Episode 157 / February 20, 2022

Karan Shroff, Partner & CMO, Unacademy on finding Creativity, creating timeless Marketing Campaigns and building an iconic Brand

36 min

Episode 157 / February 20, 2022

Karan Shroff, Partner & CMO, Unacademy on finding Creativity, creating timeless Marketing Campaigns and building an iconic Brand

36 min
Listen on

# Marketer of the Year 2018 and 2019 by IAA Leadership Award held by International Advertising Association (IAA)

# Most Influential Youth Marketing Professional by Global Youth Marketing Forum 2019

# Top 30 CMO’s in India 2020 by IAMAI

#” Marketer of the year” by The Economic Times ET Brand Equity

#SharkAwards2021 All of the above recognitions have honored our guest Karan Shroff, Partner & CMO at Unacademy, for his marketing strategies and the stellar brand campaigns time and again.

Before joining Unacademy, Karan was Heading Marketing at Xiaomi, and in this episode, he shares his decade-long experience in the marketing domain.

During the episode, Karan also talks about his first meeting with Unacademy Co- Founder & CEO, Gaurav Munjal, keeping his learners’ emotions at the heart of all his campaigns, and much more.

Notes –

03:19 – Early career journey

04:39 – Story behind joining Unacademy

07:32 – Marketing campaigns close to his heart

10:30 – Learnings from Gaurav and Unacademy’s culture

14:45 – Finding creativity, ideas and tapping into it

18:17 – Audacity of ambitions & goals

20:38 – Secret Sauce: Keeping the sentiments of the users at the core of the campaign

23:24 – How to build an iconic brand?

27:24 – What has Karan Unlearnt?

31:24 – Changes in marketing strategy as per the dynamic needs of the customers

35:36 – His timeless marketing advice for startups

Karan 00:00

We always ask ourselves three questions: why are we doing this campaign? Or why are we going to do a specific task? It was a lot of fun to take up those campaigns and execute them from time to time. Of course, a lot of failures and learnings along the way, build a legacy of sorts. So we wanted something that would really stick to us that would explain what we do. It was sort of revolutionizing in many ways. In one when it came to online learning. When you don’t think in that direction, you just suddenly start thinking, Oh, what if you could do ABDC instead of ABCD, it’s also about thinking differently. Our initiatives have always been tailored around the sentiments of our learners and that is the ethos of our brand. We believe that everybody is a learner and everybody wants to be successful.


Siddhartha 00:55

Dear listeners, this is your host, Siddhartha Ahluwalia, founder of the 100x Entrepreneur podcast. Before we begin, I would like to thank our sponsors Prime Venture Partners. Prime is the first institutional investor in the category-creating tech startups like Dozee, Planetspark, Niyo, MyGate. Prime is now investing out of its fourth fund, which is more than 100 million dollars. Today, I have with me Shripati, Acharya, Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners. Shripati, we would like to know from you, how Prime works with the founders and what is so different about Prime from other VC firms.


Shripati 01:34

So Prime is a high conviction high support VC. And our process is different both during the evaluation and after the investment is made. During the evaluation, it’s less of a typical q&a, but more of a joint brainstorm where we are jointly looking and brainstorming on what the product could be, and what the ultimate vision of the company could be in terms of its impact. And in the process, entrepreneurs engage with all the prime partners and this is very important because after the investment is made, the entrepreneurs can engage with individual partners directly who can assist in different areas. For example, we had a company just looking for the US go to market. And there we helped the company directly connect with prominent rally angels and get an investment from prominent VCs there so that they could not only get an investor base, but also develop an ecosystem partnership in the US, which was very helpful to the company. So in that fashion, the engagement is both deeper and more intimate with the founders once we have consented to the company.


Siddhartha 02:40

Thank you Shripati. Dear listeners, Let’s dive directly into the Podcast. Today I have with me Karan Shroff partner and chief marketing officer, Unacademy. Unacademy is India’s leading education platform. Karan was the Head of Brand Marketing at Xiaomi before joining Unacademy. He was also named as the marketer of the Year by Economic Times in 2021. Today, we’ll be talking about marketing, and how Unacademy became the most loved edtech platform in India. Welcome, Karan to the podcast.


Karan 03:13

Thank you Siddhartha it’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks a lot.


Siddhartha 03:17

Karan, would love to know your journey where you grew up and how marketing interests you.


