When Kaivalya Vohra decided to leave Stanford University to run his startup, his parents had to have “a couple of long conversations” with him.
However, he claimed that it wasn’t too difficult to convince them to join.
“They saw how this business was growing in front of them, they saw how quickly we achieved what we achieved.”
Zepto, an Indian software that claims to deliver goods in under 10 minutes, reached a valuation of $900 million in just nine months thanks to Vohra and his co-founder, Aadit Palicha.
One of India’s fastest-growing rapid commerce apps was created by two teenagers; how did they do it?
Have a chat with your customers
It’s crucial to find a solid product-market fit, according to Vohra. He gave us some tips on how to achieve it.
“Speak to customers. Just use that as a holy grail [to] ensure you’re on the right track to finding product market fit.”
“One of the hardest things is actually getting to that point where you have a product that people love … It is much easier and much faster if you’re constantly speaking to customers, getting feedback from them and learning from them,” he added.
The 19-year-old founders of Zepto first handled customer service on their own and carried food to customers purely for the purpose of having a quick conversation with them.
“We still do it till this day … We’ve got millions of customers, with hundreds of thousands of orders every day. [We still] spend a significant amount of time just speaking to customers, learning from them,” said Palicha.
“Going in with the mindset that you’re wrong and learning where to get right … that journey has been humbling.”
Become addicted to your product
Because of their youth as well as the “craziness” of the idea of a birth in less than ten minutes, Palicha and Vohra weren’t always taken seriously.
“When we started this 12 months ago, every conversation we had was, ‘You’re totally out of your mind, this is never going to work,’” said Palicha.
They stayed on course because of their convictions about their product.
“Kaivalya and I fell in love with the product so much that we just saw ourselves as custodians of what would probably end up being a large phenomenon in consumer internet in India,” said Palicha.
“If we don’t build it, somebody else will. When you operate with that mentality, everything becomes less intimidating.”
Because of this, the team was able to engage in “challenging conversations” with investors, senior executives, and even a representative of the government, Palicha continued.
Investors are interested in it even though it is simply one of many companies that have joined the instant commerce tsunami. Zepto moved one step closer to unicorn status after receiving its most recent funding infusion of $200 million in May.
“Falling in love with the product and building that conviction really just pushes you to … see that product through,” said Palicha.
Being friends since they were seven years old gave Palicha and Vohra a significant advantage as they switched from being childhood friends to business partners.
“Kaivalya and I really complement each other’s skill set. He has always been more technically sound than I am, so he’s made a great chief technology officer,” said Palicha.
“12 months ago, when we were building the first iteration of the product, I don’t think we’d been able to get it off the ground [without him].”
Vohra believes that their success thus far is a result of their ability to “hold each other accountable.”
“This has been something we’ve been doing since way back … [even as] we worked on a bunch of projects together throughout school,” he added.
“Over time, I think that relationship just strengthened. So yeah, it’s a lot of fun.”