Tarun Khanna Professor Harvard Business School on Creating the Conditions to Create, The Value Of Trust & Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets

Tarun Khanna, Professor at the Harvard Business School chats with Shripati Acharya, Managing Partner Prime Venture Partners.

Tarun Khanna is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School. For over two decades, he has studied entrepreneurship as a means to social and economic development in emerging markets. In 2007, he was nominated Young Global Leader (under 40) by the World Economic Forum. Between 2015 and 2019, he was appointed to several national commissions by the Government of India, first to chair the effort to frame policies for entrepreneurship in India. He has authored several scholarly works, articles and books; most notable being his 2008 book - Billions of Entrepreneurs:How China and India are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours.

Listen to the podcast to learn about

01:00 - Creating the Conditions to Create

07:00 - State of Entrepreneurship: India Vs China

15:00 - The Value of Trust in Entrepreneurship

27:00 - Working with Government on Entrepreneurship

34:30 - The Best Way to Learn About Building a Startup

Read the complete transcript below

Shripati Acharya 01:00

Welcome to the Prime Podcast. This is Shripati. It is my distinct privilege today to host Tarun Khanna, professor at the Harvard Business School, who for over two decades has studied entrepreneurship as a means to social and economic development in emerging markets. Back in 2007, he was nominated to be a young global leader under 40 by the world economic forum. Between 2015 and 19, he was appointed to several national commissions by the government of India, including the effort to frame policies for entrepreneurship in India.

In 2020, he was asked by The Lancet, the world’s leading global health journal, to co-chair a commission to reimagine the future of India’s health system. He’s the author of several books on entrepreneurship and is deeply connected with the India ecosystem. He co-founded Axilor, an incubator in Bangalore; Aspiring Minds, a machine learning talent assistant firm, and is on the board of InMobi as well as of several for profit and nonprofit ventures across the developing world. Welcome Tarun to the podcast.

Tarun Khanna 01:57

Shripati, thank you for having me.

Shripati Acharya 02:00

Absolutely. So let me right away jump into the thick of things here. And you have stated that in your study of entrepreneurship, that it is very different between developed and emerging economies. Can you expand on that? How is it so?

Tarun Khanna 02:20

If you’re sitting in the ecosystem of my adopted home in Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and you want to be an entrepreneur in our classroom at Harvard or MIT, I would never say it’s easy to be an entrepreneur, but relatively speaking, you have access to very liquid pools of talent. It’s very easy to find and certify the quality of the talent. You have an endless supply of risk capital who have deep expertise with evaluating intangibles. You have a property right system that has been robustly tested in the courts. You have adjudication mechanisms and litigation experts and arbitration experts who can deal with disputes. Basically, a lot of the problems have been addressed by the ecosystem’s experience over the decades that have gone by. So as a would be entrepreneur, you can just be focused on the tasks that you set yourself.

Now, let’s take an example from your backyard in Bangalore. My good friend and mentor Devi Shetty, right? When I was introduced to him by Kiran Mazumdar, who’s a common friend in Bangalore. And I’ve been watching him build his Narayana Health City from day one. Right. Which is 15, 18 years ago. Every step of the way, he has had to… Of course his purpose is to do tertiary healthcare, particularly tertiary cardiac care for the masses at price points that are very affordable. That’s really what he wants to do as a surgeon getting up in the morning. But the fact of the matter is that he has to solve so many infrastructural problems that are in his backyard. He has to deal with transport issues. He has to deal with information issues. He has to deal with health financing issues. He has to deal with satellite provision of information to remote people so that they can do telemedicine.

The list is endless, right? The supporting systems of entrepreneurs are generally unavailable or under-available in most developing countries. So I think the task of the entrepreneur becomes, as I’ve said in my book called Trust, is not just to create what they set out to create, but to also create the conditions to create, which is a tall order. That’s why I say it’s harder. It’s more rewarding. It’s more exhilarating. I think the highs are higher and the lows are lower, is one way that I think of comparing the ventures that I’ve done in Bangalore, personally, with the ventures of, let’s say, Boston.

Shripati Acharya 04:45

Am I to understand in your opinion then that the entrepreneur not only has to solve the main problem they’re setting out to solve for their customers and with all the things, which they have to do marketing, positioning, value proposition, et cetera, but also build these ancillary things which are required, which might be taken for granted in a developing world, in a developing country?

