Sports has long played an important role in most of our lives. Whether it’s Anju Bobby George’s glorious long jump, the Indian Hockey Team’s legendary win at the 1975 World Cup Finals, or that famous six hit by MS Dhoni 10 years ago — these sporting moments remain etched in our memories.

I must admit, although I’m not the biggest sports fanatic, I have always been inspired by tales of athletes and teams who battled against incredible odds to reach the summit. We all love a good underdog story. I certainly do.

There are some interesting parallels that one can…

I never personally met Chuck Geschke, co-founder of Adobe. Yet I drew many leadership lessons from him. The recent passing of Chuck, on April 16, 2021, took me back in time to reflect on the inspiration I drew from Adobe founders.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Adobe started in December 1982 quintessentially in co-founder John Warnock’s “Garage”. Both the co-founders were highly educated, bearded men in their 40’s who had been colleagues for 10 years at Xerox Research. They wore neckties! They created disruptive products, while known for their calm demeanour. They defied the typical stereotypes of startup founders.

When it comes to startups, there is no fast track to success. Almost all startup teams go through a variety of crises and challenges Behind the Scenes. Having been a part of many startup journeys over the last decade at Kalaari, we believe that there are valuable lessons to be gained from the journeys of others.

I had an insightful conversation with Nir Eyal, a best-selling author, and entrepreneur. Some of the key topics he addressed in our conversation:

  1. How to incorporate consumer psychology into product building
  2. How to capture the monopoly of the mind
  3. Breaking bad habits and building…

“If Software is eating the world, SaaS is eating software”

Today, businesses of all sizes use subscription software for managing their daily operations and driving efficiencies through their value chains. This usage adds ups — In 2019, the global SaaS market crossed a $100B annual run rate with a CAGR of 10–12%.

Globally, SaaS has been a secular sector attracting $87.4B in funding in 2019 having grown 7x from $12.7B in 2012.

The requirement for a solution to manage these proliferations of SaaS apps & optimize the expenses has emerged

The average mid-market company (101–1000 FTEs) in the US uses…

Truth can be painful. So often subconsciously we choose to distance ourselves away from it — often, without even realizing. Learning about ourselves, being purposeful, and setting our goals, requires constant self-reflection and self-realization — this is the path of delving into our inner truth and key to self-improvement. Unlike food and utilities, you can’t buy self-improvement. You can’t bribe your brain.

Reed Hastings’ Interview with CNN
Reed Hastings’ Interview with CNN
Understanding the truth about ourselves

Everyone wanders on this path of self-discovery. This applies to people from all walks of life, including billionaires — the movers and shakers of the world.

In a recent interview with CNN, Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix, has…

‘There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.

-Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

Never mind how the series finale concluded, what resonated far more effectively with the audience was Tyrion Lannister’s speech (don’t worry if you’ve never seen the series). The character (and his team) prevailed at the end because of good storytelling — one that’s relatable, has value for humanity, and is hopeful for the future. Historically speaking, storytellers have been the most qualified people to lead us into the future — because they embody hope and empathy.

Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

The power of storytelling applies just as easily…

The lotus grows in muddy waters but remains spotless. Something about the beauty of the flower amidst suboptimal circumstances appeals to our human spirit.

In 1964 German scientists examined the lotus under a powerful microscope and discovered that the leaf cells had a bumpy surface that made the surface rough. Water droplets immediately roll off and also carry away any dirt with them. This is the ‘Lotus Effect.’

2020 was an uncomfortable and difficult year for all of us sparing no one. Each one of us has a personal story and memories of this year. …

The Washington Post is known and respected the world over and has won 69 Pulitzer Prizes! But when Katherine Graham took over The Washington Post in 1963, it was a struggling newspaper. She had no real-world experience in leading a company and the odds were not in her favour.

Her journey is one of personal transformation where she went from being a reluctant and inexperienced leader to being a tremendously successful and respected leader. She did this by:

  1. Assembling a great team.
  2. Building a strong culture with high journalistic integrity.
  3. On-boarding exceptional advisors to help her plan long-term goals.


When it comes to startups, there is no fast track to success. Almost all startup teams go through a variety of crises and challenges Behind The Scenes. Having been a part of many startup journeys over the last decade at Kalaari, we believe that there are valuable lessons to be gained from the journeys of others.

Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of WazirX, recently shared his perspective on how to take a product-first approach to build a startup

  1. Get feedback from users early on- even at the idea stage
  2. Understand the core problem deeply
  3. Play to the strengths of the…

“The default state of a startup is failure”

Is happiness defined by success? It would be naïve to portray the dynamics between success and happiness in purely black and white terms. While happiness can create the right conditions for success, success doesn’t always lead to happiness. So why then, are we drawn to success? What does success create for us? If we develop a habit to reflect on these questions periodically, we can increase our likelihood of experiencing both success and happiness.

Success is essential and elemental to our living. But success should be used as a tool for our…

Vani Kola

VC @Kalaari. Committed to entrepreneurship in India. Yoga enthusiast, Daily Meditator, Occasional runner & mom of two girls.

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