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[Year in Review 2019] 10 most-watched YourStory exclusive interviews

Sutrishna Ghosh ( )

In 2019, in what can be described as truly a step towards embracing the future, digital storytelling reigned strong across every domain of media publishing.


Even the numbers reflect this. Online video traffic, as it turns out, accounted for nearly 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic this year, as per a Forbes report. Coupled with relevant content, videos and video stories are capable of reaching out to a greater part of the active netizens.


These waves of digital-everything were felt even at YourStory. As a medium dedicated to bringing to you some of the most powerful, impacting, and inspiring stories of people, businesses, women, leaders, and changemakers, we ensured that our storytelling remained refreshing and in sync with global standards.


The result? A host of new video series – episodic and otherwise – that captured the journey of the ‘Maverick’ entrepreneur, shifted the gears and told the story from an investor’s point of view, and brought to you some rare glimpses as we got ‘UpClose’ with successful business magnates from the startup ecosystem.


Then of course, we also had a mixed bag of video stories, exclusive interviews, and candid tête-à-têtes, fuelled by all the love showered by our readers and viewers.


With the year coming to a close, here’s a look at 10 video stories that you – our readers and viewers – loved the most.


Most-watched YS videos

A freewheeling conversation with Kunal Shah, Founder and CEO of Cred

With serial entrepreneur Kunal Shah, who became a second-time founder with Cred, you can always expect a wide-ranging conversation. Whether it is about the Indian startup ecosystem or the country’s socialism mindset versus a capitalistic one, the man behind FreeCharge and Cred always has interesting arguments and insights to deliver. We were to lucky to sample some of these during an exclusive interview.


In a rare freewheeling conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Kunal talks about the maturing Indian startup ecosystem, the Indian economy, and his idea of building an engaged community of high-trust individuals.


He said, “People assume that we are a fintech company. No, we are a lifestyle company. We are creating a network of high-trust people and eventually we want the members to do interesting things. Tomorrow, classified could be a potential business for us, or apartment listing.”


Watch the full interview below, for more such insights.



The exclusive with Amazon India Head Amit Agarwal

What does it take for an ecommerce major to establish dominance in a fast-growing market? What is the culture of ‘customer obsession’ all about and why is it important? And what is it like to work under Jeff Bezos? Amazon India Head Amit Agarwal gave us candid answers to all these and more when we sat down to pick his brains on the growth of the ecommerce giant.


On his personal growth and learnings from being in the role, he said, “Personally, for the last six years, it has allowed me to test my boundaries on customer obsession, invention, and long-term thinking. I think you never know till you challenge your limits and boundaries of how much you can stretch yourself.”

Watch the full interview below.



Inside Udaan’s growth story

In the building of a successful business venture, trust is known to play a critical role. The same holds true for B2B ecommerce marketplace Udaan as well. Its founders, former Flipkart intrepid trio Amod Malviya, Vaibhav Gupta, and Sujeet Kumar, believe that what matters is working together, and ideas come later.


“Whatever the idea is, we will work together. We are building that culture where people focus and keep questioning,” Sujeet said in a candid chat with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma.

During the interview, the founders also highlighted the topics of work culture, the kind of people they hire, and the goal that each individual is ultimately working towards.


Watch the full interview below.



Meet the Mavericks – Byju Raveendran

The story of Byju Raveendran, the Founder and CEO of India’s only edtech unicorn, is one of humble beginnings and a billion-dollar dream. Hailing from the small town of Azhikode, in Kannur district of Kerala, Byju made his way through engineering to work overseas and then to return to India to follow his passion for teaching.


It started with CAT coaching classes, interestingly, only to soon evolve into a promising business venture.

His edtech startup, better recognised by its brand name, BYJU’S – The Learning App, is one of the few Indian companies today to have witnessed 100 percent growth in three consecutive years. Find out more about his journey and some of the incredible milestones in the sixth episode of Mavericks, YourStory’s latest video series.  



Meet the Mavericks – Harshil Mathur, Razorpay

Razorpay Co-founder Harshil Mathur’s story is one of perseverance and speed. An IIT-Roorkee graduate, Harshil launched Razorpay in 2014, along with Shashank Kumar. Almost five years since its inception, the Bengaluru-based startup is now a full-stack converged payments solution company that aims to revolutionise online payments by providing clean, developer-friendly APIs, and hassle-free integration.


“We are here to power the financial ecosystem for disruptors - from payments and disbursements to banking and lending,” said Harshil, offering a look into Razorpay’s rise as a disruptor in the ecosystem.

Watch the full episode.


 

Nandan Nilekani’s take on Aadhaar, UPI, and more

Nandan Nilekani needs no introduction in the startup ecosystem. The tech magnate and business legend, after all, is credited with building India’s digital infrastructure and setting the country on the path to growth.


But not many might know that the man, known to the world as the tech czar of India, has also seen failure closely – once in 2014, when he stood for the Lok Sabha elections and lost, and the other, in the 80s when Infosys decided to diversify into hardware from software.


Both taught him one lesson – take risks but never steer too far from your core competencies. This and many more life lessons in an exclusive chat with YourStory.



Through the Eyes of the Investor, featuring Worxogo

How does an investor decide which startup to back? What guides this decision? What prompts them to rally behind an idea, an entrepreneur, and a certain product with their support, and, more importantly, with their money? And once they do, why do they choose to stay the course?


With Ideaspring Capital’s Founder and Managing Director Naganand Doraswamy as the host, we explored the answers to all these questions in our brand-new video series, ‘Through the Eyes of the Investor’.


The series featured a mix of startups, one of which was Bengaluru-based worxogo, an AI startup that’s using behavioural science to improve employee productivity.


Watch the episode below.



Through the Eyes of the Investor, featuring Simyog

India’s deep tech startup ecosystem is having a very exciting time. Every day, there is a new breakthrough in this space, and with each new innovation, the sector has managed to hold onto investors’ interest without fail.


With this in mind, in the second edition of Through the Eyes of the Investor, the dialogue shifted around the many achievements of the Indian deep tech startups, particularly that of IISc-incubated Simyog Technologies.


“It’s a very unique startup,” said host Naganand Dorasawmy, explaining how Simyog’s solution is a “confluence of physics, electrical engineering, mathematics, and learning-based systems”.



UpClose with Vijay Arisetty, Founder and CEO of MyGate

The apartment security market might seem non-glamorous, but the sector has sprouted newer opportunities and greater market potential with the influx of biggies like Reliance Industries (which has entered the segment with its apartment-management app JioGate), NoBroker, and Adda, to name a few.


But all these new players and increasing competition hasn’t really made much of a difference for Bengaluru-based MyGate, which was one of the firsts to explore this space.


In fact, if Founder’s Vijay Arisetty’s words are any indication, the increased interest in this space is a positive sign for his own business. Watch him spill the beans on the next course of action for MyGate below.



A tête-à-tête with PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam

Sameer Nigam, Co-founder and CEO of digital payments firm PhonePe, has continually set his sights on bold and ambitious targets – the kind that have bolstered the fintech company’s position to the top of India’s cashless revolution.


And going by his honest and open conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, the entrepreneur seems to be just getting started with his next set of targets: foray into foreign shores buoyed by Walmart’s scale and presence in different markets; make ‘substantial progress’ in improving the business prospects of India’s ubiquitous kirana stores; and expand its presence in the financial services space.


Watch the full interview below.



(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)