Tarun Khanna 05:10

You said it succinctly. I would just embellish the answer a little bit. It’s not necessary for the would-be entrepreneur to solve all these ancillary problems. That’s too many mountains to climb. But I think he or she has to be mindful that these are ambient problems that you can’t take their resolution for granted. And so you either address them yourself, or you induce other people to co-address them with you. Or you come up with a creative business model that doesn’t rely as much on that missing support system.

So many years ago, my colleague Krishna and I coined this awkward institutional void, which is a way of saying that these are the supporting specialized intermediation structures, the supporting institutions that are missing, hence the term void. And really the task of the entrepreneur is to either fill that void or compensate for its existence and our contribution, if you will, in the academic literature at the time, this is going back to the mid-nineties, was to create a taxonomy. Almost collectively exhaustive and mutually exclusive of missing institutions to say that, “Okay, if you want to be an entrepreneur in Bogota or some part of the Congo or Bangalore or Jakarta, here’s a list of things, like a laundry list, that you should think about.” Is this service provided? Is this provided? And don’t take it for granted.

And I think that’s proven to be very useful, not so much a recipe, but a checklist to remind people. And I use it as a reminder to myself when I’m doing a venture with some of my friends or colleagues or what have you.

Shripati Acharya 06:55

But you also studied… I’m curious about entrepreneurship in China, fairly deeply. And China is probably closer to the developed country now in terms of just how they’re doing things, but would you say that these voids exist there and the entrepreneurs have to do similar things there?

Tarun Khanna 07:15

So my position is, first of all, I think the Chinese ecosystem, this was a subject of a book I wrote in… I’m trying to remember when. The 2000s, 2008, ’09, called Billions of Entrepreneurs, where I essentially contrasted the evolution of the Chinese ecosystem with the Indian ecosystem. It came out of a collaboration with a Chinese political scientist, a friend of mine in MIT, who still does amazing work on entrepreneurial ecosystems. And we realized that these two countries, it comes as close, Shripati, to a natural experiment as social scientists get, which is two large populous civilizations of land masses with billion type numbers of people come into the modern political era as nation states at roughly the same time. 1949 for the People’s Republic, 1947 for us in India. And yet, go in dramatically different directions. I said this is like a Petri dish for us to see how they evolved.

And really, the thesis of that book was that they really have been dramatically different on the ground level. In some cases, the information environment is structured very differently. The property rights environment is structured very differently. And I think, I built, as you said, Aspiring Minds, was a co-founder of Aspiring Minds machine learning company, which we sold a few years ago. But we had an office in Beijing for the longest time and an office in Delhi. And so I got to see on the ground how different it was to build a data centric analytics company in the early machine learning years and an office in San Francisco. So it was quite fun to see the evolution. But there’s another huge difference between China and India, which is that in China, the government has become for the last 10, 15 years, extremely serious about science. And it has been plowing a very large amount of resources into pure scientific research.

A good summary measure is the ratio of R&D to GDP. And that number is high and rising for China. Order of, don’t quote me on these numbers, order of 3% of GDP and rising. And the number of India is 0.6% of GDP and possibly falling. So I fear that the gap in ambient scientific knowhow, which is needed not just to embrace science in the process of economic development and in the process of creating cutting edge ventures, that ambient knowledge is not being nurtured in India. Despite the fact that as you know, we have such unbelievable human capital sitting in the IITs, Indian Institute of science. So many other institutions, NCBS in Bangalore. Just a whole list of entities. And we are just not tapping into it as a society. And I’ve been on this mini, maybe some say, fools crusade, to keep speaking about it and saying, “We really have to pay attention to this.”

And the way I bring it to people’s attention in different contexts is, I take recent successes from the US ecosystem. So you’re in California and I’m in Boston, and both have Bangalore connections. But if you look at SpaceX, right, and you look at Moderna, one from the West coast, one from the East coast, roughly speaking, and you ask yourself, what percentage of the initial, let’s call it for the sake of argument, billion dollars that went into building these massive, massive companies that have redefined space travel or space exploration on the one hand, and dealing with pandemics and healthcare situations on the other? What percent of the first billion dollars was invested by the entrepreneur in question? And the answer is very, very small. Probably 3%, 4%. The bulk of it came from government grants, federal research, contracts with government entities, and guaranteed backstopping of the venture.

