Unless you are thinking about work during your shower every day, you've not fully become a part of our work culture yet: Snapdeal Co-founder Kunal Bahl
Who’d have thought an IIT reject who once owned a detergent company, will become the co-founder the largest online shopping site in India. Here’s a young, unconventionally conventional entrepreneur who, recently had a freewheeling chat with a few of his 13,000 followers on http://frankly.me/KunalBahl about his life, struggle, work culture and even Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign.
Sans any entrepreneurial airs – a corporate heir minus the stereotypical, overwhelming suit-and-tie-with-gelled-hair-combo – the young business tycoon, dressed in a casual sweatshirt, sitting on his work desk on a relaxed day, spoke to his followers via video selfies.
THE SMALL BOY WHO WORKED IN THE BASEMENT OF A FURNITURE MARKET
First things first, a majority of his followers were eager to know about his journey from being a voucher company to becoming the Alibaba of India. “I think the journey has been a fairly painful one at times. But there was also tremendous amount of learning, excitement, sad days, happy days, and a whole plethora of emotions that make this life very exciting,” Kunal got candid via multiple video selfies through which he answered all his followers’ queries.
What were the struggles he faced at the initial stage, many had asked? “There are many struggles when you start a company. There’s the struggle of finding investors, convincing people to give an interview when you’re working seated in the basement of a house in a furniture market, the struggle of having investors take you seriously when you look like a small boy…there are many struggles. But I think all of these are reasonably easy to overcome. You just need to be extremely persistent and focussed on what your end goal is,” was Kunal’s frank reply. (Check out the video here http://frankly.me/KunalBahl)
MY WORK CULTURE
Given the swiftness of Snapdeal’s success ever since its inception, many were eager to know about Kunal Bahl’s work culture. “Ours is a very purpose driven culture,” he began to talk through the video, “Our culture’s purpose is not high evaluations, more fundraise, hiring more people. Rather our purpose is very simple – it’s to create one million online entrepreneurs in India. Secondly, we have a very homogenous work culture – everyone working at Snapdeal is extremely talented, so people feel in the company of peers that they can learn from. And thirdly, we make sure it’s a fun place to work at. People enjoy coming and working here, they get an ambience and feel like it’s their college. They don’t mind working beyond the 9-5 routine 5 days a week. They’re always on – always charged up about work. And the barometer I share with them is that unless you’re thinking about work during your shower every day, you’ve not fully become part of our work culture yet.”
SNAPDEAL AND SWACCH BHARAT CAMPAIGN
Amongst the many questions popped up the unexpected, ‘What does he think about the Swachh Bharat Mission?’ With a smile, he spontaneously answered, “We keep our office pretty clean. I keep my desk very clean. I generally don’t have a single piece of paper on my desk. I make sure that our house is very clean. For instance, there was a tiny garbage dump around my house, and I got a small garden created there. So, in our small ways, we try to keep things clean around us. On Snapdeal, we also have a Swacch Bharat store, where you can buy products that can keep your surroundings clean – right from a mop to a dettol – every help that is required for cleanliness.” Now, that’s like a true businessman – who quite innovatively utilized the PM’s drive to his own benefit.
I AM NOT COMPLETELY SUCCESSFUL YET
No wonder then, that this young mogul must be over the moon for all that he has accomplished. When one of his followers asked whether he thinks he is successful, he answered, “I don’t think so. I think we have a long way to go, and we’re still in the early days of our entrepreneurial journey. There are many, many lives we can change, especially the lives of the small businesses in India, and that’s really the true mission of our business.”
Do you wish to speak to Kunal Bahl too? It’s very simple. Log onto Frankly.me, post your frank questions to him at and watch his effortlessly frank replies at http://frankly.me/KunalBahl.
An organization which started up with a vision shared by two IITians, http://frankly.me/ is an android and ios based application which is going to revolutionize social networking. This is a platform which enables people to ask questions to celebrities and other users and get answered in the form of video selfies. The application introduces the user to a whole new virtual world where he or she can connect with a celebrity of their choice by following them.
Media contact details: Ferheen Athar, Frankly.me, +91-8860374452, firstname.lastname@example.org