Transcribe
One question from one of the audience, Ritosh Sharma, was all the maturity and worldview that you've gained over the years, What are the top lessons that you'd like to share personally mentoring the next generation? I think that's a good question to start off the section. No, I like this question because it basically means that I don't want to listen to the rest of the podcast. Just give me the executive summary. So you’re a good entrepreneur, very efficient on time. But no, jokes apart... Um, I think I shared some of them already, but I'll recap it. I think the first one is really you've got to be, have the patience of a monk. You're not going to build a great company overnight. So if you want to build a great company, please be patient. Please put in that extra year or more. It won't matter. If you're impatient... You can be impatient when you want a project to be delivered. You can be impatient when you want a new feature to be launched and you should be; But be patient overall because things great things take time. They're not built overnight. So I think that's really important. Secondly. I say this to my own team all the time. Please don't focus on being the largest. If you focus on being the largest you fall into a trap of vanity metrics. All kinds of vanity metrics exists, irrespective of whatever industry you're in, you can start chasing, you know, cross bookings and GMV and all of that kind of stuff. It's not the right metric. The right metric to focus on is being the best. Be the best when it comes to the customer, be the best when it comes to customer choice preference and therefore retention. Focus on the right metric which for me ,the most important metric is repeat. Repeat without discounts is one of the most important metrics and if you start getting people to come back for the right reason, which is the experience that you gave them on your platforms - online, offline, wherever. It could be a coffee shop. It’s as simple as that. It could be someone who you know manufactures office furniture, and yes, you don't change it every year but that architect who places the order the contractor they figured out at the right price point who's the one making the right office chair and it's a great business to be in or it could be an online platform of food delivery or of you know, travel like we do or anything else, but if people are not coming back on their own, there’s something wrong. If your retention ratio is poor, then there's something wrong. You got to do a lot of work. You got to double down. I guess fourthly another very big metric in our business and again can be transported to almost all businesses is the holy grail of conversion. I think your conversion funnel is really your holy grail and you like a, as an entrepreneur, you got to watch it like a hawk and every step of the funnel is important. Not just how many people you advertise, you got people coming up to your platform, coming onto your platform, fine. Did they go to next stage, how many dropped off? Some will drop off. Did they go to the next stage? Whatever you call it. We call it listing page and review page and payment page and thank you page. It could be a five-step funnel for you or three-step funnel. What are they doing? You know for someone who's not really at e-commerce right now, but a media business, is the engagement improving, how much time are people really spending, are they participating, have you got user-generated coin, have you really created a virtuous cycle out there. People talk about two-sided networks. Is that really happening? I think those are the kind of metrics you want to have for everyone and the by product will become size. But the by-product should not be that and probably the last one and I think everyone talks about it, but people still don't give enough importance is to the value of the team, not just your founding team, but the fact that the founding team is critical the toughest thing to do is to go from 0 to 1. 1 to 10 is actually easier and 10 to 100 is even easier. That's the good news. But 0 to 1 means to setup a viable business, something's happening out there. And as you actually grow the company scales, but the team also needs to morph and you have to accept that and not everyone will scale up at the same level. So there will be people who scale up as fast as the company and even faster. Great. But there'll be many people who will not be able to scale up personally as fast as the company. In that case how you handle that and how you bring in the new talent and what you do with the people who haven't scaled up, but they’re still very good at startup, can you still give them something startup-ish to do. That becomes the tag. So willy-nilly entrepreneur has to become a very good manager, very good general manager, very good at HR, willy-nilly that's your job. So you can have people to come into HR but let me tell you at the senior-most level that's actually as strategic as anything else you do, because very few people have done it alone. Even Jan koum who I consider one of the best founders ever and launched WhatsApp with 42 people, needed 42 people. So there were 41 other people beside Jan doing that and that's the reality. So most of the other companies which were great were even bigger that just shows you need people and you need a core team around you and so you can be an iconic leader, which is great. But how you marshal your troops, how you motivate them, how you get the right team and then how you get everyone to focus on the goal... That's your job as an entrepreneur. So I think, never forget that.