Uday, then we hired Niladri and other people as well. And these people are now hiring all of the freelancers that we have under them. So that’s how it works.


Siddhartha 26:20

But where do you want to take it to let’s say, in terms of stock voting numbers, where do you want to see yourself in the next one year?


Ishan 26:28

Numbers, I don’t really know about numbers because it’s a lot more uncertain. I’m also focusing on trying to build a product with a couple of my other friends. That is one more startup I’m working on. I don’t have any number goals as per because I never knew that I would be here right now at this point. Dropping out of college one year ago, I never thought of that. I wanted to become a software developer. But things change, I just know that I have to talk a lot more about how people are doing something great in India and how they’re building in India. So that’s what my focus is going to be, and trying to create that entrepreneurial spirit, promote that, or try to help people discover other career options that they can get into. That was basically what my motivation was when I was first getting started. And that’s what it is right now as well.


Siddhartha 27:16

How many brand collaborations do you do in a month right now?


Ishan 27:19

That is depending on what brands I have and how it looks 10 to 15, I worked with them. So that was on different integrations. But if you just talk about the brand, I think they were like seven to eight brands. And we had multiple integration.


Siddhartha 27:34

So you usually roughly charge one to two lakh rupees.


Ishan 27:36

Yeah, that’s how it works.


Siddhartha 27:38

But you see that income stream growing over a period of time?


Ishan 27:42

I think it will grow. But that’s not the encryption that I want to care about. I want to focus on a lot more about building an asset that can pay me afterwards as well. Sponsorships and integrations are great. But you might never know when the algo stops recommending you. And someone new might come up. And YouTube is always trying to focus on how they can prioritize newer clear creators. So either you start a new channel, or you reinvent yourself. So that’s what I know. And I know that this is not going to last for a very long time. But it’s, of course, great while it is here, and I need to just focus on how I can build something long lasting. That’s why Markitup is here. And now I want to focus on building a product as well.


Siddhartha 28:23

So MarkitUp, you want to completely automate it, so that Ishan is not required on a day to day basis.


Ishan 28:29

Yeah, like that is happening today as well, to some extent. But I want to get to a point at which we can take care of everything with the team that we have. And my involvement currently is just basically acquiring the client, that’s what I’m here for. And then I believe in it, I trust my team to do all the work. So that’s what we do. We are always hiring for video editors, for designers, for content writers, for project managers. That’s always there.


Siddhartha 28:56

And how much do you pay per month for these kinds of roles?


Ishan 28:59

It depends, for example, there are editors in MarkitUp who make like 70 to 80,000 per month as well, then we have people who are working here full time. So for example, Simon is a third year student in a college, he differed from studying in placements in his own college and we gave him an offer as well that he showed to his college and the college has been more happy to let him do what he’s doing. So we are also offering him revenue sharing in our own company. So it’s sort of like giving ESOPs but in this case, you want to share whatever it is, the profits that we make with him, so that he has been working a lot in the last one or two years. And so you want to make sure that he gets rewarded.


So that’s one example. We’ve also helped a lot of people get jobs in companies. So there was this one guy who we trained in our cohort, and he got a full time offer of like 15 LPA, to work as a designer in Code Damn. So that’s another example of how we’re empowering people, helping them get opportunities. So that’s what we do, how much we normally pay, it can depend, right now it ranges from 25,000 to 50,000. That’s how much we pay Simon.


Siddhartha 30:08

Tell us about how your day looks like? Like how do you structure between content creation, as a solo, podcast, MarkitUp, and the new product that you’re building.


Ishan 30:18

So I get up at about 7:30 in the morning, by 8:15 I’m in the gym. I spend about one and a half hours in the gym. That’s a new activity I’m adding to my daily life. And it’s great because I really want to focus on physical health. As you can see, I’m not the fittest right now, So I’ve been sitting a lot, and that’s not healthy for me. So I want to change that. Other than that, once I’m done with the gym, I come back, I get my breakfast. And then I start with the day, which basically starts by looking at the emails, trying to make sure that everything is running fine. I look at what’s happening in MarkitUp, what tasks we have, what are the problems? How can we solve that, then I focus on hiring. So that’s like a routine that I have to spend like one, one or two hours just trying to go through different submissions. So basically, we do contests every single weekend, in which we give them a way to edit or a thumbnail to create. And whoever creates a great thumbnail or great video, we try to offer them some sort of collaboration where we can work together.