Karan 03:22

I grew up in Bangalore. In the early years of my life, I spent quite a lot of time in Mumbai, because that’s where my mom is from. So the summer holidays used to be there. But I grew up in Bangalore, more or less. So I’m a Bangalore boy at heart. And yeah, I think the early years of marketing, I spent doing events. So I was into event management for a major period of my career. I have worked with Wizcraft, I ran my own company for a short period of time. And then, of course, the transition happened from events to marketing, gradually, people asked me, Hey, you’re doing events, would you be up for taking more work in the marketing domain? And I said, why not? And there is, of course, a steep learning curve, but here I am, I think I figured out that it was a lot of fun to take up those campaigns and execute them from time to time. of course, a lot of failures and learnings along the way. But I think the transition was not something I planned, definitely. It just happened, over the course of time.


Siddhartha 04:34

And how did you and Unacademy decide to partner in 2019?


Karan 04:43

It’s a very funny story. And I’ve never shared this before, so I got a call from Unacademy first and I of course did not know about the Edtech sector of the time. I had no clue of what the brand was doing or was sort of capable of at that time. So I think, I said, No, I don’t want to join, I’m happy at Xiaomi. And I’m going to continue my journey here, for whatever period. Although I was looking for a change at the time, I wanted something more challenging, and something more exciting. I spent about five years at Xiaomi. And I’d learned a lot in the company, and I was looking at the next set of challenges. So, unacademy did come along, and I said, no, let me look at a few more options. And I was exploring a couple of options with a couple of pretty well-established big companies at the time. And then I got another call, and they said, Gaurav wants to meet you, why don’t you just come down, for a courtesy meeting and see how things go? And I said, Sure, I mean, why wouldn’t I want to meet Gaurav and, and by the time, I’d actually asked a few people around saying, Hey, do you know of Unacademy and, to my ignorance, I think a lot of people knew about Unacademy at the time, and they said, Oh, it’s the next big thing, a lot of great things are going to happen at this brand.


So it did drive a lot of intrigue for me. And then I came, I met Gaurav. It was supposed to be a one-hour meeting, and we spoke for a few hours. We hit it off from a brand perspective, we have the same vision. And he was always thinking larger than life, and bigger than most people had spoken to at the time. And I just walked out with a job offer on the same day. So the next thing I had to do was I had to just confirm as to when I’m going to join, so it was a very surprising turn of events for me when I was exploring multiple opportunities, but it was, again, not something that I had planned, that I would join Unacademy or I would take it up. But it seemed like a very, very exciting brand to work on, it was a clean slate, it was a different kind of challenge. Gaurav is a visionary, so all of those things added up for me. And it was a very impulsive decision at the time. when I walked out with the offer, but I thought about it later, and of course, confirmed it to Gaurav again. And, here I am. So it was a very interesting turn of events, at the time for me.


Siddhartha 07:33

Among all the marketing campaigns that you have, which marketing campaign is most close to your heart.


Karan 07:45

I’m not saying this, because I’m in Unacademy right now. But I think “let’s crack it”, for what it’s become. At the time, we were trying to build a brand and ethos of sorts and build a legacy of sorts. So we wanted something that would really stick to us that would explain what we do, we did not want to go out and, say okay, blah, blah, blah, we wanted the tagline to talk about what we do. We wanted the campaign to talk about what we do. And let’s crack it just felt so right. when the first time, we heard it, we came up with it, and we chose it. And we said, Okay, this is what we’re going to do, there were multiple options at the time. I think let’s crack it played a huge role for us. Because, I spent a couple of months with the company. And every time I would hear the product team, the business team, Gaurav, all of these guys saying, Listen, we have to empower students, we have to democratize education, we have to be a part of their journey. It was never that, hey, you go crack an exam, or you do it, it was always about us being a part of their learning curve and taking them through that journey.


And hence Let’s crack it played a huge role in that entire equation. That said, I think crack it, of course, is the lingo that everybody uses. So it just became something that people have started using time and again, and the way the campaign unfolded the anthem that we, sort of dropped at the time, the ad creatives. I mean, if you look at one of the campaigns, wherein there’s this girl who’s an aspiring student, and preparing for an exam, she tells her mother and she’s working at a family restaurant, she tells her mother that, I’m going to move, I’m going to go to my class and study and she kind of goes out of the restaurant, gets into her car, and you just think that she’s going to drive away, but for the first time television, she actually sits, plugs in her phone, and then just starts her class and stays out of the rest of the world. So it was sort of revolutionizing in many ways in one when it came to online learning.


