From ‘Hot Market’ to ‘ True Mission’

What’s common between social e-commerce & digital health?

Some mistakes are meant to be made, because the cost of not making those early on can be quite high in the medium-to-long term. At 25 after graduating from IIT and working with 2 fast-paced startups, when planning to quit my challenging-yet- comfortable role , I made 2 mistakes that I’m now proud of : a) Looking at the hot markets to double down on what I’ll build. b) Take the plunge with medium-term gratification in mind.

5 months into it, when I felt less enthusiastic about waking up every morning than I used to during my job, realising that something’s not right was easy. I was building a social e-commerce venture like a million other founders who picked up this space in 2018–2019 after the success of Pinduoduo in China, with numerous reports convincing me that this would be ‘hot’ in India. We did launch & get early traction & had a small team, but just did not feel right.

It eventually didn’t take me much time to realise I would want to only do something where I can really relate to the mission, & attacking a hot market by reading reports to chase early funding is not for me. There’s nothing wrong with people doing it- in fact I’m sure a lot of them do well too, just that my simple litmus test now is ‘can I do this for 10 years ‘ and social e-commerce did not pass that. Next - folded my venture in 5 months, took a 2 months break to figure out what’s next & eureka! Found my true calling in healthtech, & irrespective of all external factors & challenges , 2 things will continue to drive me towards my mission of making millions healthier:

a) very strong conviction that the power of coaching, coupled with technology and the age-old magic pill of customer obsession, is enough to create a meaningful-scale business

b) Scale of the impact that me and my team are able to create would continue to be more important for me than any other short-to-medium term personal financial outcome- the ‘safar khoobsurat hai manzil se bhi’ realisation!

Barely 17 months in, I have discovered more about myself than I had in the last 25 years- strengths, weaknesses, motivation, passion & habits. Clearly entrepreneurship will continue to be NPS 100 for centuries- irrespective of the outcome.

P.s. we are a 13months old bootstrapped company called NutriPal (0.8Cr ARR) working hard to make health transformations reliable and outcome-driven, for 50Mn+ Indians looking to fight obesity & lifestyle diseases. Year 1 done, can’t wait for the next 9 :)

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