IAM801- Entrepreneur Helps People Get Their Products Online

Podcast Interview with Kunal Chandiramani

Kunal is the Founder and CEO of KStar and its subsidiaries and an international bestselling author. A 3x TEDx speaker and the youngest 35u35 ever.

  • CEO Hack: I have read the bible of any CEO; and Ben Horowitz book: The Hard Things About Hard Thing
  • CEO Nugget: Have a Google list for your to-do list
  • CEO Defined: Express what you believe in and create what you would want to see

Website: http://kunalchandiramani.com

LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/kunalnc17
Instagram: Instagram.com/kunal_nc
Facebook: Facebook.com/kunalchandiramani.im

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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

[00:00:29.80] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Kunal Chandiramani of KStar Kunal, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:40.79] – Kunal Chandiramani

Hey, man. Thanks a lot for having me. Super excited.

[00:00:44.10] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on as well too. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Kunal so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Kunal is the founder and CEO of KStar and its subsidiaries and an international best-selling author, a three x TEDx speaker a three-time TEDx speaker, and the youngest thirty-five under thirty-five ever. Kunal, it's awesome to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:07.79] – Kunal Chandiramani

Super excited. I just hope you don't go to everyone your special guest.

[00:01:11.79] – Gresham Harkless

Say that one more time.

[00:01:14.70] – Kunal Chandiramani

Yeah. I just hope not everyone is a special guest.

[00:01:18.29] – Gresham Harkless

No. No. No. No. I don't say that to anybody, but don't listen to any other episodes. It's, awesome to have you, on the commute, and on the podcast. I wanted to kick everything off and hear a little bit more about your CEO story, and we'll let you get started with all the awesome things you're doing.

[00:01:34.00] – Kunal Chandiramani

Perfect. So my CEO story, it's so for me, business has always been a, like, a form of self-expression. That is self-expression in business has been the most important and integral part of it. And I've been saying it a lot more after quarantine started because that's when I was really able to reflect about what were the core values within which led me to take up a lifestyle of an entrepreneur and get the motivation to work for eighteen hours a day just that I can see a change come into the world that can help make people ADRs better, that make every hour of their lives better. So my CEO story probably started, when I made my first hire, And then the moment I probably got I saw, my first large window ahead of a massive city, and I could go put my hands in my pocket and look out and have someone take the photo. I think that's where my CEO story started.

But overall, I think I think for me, being a CEO really started when not when I had a team within my company or when I started my company or when I officially took up that role. That was really when I saw the change that we were creating. And then seeing the change that we were creating and then finding my place and feeling the ability or the responsibility to not I wouldn't call it a burden but feeling the privilege of the impact that we were creating and the privilege to create more of that, the privilege to have our place in the world and to create more stuff, to make a bigger place of our own in this massive world of opportunities. And just that realization that I have the ability, I have people who look up to me, and I have people who work for me to make the world a better place. And that and it does not work for me, work with me to make the world a better place. And then all of a sudden, these epiphanies happen. And I think that was the real moment where I realized that, yes, I am CEO.

[00:03:33.59] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely love that. And I know when we first connected, we talked about I said hope and you said change and how important, kinda being entrepreneurial and being able to kinda create things, starts to create that domino effect. So I love that you've been able to kinda do that, with you obviously, yourself and the people that are around you and then to work within your team as well. So, I know I touched on it a little bit when I read your bio. Could you take us through a little bit more about KStar exactly what you're doing with those and the subsidiaries and how you're supporting the clients you work with?

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[00:04:02.40] – Kunal Chandiramani

So we do anything that we can make the world a better place. So KStar majorly as the as our first line of business, we we work on independent e-commerce. As of now, I'm the KStar. Io, that's our domain of us that works in independent e-commerce. We're one of the largest in India. We work with a lot of people. So we currently boast numbers over a hundred thousand, in terms of our user count. We work with a lot of people to help them leverage their Internet as a means of income by selling their products online. And not in a classic way, but specifically targeting a very tier three market. That's a rural market, first-time Internet users, people who really got access to the Internet as a means of income only after twenty seventeen. And these these, infants on the Internet really are liberating the Internet in a way that isn't really bidirectional.