So I think that campaign was very close to my heart. We saw a lot of momentum. A lot of students learned about unacademy at the time and we saw an outflow of or an outpour of traffic coming onto the platform. So it was a campaign that was very close, it was a very important campaign for the brand, very important for me. And we had to get it right. So there was a lot riding on it, there was a lot of pressure. At the same time, I think what we managed to do as a unit as a team, at the time, and a very small team that we had at the time, was phenomenal. So I think this is one campaign that’s been extremely close to my heart.


Siddhartha 10:25

And we have all loved that campaign, coming back to because I have known Gaurav, personally, we both were part of a Morpheus gang that was India’s first accelerator. So when he sold, and was just about to start Unacademy with Hemesh, I was much of a startup. Andrew doc was part of the gang at that point in time, so we know how Gaurav has evolved. It’s been a phenomenal journey, seeing him evolve. And when I conducted a podcast with him on 100x entrepreneur in 2019. Believe me, I’ve never seen such an entrepreneur, so driven, and so passionate about learning. In his whole schedule, I think learning is a key part of his routine. At that point in time, I think he showed me his iPad, which had like 10,000 notes, I think today that would have 50,000 notes because at that point in time, he was just absorbing from wherever he could. So for you currently, what have you absorbed from Gaurav, and Unacademy culture in the last couple of years or three years?


Karan 11:50

One thing that Gaurav would always tell us is to ask the right questions, keep asking a lot of times you don’t ask stuff, and you completely miss it. So I’ve seen him question things that sometimes you haven’t even thought of. Like, hypothetically, it could be that, you’re always thinking, okay we have a budget, and we’re going to spend, let’s say, 100 rupees on a campaign, or $100 on a campaign. And usually, the negotiations are, okay, let’s spend 80, let’s spend 90, let’s spend 70 and there are times that Gaurav would ask, What if you spend $110, and you really don’t think in that direction, you just suddenly start thinking that, Oh, you know, what, if you could do ABC instead of ABCD. And it’s not about spending more money, but it’s also about thinking differently. So a lot of questions that he would ask, time and, again, would trigger thoughts, and hence, make you think a lot of things. I think that was one aspect.


The second was being relentless, taking difficult calls, even if, it’s not, it’s not easy, being having the heart to make those kinds of decisions time and again, sometimes you get so deep into projects and campaigns that you’ve built, that you start to kind of connect with them emotionally. And even though they might not be the best for the brand or best for what you do from a business point of view, you’re personally vested, and hence you pull it through, but he is someone who totally believes in himself, his decisions. And I think being relentless, and taking those hard decisions, time to time, is something that I’ve learned.


So when you’re kind of running a startup or an ecosystem that is so massive, and there are so many decisions to be made, and the urgency of taking the decision and taking the right one, and not fearing it, having the heart to back it up, believing in yourself, all of these things and taking the calculated risk time and again, so I think, all of these things, and a lot more, it’s very difficult to summarize on one call or on a simple answer, but I think every meeting with him is a learning experience in many ways than one. And the same applies to a lot of leaders in the ecosystem, be it Gaurav or a lot of other entrepreneurs out there. But having exposure to Corvette at the level that I’ve had, I think, in the last two, two, and a half years, it’s made me more of an entrepreneur. Of course, marketing was something that I always did, but it’s made me learn a lot of things, from traits or leadership perspective, that I’ll always take back and use in my day-to-day life.


Siddhartha 14:45

As a marketer, at one point in time, you’re busy juggling meetings, managing teams, at other points in time, you have to find creativity within you. Where do you draw your inspiration from And what is the process of tapping into it?


Karan 15:05

I think it’s pretty simple. And I’ve kind of answered this in the past, we always ask ourselves three questions, why are we doing this campaign? Or why are we going to do a specific task? Once we know the Why, then we ask, okay, what are we going to do? And then the answer is, okay, we’re going to do ABCD. And then ultimately, it’s about the execution. So then we say, Okay, How are we going to do it? Who are the people who are going to work on it? Do we need a celebrity? Do we go in normally? What’s the thought process? And all of these things are usually in all cases, keeping the learners at the heart of everything that we do. So I think it’s pretty simple when you talk about perspective, or how we define or choose a campaign, and why would we execute a specific task? We ask ourselves these three questions as to why we are doing it first, and if the why doesn’t stand out, if it’s not important enough, you have 50 tasks that you’re chasing and if it doesn’t stand out, if it’s not good enough, then we don’t pursue it. So this applies to everything that we do out there. So why, what, and then ultimately, how you’re going to execute.


Siddhartha 16:26

And this was more on a campaign basis, but on a personal level, if you have to answer this, how would it be?