So that’s what we do, then I think by the evening or the noon time is when I start recording videos on my own channel. So that’s what takes up the majority of my time, that’s trying to think about how I can convey this idea, scripting it out myself, trying to create brand integration scripts, then just, following up with some guests that I have called for my channel so I do that by evening. I think I focus a lot more on learning from books, podcasts and videos. That’s what my evenings are all about. And night is basically just about chilling right next to the pool over there. and just listen to some music and talk to people. That’s what I do in the evening and nighttime


Siddhartha 31:53

listeners if you don’t know and we haven’t talked about, we are right now sitting in Ishan’s home in Bangalore, this is Ishan’s pad.


Ishan 32:01

How do you like it?


Siddhartha 32:02

It’s wonderful. It’s on the 30th floor, you can see mountains from here, what else do you want?


Ishan 32:08

I think that is what was the case with the house we had in pune as well. So I always want to prioritize having a peaceful environment, where I can focus properly. So yeah, that’s what my goal was in life.


Siddhartha 32:20

And why did you move to Bangalore, because of the startup scene in Bangalore?


Ishan 32:23

Yeah, that’s pretty much the reason why I moved here. I feel like there are a lot more brands that I can work with. I can go to their offices, and I can try to talk to them and meet new people. There’s a lot of opportunities that you can get, in person is always better than doing zoom calls. It works. Zoom also works. I’ve been doing it for the last two years. But I think this will accelerate your learning for the audience, if they want to come here and accelerate their growth in their career.


Siddhartha 32:50

So you’re telling everyone to move to Bangalore?


Ishan 32:53

Whatever works with them, you can also move to Mumbai, if you’re into the creative economy that also has a lot of opportunities. There are startups like TagMango, they launch their own creative pad. So you can travel to the city that has the most opportunities, work over here in the initial part of your career, hustle, and then you can decide wherever you want to go, you can work remotely later on. So that’s what my mindset is.


Siddhartha 33:15

And you mentioned in one of your videos, that you’re glad that you dropped off your college. But the thought of dropping out was very uncertain, for you, for your entire family, just two years more then you could do whatever you want after you have a degree. But what made you choose not to spend another two years in college?


Ishan 33:35

There was one year left in my own college. So I gave myself a chance in the first week of March that I decided that I will at least try it out and see for myself if I really like college, and if I can manage doing MarkitUp, doing my YouTube channel and doing my college at the same time. So I went to my hostel, the hostel room was quite small, it was tiny, I only had space for me to sleep. And then there was a table, that’s all that it had. And I was not able to put my camera as you can see, like, we need some space to record videos and all. And the environment would also be peaceful. And the hostel environment is far from peaceful. Always someone ranting, someone playing loud music and all.


So I always used to record videos in the nighttime, right around like 12 or 2 o’clock, in the midnight, that messed up my sleep cycle. The three weeks were all about me trying to experiment and see if I can manage everything. The college WiFi was trash, it only had like two GB limit. My videos are like 10GBs long. And I have to work on multiple videos every single day, trying to review all the videos. So it was just not working out. I just reached out to my director in college. And I just told her that I’m not able to manage everything myself. And I know that I can do something big with my YouTube channel. And I’m in that trajectory of growth. Two months prior to that, in January, my channel had 2 million views. And then in March, I had 6 million views. And it was only going to go higher. I knew that for sure.


So I knew that it’s going to grow a lot more than what I have right now. So I just reached out to them, I tried to explain everything to her, I can grow a lot more if you give me the opportunity. All I asked for is to let me get a proper studio outside of the college, right next to it, I’ll rent a place I’ll live there on rent. And I’ll come here for all the exams and things like that. And they were stubborn, they all have their rules, so she just told me that we have our rules, we will not break them. Five o’clock is when the classes end. And 10 o’clock is when you need to get back to campus, you can do whatever you want in this time period of 5 to 10. But you just cannot stay outside of the campus, that’s not going to work out with us.


