What was it that made me support a certain start-up?

It’s a question I get asked a lot. Kalaari has had the privilege of working with many great founders at start-ups such as Myntra, Snapdeal, Dream Sports, Simplilearn, Upstox, Urban Ladder, Zivame, Cashkaro, Bluestone, Magzter, Creditvidya, and others. We got involved when they were still in their early stages of development, and funding was scarce at the time they came to us.

Image Credit: Pexels

More often than not, the reason we get involved with a start-up is that we connect with the founders and like them as much as their ideas, if…


I recently posted about the general lack of awareness and solutions for many of the pertinent health challenges faced by women and was overwhelmed with the response.

Roughly 61% of respondents believed Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, is one the most critical challenges faced by women today. For those who may not know, roughly 1 in 5 women in India suffers from PCOS. On the other hand, close to 15% of respondents said they were unaware of women’s health challenges.

Here are a few learnings from the poll-

It was heart-warming to see the work startups are doing in this…


Technology is eating the world. We are surrounded by technology more than ever before in the history of the human race.

Most of us own multiple devices. We demand real-time everything. The public square has relocated to Twitter. So much of our lives are now virtual that “in real life” has a name. What purpose should technology serve?

I believe that the larger purpose of all technology is to eliminate human drudgery.

Any technological advancement — however big or small — reduces the dullness of human life. The industrial revolution reduced physical labour, Gutenberg’s printing press boosted literacy, the Internet…


“I’m sure cutting off heads is satisfying, but that’s not the way you get people to work together” – Sansa Stark, Game of Thrones

There is something about language propagated by leaders in our high-octane start-up world that evokes a sense of the medieval. Early in my career as an entrepreneur, I was given a book by a very senior mentor, entitled “Leadership secrets of Attila the Hun”, and the war analogy didn’t stop there.

In my many years of experience, I have often heard statements like “Take no prisoners” and “Kill the competition”. How many times have you heard…


Is the business world different for women? Yes, the expectations, the standards are different and if we understand this we can navigate better. I want to share a few observations I learned from my experiences.

#1 Self-advocate.

In the early days of my career, I did what I was conditioned to, a product of my culture and upbringing: I kept my head down and put in hard work. I assumed my performance would be recognized. But when it was time for performance review, I was disappointed. My mistake? …


“Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident. It happens by design.” — Clare Muscutt

Image credit: Adobe Stock Images

Most service industries, such as hospitality, are crafted to center customer experience. Between paying Rs 200 for a glass of watermelon juice in a five-star restaurant versus paying Rs 20 on the street, the difference lies within the customer experience, not the product, i.e., the watermelon juice itself. Consumers will pay for the services they value. You’d think customer experience would be at the core in designing any service, but this isn’t the case. Consider the healthcare industry in India.

First, easy access…


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…

Vani Kola

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store