So what we do is we help them leverage the Internet as a way for them to be able to, create change, sell products online, and as a means for them to build up an income stream around the Internet by selling handicrafts, hand so hand products and a lot of stuff. So basically working a lot on reviving industries that died because of transportation and marketing because they never really got the reach that they deserve. And we worked with a lot of these industries, deriving them, working with for working with people who were somewhere in some of for the village where you really wouldn't know about the amazing stuff that they're creating in terms of paper art, in terms of art, in terms of cloth, in terms of woven cloth, in terms of designs in woven cloth.

And we work with them to help them leverage the market and the Internet as a whole. So that's what k star in its primary domain does. But, additionally, we do anything that we can help create a change. So a couple of other stuff which we do is one of our more one of my favorite subscriptions under k star and one of our more well-known ones is DDoS. It's probably by now India's largest mental health community with over 03:50 part-time, interns and volunteers who who put in an effort to change the whole infrastructure of how people look at mental health. So basically, breaking the stigma around mental health in a country in a developing country like India and helping people open up about mental health. So we work with tons of people here.

We help them feel better about themselves, and we help them fight with mental health issues. So, yeah, DDoS is probably by now the largest and the most curated mental health community in India right now. We're constantly expanding, coming up in Turkey, coming up in the Middle East, coming up in Europe, America. And we've been very fortunate to have volunteers from universities like Harvard, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of South California. A lot of a lot of places where we really feel that we're creating the change. In addition to tier-three colleges in India, which we personally hadn't heard of. So, yeah, that's really why we're trying to create the dive the most diverse change about breaking.

[00:07:09.60] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And, again, that change word that I think is so powerful and sometimes we forget the impact that we can have. But I love that you've been able to, on one aspect, be able to kinda, I guess, make the world smaller. As you mentioned, there are so many creatives that are making phenomenal things and don't have a way to potentially, you know, make a living and be able to get, you know, their products and their services and their creative things that they created out there, but also that mental health piece, which is, I think, is something that is not talked about enough. And I love to hear that Howard University is a part of that as a graduate, and you being able to kind of be the change by which we start to see, in so many different aspects, from a mental health standpoint. So, I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce, and this could be for yourself personally or your business or a combination of both, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:07:54.19] – Kunal Chandiramani

Oh, now that's a question worthy, of a very deep thought. So secret sauce. I think it's I think this my secret sauce is probably finding a new one with every venture. I don't look at myself as a serial entrepreneur, but I really look at myself as one because a serial entrepreneur has limits on the amount of ventures you can be involved in. I just do anything where I can create change, and I feel I need to, and business is my form of self-expression. So still trying to so I think every Wednesday gives me a new one, And then I just add it to my add it to my portion book and cut you further. But I just thinking of some specific secret sauce. I think my secret sauce is probably by finding, the ability to create change even in places that people think are perfect. Because until today, I've found one thing covered in any venture, in anything. Nothing is perfect. And perfection as much as it's an illusion, is the one thing that drives most people.

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Because perfects you always run for perfection. Just one day hoping to catch that distant, horizon called perfection. And even if you were in a rocket set, it's difficult that you would ever come close enough to the horizon to think that it's a step away. Because the horizon is always proceeding further. And we live in a dome world of opportunities. And overall, I think that's the thing I feel that would be one of the major, secret sources in my book of portions. That looking over to chase for chase and find something that so like a lot of people look at this as not the best, thing about looking for something wrong with the most perfect thing we can imagine. But I think that's really where business starts because you can if you can find one thing wrong and you can find a hundred things, then you can find a hundred things wrong with anything. And this is a fantastic book I was reading a few days back about.

If you wanna be better if you wanna replace the competitor, you need to be at least ten times better. But if you can find something wrong with the competitor, if you can find something that's wrong in the most perfect thing, and you can find, then you probably can find a lot of things that are wrong with that. And you and that's really where you get started with creating something that's ten times better than what already exists and probably overtaking it and probably creating change. That's probably one of them, but I think the biggest part of my secret, Josh, would be just running up and just getting that not being as focused on one part, but being focused on the whole picture.

And then being able to see, like, I think I'm at a lot of points when I'm answering this question, I'm probably not the right person to even answer what's my secret sauce, because it's a lot about the people who work around you, who realize where you really come into the picture because every venture I do has seen such a different part of me. And I've, every venture I've been a part of has taught me something so important and it's, it just helped me make my next one even better. And I think I just keep adding, adding some more of this new secret sauce into my portions book. So it's definitely not a secret sauce. It's a potions book filled with Tabasco and ketchup, but, yeah, running off to that.