So I said it’s totally fine then I’ll have to drop out of college. And the look that she had on her face. A 3rd year student from BITS Pilani says that he wants to drop out. Because he wants to pursue some YouTube channel on which he is getting 6 million views. She could not digest that. She was just like how did he say this. She’s like, you surely can try, you can sustain this. And I’m like, I think I can do something, I will do something with my YouTube channel. I have the distribution. I have people who trust me and I have acquired some skills along the way as well. So I just said I will do my best. And I can do this properly for the long term as well. And seeing that you’re not able to cooperate is only going to hurt you in the long term. So that’s what I said.


And I just left the place. I just called my dad on 27th of March and I just told him that hey, let’s just go back. I had proper studio lights. Right those Godox lights with me over there. So he just came with me. I had the monitor as well. So we picked up everything and then we went back home. So that was the whole story about me dropping out. I think it has helped me out a lot. I can now think a lot more clearly, that was a very toxic period, March. However, the numbers were always great, because we just focused on that. And my sleep schedule, my eating schedule was all messed up. I had those dark circles all the time, I was always sleep deprived. And I just had to get out of that loop. So I just took the leap of faith.


Siddhartha 37:14

Glad to see that you, you are now happy with your family, at home, you’re eating home made food cooked by your mom. And you’re able to accomplish what you wanted to accomplish and your family has come with you to Bangalore, so that they can support you in your dreams.


Ishan 37:34

It’s always great to see your parents being supportive. A lot of people message me saying that my parents are not supporting me, I’m trying to start something new and they’re not supporting me, they are just saying to complete the degree and then do whatever you want. My father also thought that I should at least complete my degree. A lot of seniors in my college, a lot of alumni I talked to, were all of the thought that at least to complete your degree you won’t get these years again in your life. But I just said that, I don’t care.


The problem was also that I didn’t have that connection with my batch in college. That was also something. I was like, I anyways don’t know a lot of people in my own batch, I have a few friends and I couldn’t relate to them. So I just thought that I’m focusing on this business trying to learn more about how marketing works, trying to grow my YouTube channel, and these guys are just worrying about their internship in some random corporate office or something. So I just thought that I had to change, I had to get a better place in which I can work with like minded people. So that’s what I did.


Siddhartha 38:34

I think by the time you dropped off, you were earning more than a placement could offer you?


Ishan 38:38

Yeah, so it was actually 10 times the highest package in my own college, what I was making in that month, if you multiply that by 12. So that was completely sorted. I don’t have any fantasies of buying a yacht or something. I’m a very simple person. That’s how I like to be. So I know that I don’t need to earn a lot to sustain myself. So that’s how it is.


Siddhartha 39:00

So how do you differentiate your income? For example, let’s say you earned 12 lakhs last month, that is MarkitUp, you have built a separate company for that.


Ishan 39:08

Yeah, so MarkitUp is a separate entity, MarkitUp Media Private Limited, and I have a separate entity myself, that is my YouTube channel.


Siddhartha 39:16

That’s a private limited also?


Ishan 39:17

No, that’s a sole proprietorship, actually.


Siddhartha 39:21

So whatever money you earn, that goes into sole proprietorship for YouTube. And the MarkitUp goes into growing the team.


Ishan 39:30

It used to be in my own account. Like you also used to G-pay the amount. It’s not the case anymore. Now we have a proper account in which all the Sum goes. I made a big mistake. I didn’t know that you need to get a GST number after you cross 18 lakhs revenue. So I have to pay a lot of GST right now that I did not put up previously on all the invoices that I was taking. So I learned, yeah, that’s how you burn your hand and you learn.


Siddhartha 39:55

So what you do with your own money, let’s say you earned 18 lakhs last month, You want a simple life. You don’t want to buy Ferraris.


Ishan 40:06

I have been traveling a lot more. And I love spending on experiences. So I’ll be going to Dubai next month. So I wanted to experience as much as possible and then document this experience of mine. So that’s what I spend the majority of whatever I am spending, which is still a very small percentage of what I make every single month, my focus is just to get to like a million dollars of money that I have in investments.


Siddhartha 40:31

How do you invest?


Ishan 40:32

I invest in ETFs, I don’t have the time to think about which Stock is going where. It’s too ticky tacky. I used to look at the charts every single day, back in 2020 and 2021 as well. But then I realized that this is just not the right way to optimize, not the best way to spend my time. So I thought the best way is to increase my active income. And then let me just invest every single month, certain part of whatever I’m making into the stock market through ETFs and all that. So that’s what I’m doing right now.