Karan 16:38

I think this is at a personal level Siddhartha, so it’s something that I followed time and again, and through my carrier, and I’ve had debates on this, with people time to time, standing on these beliefs, you’re responsible for spending companies money you’re responsible for crafting, the image that you do out there for a brand, I mean, any lever that you pull on a marketing front today would directly impact the imagery of a brand tomorrow, Instantly, good or bad. And so if you don’t answer these questions, be it at a personal level or a brand level, it’s very difficult to sort of, differentiate, and I take my work very personally. So, I think, hence the seamlessness overall, from a decision-making perspective, I think it’s very critical to keep the learners or the consumers at the heart of everything that you do, and maintain honesty in your communication. And at the same time, delivering that message that the business wants to deliver, with absolute honesty and transparency.


So it’s, it’s very critical to marry all of these things, and hence, to answer those three questions, and as long as you don’t have those clear answers, I don’t think we should go ahead with a campaign. So it’s very, very critical to get those parameters in check, no matter how small or big a task is, but once you have it, it’s very easy to move forward, because every milestone that you cross, then that is the objective of what we’re doing. And hence you have the clarity and the vision to try.


Karan 18:14

And one thing, which is very visible, in what you’re speaking, is authenticity, married with Audacity. So, where does this audacity come from, as a marketer, after that your work has come out very authentic, but the audacity of ambitions and goals?


Siddhartha 18:42

I think it’s always about building a legacy brand, you don’t aim small, and you’re never going to achieve more than your dream, so it’s always important to aim larger than ever. So, I mean, and it applies to most people. So,I think you never set out to say, Okay, we’re going to build a campaign that should just have 1 million views, or probably just have, one person reach or just reach, five students or so and so you always aiming to say, Okay, I’m going to reach the entire country and I’m gonna clock a 100 million views, I’m gonna make it viral. So I think it’s about dreaming big, it’s about dreaming larger than life, having the courage to dream that way. And sort of set those milestones for yourself. And that also comes from a place of belief, of course, we have a great product and you that gives us the confidence to go out there and market ourselves and put ourselves out there for the audience, to kind of decide.


But I think more than audacity, I would call it the confidence to drive these initiatives. One comes from product two from what the learners keep telling us on how they love Unacademy time and again, we are more of a pull brand and a push brand. so these guys genuinely follow us and they love the brand for What it is. So that gives us the confidence and then keeping the legacy in mind of what we want to do and achieve, the course of time, we always set out tasks and ambitions that are beyond the normal parameters or stuff that we can for. So, I think it’s about dreaming big, and chasing those dreams, so even if you fall short, you’ve still covered significant ground. So I think that’s the vision, or I would say, the confidence with which we approach every campaign, or every marketing initiative.


Siddhartha 20:38

Not only educators and learners, but everybody loves the marketing initiatives and campaigns of Unacademy. How did you discover the secret sauce, which helped you connect with all hearts?


Karan 20:50

So I think going from the last time, our initiatives have always been tailored around the center, the sentiments of our learners and that sort of is the ethos of our brand. We believe that everybody is a learner, everybody wants to be successful. And if you look at our films, hence, like the greatest lesson, which featured Sachin, and over two decades of his career, such a glorified carrier and the best, cricketer to walk the earth, but nobody spoke about his failures, and the number of times he fell, and sort of, again, got back up and chased and achieve more and more every time he fell. So, I think that rigor, that persistence, that drive, all of those things, so it’s not just about, it’s not just about, putting out a campaign, it’s about keeping the learners at the heart of it, understanding their sentiments, what they go through on a day to day basis, they’re facing rejections time and again, and somehow, so that this is sort of true for all of us in life, every time we set out for a target, which is ambitious, you face a lot of failures, you face a lot of rejections, you’re told time and again, that maybe you can’t achieve it.


So I think, to build a brand that connects with the consumers, or the learners at a human level, from a heart, I think that’s why our campaigns resonate the most, with people, even our film IPL cracking the game, for example, nobody was using the footage in the manner that we decided to use, we tied learning to cricket, and there was learning in cricket at all times, there are different kinds of learning in cricket at all times. And it was widely loved by everyone because suddenly, you’re packaging something, which is a sport, which is very close to the country, and tying it to learning, which is a constant in everybody’s life. So I think all our campaigns, they’ve always been packaged and presented, keeping the learner at the heart of it. And somewhere, all of us are learners, at heart. So I think that’s where it resonates the most, that people like, and I’m glad to hear you say this, that people love Unacademy so much.


