Anand A
Cofounder GoCaar

Hi I am Anand I got involved with Indian startup scene early with following roles: Flipcart Inc. (Associate Director – Retail) Housing.com(Ast Vice President) Brainvalley Solutions(Business Head). I am currently working on my own startup GoCaar. I studied Electronics at Pune University and a boring stint at IBM before getting an MBA from IIM-A, India’s top B-school.

Hi Anand,

It’s quite astonishing to see the rapid evolution of startup ecosystem in India. Were there any specific reasons why it came to be like that after being nascent for such a long time? Well wishes for GoCaar and I look forward to hear more about you guys.

@ Chetan: Capital is obviously a large part of it. The other two large bits in my mind are increase in internet penetration and emergence of startups actually solving a real problem for customers. Traditionally, Indian firms, even internet firms, have been inward facing and not focussed on quality of service. In my mind, though technology is the enabler, what the current startups have brought in is customer obsession and raised the bar significantly there.

How is your journey working on GoCar? How many hours are you working a week towards it?

@ Ramkumar: Its super exciting to say the least. One thing I have learnt is self-motivation is very important : nothing happens until you make it happen . Think I read that somewhere too :). In terms of time, all of it is spent there including weekends. Even if I'm doing something else, mind space is occupied

What are some of your fav books, interviews that has changed the way you think?

@ Ramkumar: From a startup standpoint, the usual . I liked 'Hard thing about hard things' by Horowitz and most of what's written by Marc Andreesen and Paul Graham.

Apart from availability of large capital, How has Indian startup scene changed in last 5 years?

Answered a similar question from Chetan below

What did you believe early in your career that you realized to be completely wrong?

That your career works itself out coz of what you've done before. There's a stark difference over a 5-10 year period between people who start off at the same level : performance reigns king.

What was the thought process in deciding to join a startup (Flipcart) after graduating from Top Bschool in India?

@askmeanything: I actually didnt join Flipkart out of Bschool - went in 2 years later. Was in Pharma and was looking actively to move into tech in product and BD roles . Had reached out to large product companies (Google, Adobe etc) and got a reje...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free

What do you consider while joining a new startup? How did you get hired at each of the startups?

@Pavan: Even as an employee at a startup, its important to wear the founder and investor hat and evaluate. I look at aggression of founders, size of market, recent metrics and whether they really need what I bring to the table. Not to say I got it...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free

If you have to answer honestly Is MBA worth it? Who should do an MBA, who should not?

@Ramkumar: Unfortunately, the answer there is, it depends. If you're going to go the corporate/large startup way and go to a top MBA school, it gives you quite a big step up. If the goal is to start, it doesn't. I'd think its not worth obsessing o...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free

Would you recommend first time entrepreneurs to work in a startup before venturing out on their own. What did you learn at your earlier startups which is helping you in the current role. And what did you not learn there which was a major surprise/you were unprepared when you started GoCaar

@Shreyansh: I'd say that starting off on your own is at a a completely different scale altogether compared to working at startups. If you have the risk appetite, better to start now. Working at smaller startups, doing the MBA etc tend to be ways t...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free

If you have to restart your career what things you would do differently?

@Ramkumar: I'd have joined Flipkart in 2009 :) Those were different days though, so not sure how that would have panned out. More broadly, I'd have planned my first job post MBA to better suit my interests.