So you cannot be operating in real serious cutting edge science without this. And without that, I think trying to go into the next 20, 30 years is like we’re trying to compete with both hands tied behind our back. And I’m really concerned about that. And that’s one huge difference between China and us. Because China saw that writing on the wall 20 years ago. And has been putting money into it. And they are pockets of excellence for us. Like Bangalore is clearly a pocket of excellence, but it’s not enough. We got to have the whole country behind it. So anyway, that was a long winded answer.

Shripati Acharya 12:20

No, I understand. I think what you’re implying essentially is that these are like long and slow burning fuses, investment in science and these kinds of things that’ll start giving dividends 10 years from now, when you have that critical mass of people.

Tarun Khanna 12:40

Yeah. And in 1945, very famous scientist, Vannevar Bush, wrote a book called Science, The Endless Frontier. And it became the foundation of the American societal compact from which Silicon Valley has emerged. The idea was… Now there are many stories of how Silicon Valley emerged and this and that, and Hewlett & Packard. All that is true. What I’m saying is that even before that, there’s a scientific compact, which the society and the states shall invest in the public goods of scientific knowhow, right? And the result of that will be disclosed through publication to society and any individual entrepreneur, you or me, is free to dip into that.

As we say in Hindi, muft me(for free), you can take it and you can innovate on top of that. And whatever incremental value you create is yours to keep. That’s the societal compact. That compact we’ve got to create or something approximating that. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to compete in the deep tech space. I’m the first to celebrate our startups. And I’ve been a big beneficiary of the startup ecosystem in India, building companies in India, and so on, and learning from it. For profit, not for profit, whatever. And we should celebrate that. Hats off to everybody who has done that. But it’s time to look ahead, and challenge ourselves and do orders of magnitude better.

Shripati Acharya 14:15

Fair enough. Tarun, let me bring the conversation back from the macro down to the micro a little bit. And so India’s often referred to as an… Let’s come back to the topic of trust, which you briefly referred to, which is India’s referred to as a low trust society. That’s a term which we have used versus, say, the US. In your 2018 book, Trust, Creating the Foundations for Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries, touches on this central issue. So taking the other pieces you talked about, the infrastructure pieces, if you just focus on Trust. So how does this impact entrepreneurship and what exactly do you mean perhaps by the term, trust, in this context?

Tarun Khanna 15:00

See, I think it’s accurate to call India and frankly, most developing countries, low trust societies. What that really means is that people end up working with those with whom they share some preexisting similarities. Either their geographic proximity or there’s linguistic proximity or religious proximity or some combination thereof. Because they use that familiarity, it’s a very human tendency, sociologist referred to as homophily. But it just says birds of a feather flock together. And there’s lots of qualitative and large samples, big data, quantitative evidence to support this, that people gravitate together. But the problem with that is that think of a country like India. If I want to do a new venture and I lack some skill that I need, and that skill is available outside of my homophily set, outside of my immediately known, but I have no mechanism to authenticate the antecedents of would be collaborators and partners located in Manipur or Meghalaya or Jammu & Kashmir or some other remote partner I know nothing about. Then I will not partner with them.

See, in the US, it’s much easier for me to find a random person in Texas or in Oklahoma, and then get his or her antecedents and relatively quickly find some way to verify that A, this person is not a fraud, that actually, they have some real skills, that… You can back it up. Because the information sets are available. I’m caricaturing and approximating. But in the absence of those, again, those supporting institutions, in this case, of information availability, credible information availability, I as a would be entrepreneur limited to those who are in my immediate set, my homophilous set. So by definition, your creative horizon is circumscribed, right?

So the task of the entrepreneur, I think, in developing countries, including in India…So that book, again, draws on my personal experiences in India and China and some other developing countries. I tried to ask myself, that book was really a taking stock set of essays for myself, is to look back and say, okay, you’ve tried all these things. Many failed, some worked. You saw some other friends doing things, interesting things. What did you learn? And what’s common across the things? And my best summary was, look, the guys and gals who really made it work in low trust settings were those who embraced the problem of low trust and said, “We have to overcome that. We have to find a way of creating a trust platform in effect. We have to find a way of creating those conditions to create.” If credible information is not available about our product or service, we have to find a way to reassure the consumer or the supplier, the partner that we will provide you with the credible information in addition to asking you to partake in the service.