Siddhartha 41:04

And I believe most of your YouTube income goes into the ETFs. And do you draw any salary from MarkitUp right now?


Ishan 41:13

I’m not doing that. My co-founder is getting a salary because of course he doesn’t have any other sources of income. So it makes sense for him to draw a salary.


Siddhartha 41:21

And how much you think you will be investing into the new product business that you’re building.


Ishan 41:26

We aren’t sure about that. So we will only figure that out as we go along. Right now the co-founder that we have is tech based. So he can start out with the basic model for that. But he is leaving his 200,000 job in Facebook. So we are aware about that and we have to make sure that he is happy in the project that we are working on. I’m seeing a lot of interest in a lot of people who we just met. We met Prafull Billore and he was really interested in our idea. And he was like, just call me up whenever you need, like an angel round. So that’s always there. So I feel like because we have the connections, and because we’re having this book through which we get to meet a lot of amazing people, this will help us a lot when we’re trying to build our own venture.


So that’s how it is. I actually got a call from Kunal Bahl, on the week I launched MarkitUp. So he had recently invested in BlueLearn, which is a BITS startup from Harish. And he also invested in Pepper content, which is from BITS Pilani. And they are also doing amazingly well raised $14 million. So they just wanted to see what we were doing. And if we are building a product that they can invest into as well. So I got on a call with him, did not expect that this would happen. I just talked with him. He was really inspiring what you guys are doing at this age. So we explained to him what we are doing, he realized this was not like a VC investable business. So he said, Whenever you build a product, just call me up and we’ll talk about it. So that was a great experience. I didn’t expect that I would be just meeting Kunal Bahl all of a sudden.


Siddhartha 42:54

Awesome. Did you meet him in person till now?


Ishan 42:56

I have not met him in person, but I will definitely want to do that. He’s also in Bangalore.


Siddhartha 43:03

Yeah. I think he’s in Delhi right now. So tell me Ishan, you’re here, almost being financially independent, even if you just keep this engine going of MarkitUp and content, It will go places by compounding. And you are now launching your own product. So what is enough for Ishan?


Ishan 43:22

I think I don’t have a definition of enough. I’m also 20. So I don’t know the answers to all the philosophical questions. I’m just trying to figure things out. So I won’t try to sound like I have all the wisdom in the world. I just know that I love working with great people. And I just love creating value, building products, that could be a video that could be some offering that we can have. So we ran that experiment of a cohort, in which we taught people graphic design for completely free. And that was really great, because we saw a lot of people get value from that. As I said, What motivates me is people reaching out to me and telling me how my content has helped them get value and get opportunities in their own career. That’s what motivates me right now. I don’t have a definition of enough. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But yeah, that’s how it is.


I take this question to every single person I meet. And I ask them, I asked this question to Varun Mayya, I asked this question to everyone that I meet. They all have their different answers. And they say that nothing is enough. Like, if you are working on something that you love, why do you need to get to a point at which you will be satisfied? You will always want to be on a treadmill. So that’s how it is.


Siddhartha 44:32

But you want to change treadmills.


Ishan 44:34

I want to do that. So that’s why I’m getting into the product, I just love this idea of building something with a team, and then launching that, trying to get more users, trying to get it to the next level by raising funding and all that. That game is fascinating to me. So I want to play that game as well. So I’ve been doing the bootstrap model, I have been doing a distribution game as well. I want to break into this thing as well.


Siddhartha 45:01

Right now, you mentioned you have a ballpark number of $1 billion in investment. What is that?


Ishan 45:06

I don’t have that right now. But I want to get it at a certain point.


Siddhartha 45:10

Oh, That you want to reach, that’s a milestone for you.


Ishan 45:11



Siddhartha 45:15

Why is that number important to you?


Ishan 45:16

So that’s just basically the global, if you just look at any study, they just tell you that if you have like a million dollars in the bank, you get like 10%, interest inflation is 6% or something you get, like 4%. So the rule of 4% is always here. So $1 million 4% is enough for you to sustain a living wherever you are living sort of. So there is this website called the Nomad list made by Pieter levels. So on that you can see, where do you want to live? And how much money would it require for you to live there and get to that fire point, financial independence retire early. So you just want to get to that point. And then you can just do whatever you want to. So that’s just like a number that I have in my mind that we might cross in some years.