[00:11:29.70] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. The potion potion book with, Tabasco and ketchup. Yeah. You're you're absolutely right. I think that to me, it is one of the kind of maybe underlying themes that I definitely hear is the ability to always improve and to change and to progress. And I think that as you said, you know, so well, I think so many times when you're looking for how you can improve something, you can find one thing then it starts to become more and more and more, and that could be within ourselves. That could be in competitors. That could be in solutions that we don't see that are fully fulfilling that perfection that we're trying to reach.

But I love that change aspect that you continue to kinda speak about because I think when you understand that, hey. This is my, maybe, you know, passion word or this is my, vision word or whatever that might be, and you know that these are the tools as you spoke to business is a way by which you're able to kinda create those solutions. I  love that kind of perspective in a way you're able to execute that. And, I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:12:27.20] – Kunal Chandiramani

I think if I think I'm gonna put in a couple of things, but first would be, there was this book I read, sometime back that totally that that I think is the bible of any CEO. Because so there's this I faced hundreds of different problems as, as running companies, as a CEO, or more over in any position to create, to have people who are working towards the vision that you design. So that's where the difference comes between a founder and a CEO. I really found this bible which listed every single problem that I  faced and how to solve it. So I'm not sure if you've read this book. It's called The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.

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[00:13:08.50] – Gresham Harkless

No. I have.

[00:13:08.89] – Kunal Chandiramani

So that's probably yeah. That I love that book. I had it in my cell for months, and I was dealing with tons of problems. The moment I got a chance to read it, that's really when I realized that a lot of the problems so that's probably the only book which answered ninety-nine out of a hundred problems that I faced. And that's a real amount. So it's probably one of the best books for anyone handling people, running companies or in any position as a manager. It's one of the best books. But I think overall one CEO hack, I think would be just knowing that when there aren't any limitations. And then and then as a tool, it's probably, that I'm not keeping a very strict to-do list. It's really harmful to have a to-do list because then you just do what you write in the to-do list. And you always need to perform as a business.

[00:14:02.29] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Would you consider that maybe? Because I was gonna ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. Would you consider that vision, which is like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice? Would you consider having that vision at the forefront as maybe your CEO's nugget as well?

[00:14:13.20] – Kunal Chandiramani

I think having that vision, I think it's something that fits in the mood on that side is about limitations. We live in a world that constantly tells us that this is the limit. And what business is about is so, like, I remember throughout my school life, there was this thing that this is the border, and this is where you need to be. These are the limitations. And if you try crossing those limitations, you go to the principal's office. If you try doing the same in your college, you go to the dean's office. If you try doing the same thing in a job, you go to the I'm not gonna say CEO's office because that sounds that makes me sound really, doesn't make give me the vibe I want. I have so I have this thing that I crack a lot of horrible jokes. So Yeah. And I make a lot of my team laugh at them still.

[00:14:59.60] – Gresham Harkless

And I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So, Kunal, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:15:08.00] – Kunal Chandiramani

Being a CEO means to me an opportunity to express what you believe in your belief within your core values, not just your core values, but anything that you look for within yourself and in the journey of finding yourself, creating the world that that the in that your inner self wants to see.

[00:15:27.50] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. So, now I wanted to, pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about, about all of the awesome things you're working on.

[00:15:40.50] – Kunal Chandiramani

Just drop me a message, and I'm I love connecting with people. Human beings are the most, important part of anything we do. And it makes me sound like an alien when I say that, but I'm gonna go with it. I just hope I get a call from Elon Musk after this episode is released.

[00:15:58.00] – Gresham Harkless

You never know. If you put it out there, a lot of times it comes back. So we will have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you and drop you that line. But go ahead.

[00:16:07.89] – Kunal Chandiramani

Just just go on and Google me. You would be able to find every single thing you need about me right there. Additionally, if you wanna reach me, you can Google that too.

[00:16:15.89] – Gresham Harkless

Alright. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And, again, we'll have the links and information in the show notes, but I appreciate it, Kunal, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:16:22.39] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]


Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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