And that’s an extra burden of the entrepreneur, as it always is in a developing country setting with so called institutional voids, is that you have to, again, create the conditions to create. Great example in India… By the way, I spent a lot of time at Amul, the dairy company in Anand Gujarat. And it’s fabulous how going back to Verghese Kurien, the father of the so-called White revolution who brought large scale, clean dairy to India in the ‘60s, ‘70s. It was really a trust bond between the dairy farmers and Kurien and his team. And then, in those days, a housewife who didn’t have clean, reliable, pure milk on the buy side. And on the sell side, the farmer didn’t have any assured guaranteed market for his milk output.

So he would do all sorts of short run spot market optimization, which in the long run proved a lot less efficient use of capital and physical and human capital than getting a guaranteed take for a varying quantity of milk, depending on the health of the cow and the mood of the cow, right? If you had a guaranteed buyer, a guaranteed price that Amul commercially provided, that just created this nucleus of trust on which the world’s biggest dairy company was built. It’s really that simple. Everything else is bells and whistles and cartoon characters and this and that. All that is great. But at the core is a trust bond. And now it’s fabulous because… So I’m building a company actually in Bangalore called FaunaTech, which is currently… It’s in the CCAMP which is this government incubator close to the Life Science Ecosystem in Bangalore.

But one of the first entities who experimented with us is Amul because it’s a device that we produce to very quickly check all sorts of things about animal health and the quality of milk. We jokingly call it not a point of sale system, but a point of cow system. So you can take out a device and right away you can say, “Okay, this cow is in danger of developing mastitis.” And so her yields are going to decline steadily in the future and the cow will get sick and you’ll get bacterial contamination, which means the milk will then not be suitable for anything other than a few processed products. And eventually you lose yield because the cow is unwell. But you catch it right away, then you can arrest the problem early on before it gets pooled in with other milk streams, and you can raise the yields dramatically and so on and so forth.

But the thing is, it’s a very scientifically cutting edge chemistry that we use to do this, with a handheld device that the farmer can walk around with. But Amul is our trust platform, right? So if you go to Amul, and you say, “Okay, you guys are a trust platform. Let us show you how this device works and see if it’s useful in the field because you have the trust of the customer.” So this trust is an amazing currency, right? Once you have it, you can convert it into a platform and do any number of things on it. Same going back to the other Bangalore example, Devi Shetty, right? I see his Narayana Health City in Bangalore as a trust ecosystem that he’s created, right? And so lots of things can be done on that. Not that it can’t be improved. It always can be. But lots of things can be done on that by would be entrepreneurs coming and working with them as they’ve done in the past.

So trust is really converting a low trust society. By the way, one of the guys who I think came up with this… Actually, I don’t know whether the origin is due to him, but there’s a political scientist at Stanford, right, Francis Fukuyama, who became famous for writing the End of History and the Last Man. Of course, history didn’t end as he thought it would. But in any case, his earlier book was called Trust. And it was not about entrepreneurship. It was just characterizing societies as low trust and not low trust, and speculating about it. But I think he was onto something. And my series of essays is a more micro entrepreneur centric series of essays saying, “What does this low trust actually mean for actions that the would-be entrepreneur has to take in an emerging market context like India, to deal with that problem?” Because the alternative is to say, “Well, at some point, society will develop and will become a high trust society.” But that could take eons and generations.

Shripati Acharya 23:10

Fair enough. I think one thing which I noticed, Tarun, in that, just looking at the evolution of e-commerce. Something very simple to everyone here interacts with. The number of times when you would hear of people shipping bricks instead of phones and all that stuff. And what I have noticed is that once the constituents in this interaction, which are doing business, figure out that the cost of acting in a distrustful fashion is actually higher than the benefit of actually doing it in a trustful fashion, then the virtuous cycle starts. And so some of the transparency that the internet with its reviews and everything else puts out there is really helpful. One very interesting piece which I have noticed, as you know, one of the infrastructures we do have a very robust and leading implementation is UPI and India Stack and so forth.

And at least in the cities, I would say, any and all size of transactions, and because the government has made it free, basically no interchange, which is not even there in the US or anywhere else. And everyone uses it even for buying a coconut or doing a little repair, the guy comes and repairs something. And what I have noticed is that over the last dozen years, a subtle shift in people trusting that instant payment, actually in general, there’s a little bit more trust because I’ve had folks who have and repaired stuff, gone, I’ve ended up paying them twice. They have returned the payments back to me and this guy’s sitting in Chennai, somewhere else. And he’s like, why bother? I’ll just return it right back to you. And so I think that we just have to get… It’s a little bit of a societal change as you say. But some of these infrastructure things can actually have an impact on how we look at trust.