Siddhartha 46:05

And what is one thing that is missing in Ishan’s life?


Ishan 46:08

I think what’s missing is more people that I can talk to freely without them judging me or without them finding an ROI and talking to me. So that’s what’s missing.


Siddhartha 46:22

Aren’t your co-founders there?


Ishan 46:24

The co-founder is there, but he is there only for the business part. I mean, I can talk to him if I want to. But I think that the point at which I am at I would like to talk to more like a creator who’s trying to build something. So I always bond a lot with Ranveer Allahabadia. And when I met him in Mumbai two months ago, that was fun. So I want to meet more of those people.


Siddhartha 46:47

Oh, but you have some sort of mentors right now who you just bounce off ideas with.


Ishan 46:51

Yeah, all the time. I talk a lot with Varun Mayya. I talk a lot with Ayush Jaiswal about what I’m building. And of course, Ranveer is there. So all of these people Aman Dhattarwal I met recently. So I’ve learned a lot from all of these people. And they have been like the role models I looked up to when I was building my own YouTube channel, then I realized that it’s not a good thing to idolize someone, everyone has their own imperfections that you should take into account as well when you’re trying to think about them as they’re your target that you want to see or something. So that’s what.


Siddhartha 47:22

So earlier, correct me if I’m wrong, you wanted to be like Ranveer, but now you don’t. Because you realize everybody’s walking their own path.


Ishan 47:29

No, earlier I wanted to be someone like Aman Dhattarwal. Then I realized that I just want to be me. I am a lot different from any creator out there who’s on a bigger level, I just want to focus on being the best version of myself. So that’s what my thing is right now.


Siddhartha 47:48

And what are you doing, let’s say making sure that your growth engine is getting the inputs. For example, for me, it’s reading,


Ishan 47:58

I read A lot. So I have recently been reading this book called “You’re too good to feel this bad”. In which they talk about, it’s basically like a self help book, but a different approach to it. More like a stoic philosophy point of view on how you can live life. So I’m reading that book. I have read a lot of books on entrepreneurship, read the journeys of Nike, about Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. So there’s a lot to learn from them. I want to read the book “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh. So that’s always there on my bucket list. So that’s what I do. I listen to audiobooks, basically, whenever I’m on a flight. So I love to listen to all of that. And I’m trying to learn a lot more about stoic philosophy. I want to follow that.


In this world of social media, you get tons of likes, people saying you’re the best, we want to become like you. And then you will eventually get a hater who says that you suck. If you put too much importance on that one person who says that you’re the best. And you’ll also be feeling sad, equally, when someone says that you suck. So you have to be in a state of mind at which none of those affect you. And when you can do that, then you will be in the optimal state of mind if you want to become a creator. That’s what I learned from Gary Vee. And that advice has absolutely changed my life. So I don’t take it too hard on myself when someone says, it’s always good to take constructive criticism. But there is a small difference between offering feedback and offering hate. So I’ve learned to distinguish between both.


Siddhartha 49:33

And have you explored doing a 10 day meditation retreat on the path or something like that?


Ishan 49:40

I want to try out Vipassana. So I was reading this book, which is a story of Will Smith. Will, and in that he talks about doing that. And that was a life changing period in his life. So I want to do that at some point. I do meditation, like 10 minutes every single day. So that helps out a lot. Ranveer Allahabadia does like two hours of meditation. So I don’t know how he gets the time to do that. But that’s something that he has been getting a lot of value from. So he just told me that she also tried to do a lot more, increase it by maybe like five minutes every single day and see how it works.


So I have been doing that but properly doing Vipassana is something I have to do. It’s tough for me to pause everything. Like everything is working, I have more brands coming in, I have to put out videos, I’m on this treadmill to create 15 videos every single month, if I don’t create then the views go down. So it’s hard for me to take a pause and just go out because then the views go down. Everything goes on with it. So right now I have to focus on this. But I will definitely like to experience that as well at some point.


Siddhartha 50:41

But that’s a fear that you have right.


Ishan 50:42

I have a fear. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker 50:45

What is your biggest fear right now?


Ishan 50:47

I think my biggest fear is me, getting ahead of myself, getting to that point of being egoistic or something. I should be down to earth. And I should know that any minute all of this can be gone. That’s how I should live life. So that’s how I think about it.