Siddhartha 23:08

Karan, you Gaurav, and everyone in Unacademy uses the terminology that, let’s build an iconic brand. So what do you mean by iconic brand and where does it come from? And my last question on it is, what are the five tenets of marketing for any startup that need to be followed to build an iconic brand?


Karan 23:36

I think an iconic brand is one that the consumers believe in. So let me draw a couple of examples. When, like Nike or Apple today, when they come out with any product, you immediately trust their communication, when they say it’s good. You say, Yes, it’s good. You believe it, and you go out there and you kind of, you’re willing to invest in whatever the product is. So I think this is something that comes from a point of consistency. So I think one of the tenets would be consistency in communication. So, irrespective of, no matter how long the brand has been added, I think maintaining consistent communication is very, very important. So I think consistency plays a huge, huge role. With that comes honesty, which is the second, important parameter. So, why do you trust brands, time and again, over the course of years or multiple campaigns, when they’re honest about the communication, and they’re consistently talking about the same message time and again, like Nike has been delivering campaigns after campaigns. But if you look at one thing that is consistent in their messaging is about being fit and talking about how everybody is an athlete.


So I think, similarly, Apple always consistently is talking about innovation and bringing in new technology, and then staying true to that communication. So honesty plays a huge role, which is the second tenant that I would say, the third, very important thing with somewhere, people sort of miss in the balance would be that the business vision and the brand vision need to always be aligned. So I think this is very critical, I mean, if your business vision is, let’s say covering a specific task, and if you’re not, aligned with the same vision or a communication from a marketing front, then they’re going to be very, very different and challenging, campaigns that you’re going to put out there. Because you’re also setting expectations for the consumer in very different parameters. So, your vision needs to be extremely aligned with the business. And then coming to the consumer, or, in our case, the learners at the end of it is always about having them at the heart of everything.


So, when you’re making a communication when you put it on, and then lastly, of course, it’s a vision. So not rolling out something without having a vision. Usually, people always look at short-term gains, but they have long-term damages. So, I think it’s about maintaining that vision, wherein you look at the long term damage, or look at the long term gains that it has, a lot of brands that have put themselves out there, have had a vision have built campaigns keeping a timeline of 10-15 years ahead in their mind. So, I think vision is the fifth parameter overall. So just to summarize, I think honesty, consistency in communication, the business and brand vision always being aligned, and ensuring that comes through from a transparency perspective in your communication, looking at short term, losses or short term gains versus long term losses. So always ensuring that it doesn’t have damage in the long run, and hence, taking practical calls today, ensuring that the consumer is at the heart of everything that you do, and then ultimately having a vision. So every time you plan a campaign, look 10 years from now, if it’s something that your brand would not do or be in, then don’t do it today. So all of these things are sort of principles that we follow time and again when we go out there and build plans.


Siddhartha 27:25

Karan I’ve seen in the Unacademy office, one of your leadership principles, or the tenets that you follow. That is one is to unlearn, learn, unlearn, learn, and that keeps on repeating. So what is that you have unlearned since you have joined an academy? And what are the three key things that you have learned?


Karan 27:49

I think it’s gonna be hard to put it in that way. I think one of the things I unlearned was, it’s not what you can do, it’s not about all what you’ve done, it’s always about what you can do next. So, I think that’s one of the things I learned. So it’s not about everything that you’ve done in the past, or everything that you sort of put out there. It’s always about what you do next. And this is something which is very important. I mean, no one’s going to remember the number of games you won till yesterday, but they’re going to talk about how you perform today, or how many games you’re going to win in the future. So I think it’s also an unlearning and also learning in many ways and one, wherein you kind of learn to keep everything that you’ve done aside and just look at the tasks on hand that are, in the future or coming up for yourself.


And another principle that we strongly follow is, we’re not a family, most people while leading a team, say, Okay, we are a family, we are going to get together and work. Well, you’re not a family, we are a sports team and only the best get to play the game. So it’s constantly if you look at any sports team that’s out there, discipline, following through and one person, lagging on performance affects the whole team. So the best get to play the game. And that applies to every team, within the org. So we ensure that we are a sports team, we follow that principle, time and again, and a sports team also respects each other, they respect each other’s players, the other players, they back each other, they’re always with each other and they perform together, not individually in silos. So, there are a lot of things to learn, from how a sports team functions, and it’s the best way to operate from a functional perspective. So I think the second thing would be, you’re not we’re not a family. We’re a sports team.