Tarun Khanna 25:10

When I moved to the US to go to college in 1984, as you know, I left IIT Madras to study at Princeton. I remember saying to my roommate, the two most amazing things that I saw in America right away were the public highway system, right, and the public library system. One is the informational super highway, the public library system relevant to that time, pre-internet, pre-PC and so on.

And the other was a physical highway system. And actually, when Nandan and his team, and you were involved with the Aadhaar group, when Nandan was first talking about Aadhaar, he was referring to it as an information highway connecting the citizen to the state. So it’s that same idea. And UPI is an evolution of that thinking. And then the health stack that bunch of us are working on now is an evolution of that.

So you’re absolutely right. If you have that basic plumbing… Again, it’s the public goods. That public good has to be created that is freely accessible at least in principle, to all citizens and residents. So that they can then use that to innovate. And you’re not limited to your otherwise relatively circumscribed so-called homophilous trust circle, which is by definition, minimal. And that you can freely reach out to somebody far away and creatively combine your skills with their skills to do something really amazing. You know Shripati, all innovation at the end of the day is mixing and matching, right? It’s mixing and matching. That’s all. So if you can mix and match with people everywhere, you’re much better off than if you’re limited to a few mixing matching partners.

Shripati Acharya 27:05

Absolutely. Changing gears a little bit, you work with the government of India on leading their expert committee on innovation or entrepreneurship, which led to the formation of AIM, which is Atal Innovation Mission. So what are some of the key learnings there both in terms of what the state of entrepreneurship currently is, and some of which we might have already touched on. So we don’t need to go with that. And how it might go forward.

Tarun Khanna 27:35

So, it was a real privilege for me to lead that commission in 2015, 2016. And what I realized was that contrary to my prior image of the state as being relatively… And we have this image in India of the state being somehow antithetical to private enterprise. At least to your generation and mine, that’s how we used to think of it. But I think that needs a revision, particularly with the success as big as Aadhaar and UPI and so on. And on a much smaller scale, Atal Innovation Mission, which is trying to grow up from… I would say, it’s gone from infancy to adolescence. But it’s trying to become an adult. It was very encouraging to me because we were able to bring together a cross section of society under the auspices of the government and say, “We really want to think from first principles about how you could create this public good infrastructure so that a would be entrepreneur would not be as by these institutional voids.”

So that entire report is basically an English language summary of my academic work on institutional voids, translated for the bureaucrat to say, these are the things we need to do, or this is a set of things that we need to do and a set of possibilities. So the report of the expert committee basically laid out a template to facilitate the, if you will, the filling of the institutional voids in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. And a real pleasant surprise to me was that it got implemented. And it has taken root and taken off in some ways. There’s a very competent gentleman running it now, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav who is a MIT PhD and moved back a year or two ago to take over. And he’s bringing in a very scientific mindset to it, to really scale it and improve it.

So it’s been a privilege to see it grow and to create this network of hundreds and hundreds of incubators around the country, which are delivering demonstrated results and equally fun. It’s opened these 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs, which are basically maker spaces in high schools, where kids can come and play with 3D printers, soft robotic materials, circuitry, bio-materials. Any number of things that were like, I don’t know, Superman type concepts in my childhood are now available for pennies or paise. So, equipping a small room where kids are going crazy instead of going and listening to a boring physics lecture, chemistry lecture from some textbook, they go and they do it. And they make the most amazing stuff. So we’ve got 10,000 of these open. I’m told by AIM that they’re going to 50,000 in schools, high schools across the country.

And I think that will set the stage for curiosity and hands-on scientific work for the next generation. So I’m very happy about that. That said, AIM can do a lot more. And currently, I’ve been trying to urge Niti Aayog, which is the apparent entity for AIM and AIM and Dr. Vaishnav to really lead, linking up with the principal science advisor to the government of India, who is an Indian Institute of Science professor now, Dr. Sue, the physicist, a particle physicist, to embrace bringing science to have conversation with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a society wide way. So that’s the hope for the next few years. So we’ll see. But my intent is to keep pushing and see what happens.

Shripati Acharya 31: 50

Wonderful. So just a couple of questions to wrap up this conversation Tarun. So you have been studying innovation for 25 years. It’s a long time. And so to ask you, what are some of the things which have surprised you that you’d not have foreseen over this time? What are a couple of things that come to your mind?