Siddhartha 51:07

But you also have a fear that these views tomorrow can come down.


Ishan 51:11

Yeah, that’s why I don’t overhype myself. And that’s how it should be.


Siddhartha 51:16

But you think like, you are humbled right now as a creator, but for some other creators that you interact with, that has gone into their head that they are superstars?


Ishan 51:26

Definitely it goes on in their head all the time. And that’s when we see the downfall. I study a lot about all of these people. I study the rise and fall of fund managers. I was learning I recently read this case study of Peter Lynch. And what happened with him, I was learning about Warren Buffet as well. Warren Buffett used to get crazy returns back in the day, right now because his fund hedge is so much he cannot find those multi baggers, because those will be like Penny stocks or stocks that have lower valuations, he has like 100 billion dollars to invest. So he cannot get those crazy returns. So he’s struggling at this point.


So I’ve learned about that Peter Lynch, who thinks more about empiricism and not as much about rationalism, everyone would just be looking at the numbers, crunching all the numbers to come at a point at which, okay, there’s a great stock that you should buy. And he, on the other hand, just walks into a mall and observes people and what they are doing. So you will look at how people are looking at this one clothing brand and how everyone is flocking towards it. Maybe the clothing brand is not the best financial wise, but because he sees that the customers are drawn towards that brand, he would want to invest into that. So that’s basically him, focusing more on the day to day activities, and then taking decisions of investing into that company or not.


So I learned about that from him. His downfall was basically him realizing that he doesn’t have any goals. Initially, he started making money trying to find ways to make money because his father was no more. So he got into investing. He tried his best to make money, as much as possible, and became a fund manager. He was working in Fidelity. And then he started taking hold of the Magellan Fund. And he got like 29% annual return for 13 years back in the 1970s. So there’s a lot of things that you can learn from all of these people.


Siddhartha 53:16

Do you watch Netflix or anything?


Ishan 53:17

I consume Netflix. But I only watched a few documentaries. Recently, I haven’t been getting time to watch Netflix.


Siddhartha 53:24

But you will burn out doing so many things right now.


Ishan 53:28

I do feel burnt out. That’s why I go to the gym. It helps me out a lot, it helps to clear my mind. So that is definitely great. I just relax at nighttime. So that’s great. The weather over here is great as well. So that helps out as well. So I just like to be in a peaceful state of mind. Like, here we are. So I can just go into my room, I can sit at one place and just think about what I want to do and take my iPad out and just I start just writing whatever it is that I have in my mind. And just get it out there, out of my system. I used to journal a lot when I was in school. So I used to just write down whatever it is that happened throughout the day. And what was my learnings through that I have recently resumed that. So I’m writing my diary entries again. I recently looked back at what I was doing when I was in 11th grade. And that was really a great introspection or reflection point. So yeah.


Siddhartha 54:18

And do you believe in manifestation?


Ishan 54:20

I think execution is important. Manifestation is more like a placebo effect. There are a lot of people who say that it works, it works. I saw that one video by James Gianni, in which he was talking about how this is completely pseudoscience. So he proved that with a lot of different case studies. I personally just think that execution is really important. And that’s what I had focused on. And then with execution, of course, you will get the results right. And then you can say that, okay, you were always thinking about it, you manifested getting to 500k subscribers, I was worried about the next video that I have to upload tomorrow. That was my mindset back then.


Siddhartha 54:56

So if I observe things from your journey, you’re more worried about the machine, rather than whether the machine goes.


Ishan 55:05

I just have to do the work, I don’t need to care about where subscribers and views and all that will come later on. I just focus on creating a great video, creating a great strategy for the client and then just executing that and seeing the results.


Siddhartha 55:18

But if you can share, let’s say you build 15 videos a month on your YouTube channel. If you can share a process of the work you put in one video. What’s that?


Ishan 55:27

So my solo videos are basically let’s say I’m talking about college grades versus skills. That’s a video I made recently two months ago. So for that I made a list of all the questions, all the things that I would want to touch upon. So I just made a few pointers. Usually they like three or five pointers. And then I put that in front of my table, just like this laptop was kept over here. And I was just looking at it referring to it. And then everything was pretty much natural.


Siddhartha 55:53

You don’t prepare for it?