Third thing is, of course, to be relentless, don’t stop, just keep pushing, and you really don’t know where and when what would click and how that would deliver for you. So at times, in most cases, what I’ve learned, at least in the last few years, and of course, my standard Academy, the places where you stop, or you’re about to give up is where the magic happens. So just being relentless and pushing that last mile through, even if you’re going down, go down fighting, be relentless. I think eventually, that triggers a lot more results. I think the difference between 100 and 99 is just one. So I think it’s about pushing that parameter time and again the difference between the centuries, it’s just one, so you covered all the distance, why not be relentless, and push through further. So I think these are the three things, never stop hustling, being a sports team and also look at the future, what is done is done, in the past, and look at what you can do next, and how you can perform and contribute in, every day of your life, looking at what’s coming next.


Siddhartha 31:16

How’s the marketing for Unacademy evolved in the last couple of years, to support the dynamic need of the business and the dynamic need of the learner?


Karan 31:28

So I think, digital learning has increased significantly, a few years ago, we would talk about democratizing education. And that’s truly happening today, so people or students from the smallest towns or villages, to different remote parts of India, thanks to technology and the internet reaching different parts of India, we’re able to give them education in different parts of India. So, digital learning, being at the forefront of things and increasing, the adoption is going up time and again, day to day, we’ve looked at also reaching them digitally. So I think that’s one parameter that has changed, so our marketing initiatives have also been crafted in a more approachable way more relatable way, they are quirky for example, the IPL campaign that I spoke about some time back tying IPL, which is something that reaches the remotest parts of India, but also making it quirky, making it relatable at the same time, that makes us relevant in the daily lives of students. So it plays a huge role, again if you look at the why, what and how, all of these things sort of marry and, they’re keeping the communication consistent, keeping the learners at the heart of everything that we do, making it relatable, all of these parameters trigger, and sort of has, has helped us evolve as a brand over the course of time.


Lastly, given the digital age that we’re living in, and how everybody has access to a smartphone and internet today, social media is one of the most common tools and platforms that are used by learners or students. And typically, if you look at it, social media is not used by learners, from a point of view that they want to come there and again, be told, Hey, go back and study, they use it to sort of de-stress or take a break. So keeping those parameters in mind, we always aim at making content that inspires them, engages them, helps them unwind. So all these things, digitally reaching out to them making the campaigns approachable, quirky, relatable, using social media to understand and communicate with our learners be a brand of heart, not be pushy, because they’re there to kind of distress and take that break, so you consistent communication being relevant with the learners keeping them at the heart of everything, these are things that we’ve sort of incorporated over the course of the last 24 Odd months, in staying relevant with our learners.


Another critical thing, which is sort of constant, is that the pandemic has played a huge role in stressing everybody out, everybody at the highest level, and even the learners and everybody that’s involved there’s no choice. So I think, understanding them, having that empathy, and connecting with them at a personal level, that’s something that we’ve done constantly. If you look at our films, the greatest lesson by Sachin, or even the recent one that we launched with Dhoni, lesson number seven. Now, these are life lessons. These are not things that people would just use in their education or preparation. This is something that students would carry through, as learning in their life. And I think that’s very important because when you empower them and nurture them in the right direction, more often than not, they’re going to make the right decisions. So I think being relevant, constant communication, consistency, honesty, being honest in your communication, all of these are parameters that we, sort of imbibed over the last two odd years. And that sort of helped us to build and evolve as a brand time and again, so we’re always moving with customers and keeping them at the heart of everything, planning everything, based on that.


Siddhartha 35:29

Any timeless marketing advice that you would like to share with startups, trying to work on their branding and marketing.


Karan 35:38

I think to be honest, I think it’s the most critical thing. If your product doesn’t do something that you’re claiming, and an advertisement or communication, then don’t do it. So don’t talk about it. So I think being honest is a very, very important thing. And people have said this time and again, consumers are not fools, they see through everything. So it’s very, very important to be honest, I think the moment you start with that a lot of things get difficult and a lot of things also get easier eventually. So being honest is very, very important.


Siddhartha 36:15

Thank you so much, Karan. It’s been a pleasure hosting you on 100X Entrepreneur podcasts. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, your experience building iconic brands. It’s been fantastic to host you on the 100x entrepreneur podcast.


Karan 36:31

Thank you Siddhartha it was a pleasure being here and talking to you. And then hopefully we get to meet in better times.


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 $100M and is often the first institutional investor in category-creating tech startups such as MyGate, HackerEarth, Mfine, Wheelseye.

To know more about Prime visit

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