Tarun Khanna 32:10

So growing up in India, I always thought that these techy things… One of the things that has really pleasantly surprised me is that the best ventures that I see, and I don’t know whether you’ve had this experience in Bangalore or in the Bay Area, but the best ventures I see, most creative ones, not necessarily the ones that have the maximum unicorn or mega unicorn status, but the ones that just seem the coolest, the most society reshaping, usually have a mix of skills. An artist sometimes and a techy, like a left brain, right brain combination. And I love that.

And I try to make it real in my own ventures in Boston and Bangalore. I try to encourage different people. So it is not all IIT guys, right. First of all, there should be a lot more women in the mix, right? And there should be people of different backgrounds because it sounds cliche, but I found it to be really real as an active commercial investor, active entrepreneur cum academic, if you will, that having diverse backgrounds in the team really does pay. And that diverse background includes storytellers. Someone who can tell the story of the venture. How powerful is that? And can excite people’s imagination. That’s amazing. That’s the thing that stands out to me. And it seems to be robust in time and space. It’s true in pretty much all countries, in all settings.

That’s the one that I would pick up. I don’t know whether it’s surprising to people. To me, it was pleasantly surprising. And I think that was a benefit of being immersed in the US college system, was that you really get exposed, even though I was an applied math kind of person. You really get exposed to everything. And so you get a visceral appreciation of a lot of stuff and different ways in which people with different skill sets can contribute to, in my case, to the entrepreneurship process, which I think is fundamental to societal development.

Shripati Acharya 34:35

Absolutely right there. And I agree with you in the sense we see in our own portfolio, because somebody who is probably more of an abstract thinker, dreamer, who can actually put the story together… Because ultimately people remember stories. They cannot remember data and graphs.

And we can look at data and graphs to corroborate the stories which we have heard and remember. But is just so important because not only if you’re an entrepreneur pitching for a venture, it’s also the same for an entrepreneur trying to make a sale to a customer or to a partner or to your employees. All of these things require that narrative capability. And of course, the execution capability, which is other part which you’re talking about. Somebody who can take all of this and then calculate it and bring something to the ground, actionable. So what would your message be to a 20 something entrepreneur in India, starting out on their first entrepreneurial venture today?

Tarun Khanna 35:35

Well that one is easy. So, one of the ventures that my former student and I are making, including in Bangalore right now is, you may have seen it, a Chai Point is the-

Shripati Acharya 35:50

Consistent, excellent chai.

Tarun Khanna 35:52

Thank you. Good. I’m glad you think so. But so that’s something that Amuleek Singh and I started about 10 years ago. And it’s been a great platform for a bunch of kids from Italy, Ireland, the US, India. Whenever kids come to me, I send them to Amuleek. And I said, “This kid is here. He’s 20.” In fact, there was a kid from New Orleans who just spent a month in Bangalore. Never been to India before, rolled up his sleeves and showed up and said, “I’m here to…”. We’ve made this Chai robot that we are installing everywhere. And it’s really very cool, as a techie, right. It’s just very cool. And so this guy showed up and said to Amuleek, “I’m going to create a marketing plan.” And so he’s 19 years old. He’s never been to India. What marketing plan will he create?

But my spirit says, it doesn’t matter. Show him the stuff. Give him a small mentor. Tell him to run around. See what he comes back with. He might give you some amazing ideas. And so for six weeks, he was doing that. My own son who is now working for a human rights law firm at the age of 20 in London in the summer, when he was 13 or 14, I made him go to Chai Point and be like the equivalent of Starbucks calls the barista. In one of their tech parks. I think it’s that you have a building called Prestige. Some tech parks in Bangalore.

And so he was managing the cash register. And of course, as you know, in the tech parks, when it’s tea time, everybody comes rushing down and they want their tea right now. And they’re shouting at him, and swearing at him in Hindi. And he had to make it up. And he was all of 13 year old. So, and that stayed with him as to how the ecosystem works. So long winded answer to say, my answer to any young person is, just find some setting where there are a bunch of smart people doing interesting work and dive into it and get your hands dirty. And you’ll inevitably learn something about human beings, and that’s all that’s needed.

Shripati Acharya 38:05

Wonderful. Well, thanks. It’s a great way to end this. And by the way, Amuleek was in our podcast many moons ago. So thanks for your time today, Tarun, for a really wonderful wide ranging and very insightful discussion. Thank you.

Tarun Khanna 38:25

Thank you Shripati for having me and look forward to stay in touch.

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