A time to add up the good and sum up the old! Year-end thoughts from founders

December 14, 2018

It’s that time of the year when everyone sits back to reflect on the year gone by and ponder about what they should do next. In our Yearender interviews, we asked some famous founders what they’ve been thinking about as 2018 comes to a close. Here’s what they had to say…


Lizzie Chapman

What are the best things that happened to you this year?

Firstly, I feel lucky to be in India. This year I went around the world meeting people and realised that Fintech elsewhere is tough and competitive. It became clearer that India is a big opportunity for Zest Money to be truly successful.

We are also excited to acquire an AI intelligence platform. But bigger than all this was the fact that in 2018, ZestMoney became the only player in the market to have the ability to collaborate and work with a range of lenders on one side and a range of redemption points on the other side. This gives our customers a better chance to upgrade, get credit and shop from a wide variety of merchant partners.

What does the end of the year mean to you?

The end of the year calls for reflection. It's also a time to be grateful. My gratitude list this year is simple - I am grateful to the effort and support of every stakeholder (customers, employees, investors and well-wishers) in the last three years that has made the ZestMoney dream a reality.

I would welcome 2019 with strengthened belief in the fact that everyone deserves a better life and our product is a way of delivering that.


Sampad Swain

What are the best things that happened to you this year?

Last year we planned to expand Instamojo into a Value Added Services platform and we’ve made that possible. In fact, we’ve become much more than just a VAS platform. We’ve managed to evolve into a growth gateway for MSMEs.

On the personal front, I witnessed the FIFA world Cup LIVE in Russia - what a highlight of my year that was!

What does the end of the year mean to you?

The end of the year means reminiscing and evaluating our past year’s achievements. It also means planning and looking forward to a lot of exciting projects and growth for the next year. I have also understood the magic of teamwork. Post my experience at the FIFA World Cup, this has been my greatest take away from 2018.


Rohan Bhargava

What are the best things that happened to you this year?

Ahh where do I start? It has been an exceptionally positive year! To begin with I’ve mostly been able to live up to my resolution of hitting the gym at least five times a week. This has helped me take care of my health and focus a lot more on work. I’ve even managed to read a lot more than I did last year! In terms of work, all the hard work the team has been putting in bore fruit as CashKaro saw the highest traffic we’ve ever seen. We’ve also started an Influencer Marketing vertical called Qapper which has also received a lot of traction in a short span on time.

What does the end of the year mean to you?

I believe the end of the year is a time to reflect upon what you’ve done, see what worked and what didn’t. It marks the beginning of a brand new year and a host of new opportunities. I’d say it’s a great time to continue doing what worked well for you, re-evaluate things that didn’t go as planned and to identify what you would like to achieve this coming year.


Akshay Navrekar

What are the best things that happened to you this year?

On a professional note, I am excited that we are on our way to scale to 20 stores by end of this year. Being selected as one of GQ’s 50 most influential young Indians was also a personal highlight.

What does the end of the year mean to you?

The end of the year means a time to take stock of everything that has happened over the last one year and to begin preparations towards the upcoming one. It is also the busiest time of year retail-wise, so while most people are easing into the holidays, we need to be on our toes.


Priti Rathi Gupta

What are the best things that happened to you this year? 

This year gave me a fresh perspective towards life and business. With the launch of Lxme, I have gained a lot of perspective and experience in the digital jungle!!

As a producer, I released my second film Karwaan, which was a totally different journey from my first one “Waiting”. Being a learning officer for an organization called YPO, I have learned how to effectively work with peers who are extremely successful and bright minds.

This was a year of reinventing myself on a personal level for the times to come.

What does the end of the year mean to you?

The end of the year for me is taking stock of the year gone by, take learnings from it and apply it to the coming year. It’s the time for introspection and of course, it is that time of the year when I spend a few blissful days with my family. My resolve for the coming year is to declutter, focus and build a company that makes everyone, the team, clients and stakeholders proud.

Ishan Gupta, MD, Udacity India

Ishan Gupta

What are the best thing that has happened to you this year?

On a personal front I became a father this year. My wife and I were blessed with a baby boy. At the same time professionally, it was incredible to see Udacity team growing this year and I am very fortunate to have a strong team that has been continuously executing and taking the company to another milestone.

What does the end of year mean to you?

The end of the year is a great time to re-connect with friends and family. It is also a time to reflect on the year that has gone by and evaluate one’s successes and failures. I also like to reflect on the work done in 2018 and also prepare for the New Year.


Pranay Gupta

What are the best things that happened to you this year?

This year, I moved from Delhi with my family and settled in Goa. It has been a fantastic move as I really feel there’s a much better work harmony that I’ve found here. It’s like I’ve got three hours extra in my life now on a daily basis and I love it.

On a more professional front, at 91springboard we managed to get some stellar partners on board this year.

What does the end of the year mean to you?

A lot of corporates are scrambling to figure out how to utilise this year’s budget, so this is a good time to pitch for some business! Jokes apart though, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on a considerable chunk of time that has just gone by.

I like to take stock of all the wonderful things that have happened and how things have blossomed from all the work we’ve put in. If I was to compare it to where I was a year ago, I’m proud of how far we’ve come. The organisation has grown and we’ve been able to support so many more businesses and see them flourish at our workspaces.

The year end is also a good time to reflect on some of the mistakes we’ve made along the way and make a conscious effort in one’s daily life to do better in the coming year.


Tamanna Dhamija

What are the best things that happened to you this year?

Baby Destination connects with all mothers who want to find answers to queries during motherhood, which in itself is an overwhelming journey! We have seen massive community growth and impact when we reached out to moms in tier 2 cities. We were selected for the Facebook Community Leadership Programme as one of the top 100 global communities, being funded by Facebook to build a vernacular content app. This year we were also finalists for the Mbillionth award.

What does the end of the year mean to you?

The end of the year is for reflecting and being thankful for all that we achieved and all the learnings we had this year. I am ending the year with immense gratitude for all those who supported us this year, right from my team, advisors, clients, investor and moms. It’s amazing to see the impact we created this year.

Every time there is a low moment, all I have to do is think about the moms and the impact we are creating and it has kept us going. As an entrepreneur, every day is a roller coaster ride – the highest highs and the lowest lows are a part of this journey.  I have realised that staying calm, solving problems and being grounded have really helped me this year in more effective decision making.

The compounded effect of baby steps and small achievements has been huge this year.  And we feel we are just getting started.

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