Ishan 55:54

It’s not helpful. I recently made a script for the Google video I did. And that was tiring. It took one complete month for all the back and forth that goes, Google was like change this name, you don’t have to write it like this, like that. They are very much worried about their branding. But in general, I don’t like the process of creating a script. Script is great when you’re writing, when you’re making a short. So in short, you have a time constraint of one minute, and you have to make sure that the audience gets the most value in the least amount of time possible. The hook matters the first three seconds matter and then you also have to keep them engaged, keep giving them the hits that it is okay this happened and this happened and this happened so that they’re hooked on and watching that real particularly. So in that case I focus a lot more on the script and that works out really well.


I made that video about Masa-San and his journey. So that one got like 700k or 500k views on YouTube. And that was only because I planned it out in advance, what would be the first line I would say? How would it basically go, and what will I say at the end that will keep people hooked, and they would also message and put a comment over there. So that’s what I planned for.


Siddhartha 57:10

If you have to receive your $1 million investments what would you do now?


Ishan 57:18

I would focus on building something that would be a product that I would focus on, I would then just focus on that, basically.


Siddhartha 57:25

And you would stop putting time on YouTube or anything?


Ishan 57:27

I would make YouTube content as well, but then it would, I think by that point, I would have just talked about everything that I would want to say. And then it would either just be podcasts, or it would just be stories or updates on what I’m doing and what I’m working on. So that’s what it would be.


Siddhartha 57:45

And how far away are you from that milestone?


Ishan 57:46

I don’t know, three years, maybe two to three years. It can also skyrocket I don’t know maybe by the end of next year, So we’ll see.


Siddhartha 57:58

So one philosophy, it’s my partner in life and partner in everything Nansi would share, when we got exit, we got very few lakh rupees from our exit. So what we said you know, let’s put everything because this is money which we got from a startup and and Nansi today is everything behind the 100x Entrepreneurs she leads, she works on it full time, I’m giving a part of my time only. We decided back then that we will not build a house and will not go for a Car, we will invest in experiences, but whatever money we have will invest in startups and this is 2017. Until now, we made one exit which we invested like three lakh rupees in ebikego, that company gave us back 20 lakhs, but today that invested amount is if, for example, company like Plum insurance, Neeman’s, Airmeet, InFeedo , and many such company that if today, even if we get I think one exit out of it, we can probably retire. That’s how we thought of it. We didn’t plan it because it was super risky.


Ishan 59:06

I have to learn about how this works. Three, four people have reached out to me saying that you should also do Angel investing and all, you should start writing checks. And I want to learn about this before I jump into it. It seems exciting. As you said, you’re giving me the FOMO right now.


Siddhartha 59:17

It’s not FOMO, it can go either way, and we have taken only one exit out of 30 plus investments. It’s not that we’re getting offered everyday to buy our equity.


Ishan 59:32

That’s definitely there, I think I got an opportunity one month back when there was some startup they were like you can participate in. I was like , I don’t know about all of this. I just stay in my circle of competence.


Siddhartha 59:46

That you learned from Warren Buffett.


Ishan 59:47

Yeah, I learned that from him.


Siddhartha 59:51

Thank you so much Ishan. It’s been wonderful, so amazing to do this in person with you and knowing you from the last six seven months closely.


Ishan 1:00:00

What advice would you have for me?


Siddhartha 1:00:02

Keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t get distracted. I think in my opinion, people once they achieve certain stuff, they start getting bored of it and it’s too boring to keep on doing the boring stuff.


Ishan 1:00:18

But it is important.


Siddhartha 1:00:18

100X Entrepreneur, where we are today, it’s because of me and Nansi focus on the joy of doing podcasts. Each episode we are doing because we both want to learn something new from each episode, that has no monetary gains. For monetary things we have other things that take care of it. But yeah, this stuff I think, which we will keep on doing for the next 10 years also. If I’m not the host then Nansi would be the host.


Ishan 1:00:51

You shouldn’t be the host.


Siddhartha 1:00:54

But yes, I think the process matters for us. One episode every week has to go out. One of our best episodes recently has been where me and Nansi are talking and that’s because last week we were supposed to record it with you, so we both did a podcast together. That performed really well. are going to do it on the podcast


Ishan 1:01:20

It sounds awesome. Maybe that’s a hint

Siddhartha 1:01:30

Thanks Ishan.


Ishan 1:01:31

Thanks, it was great talking to you.


  • 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