Nipun Mehra, the Founder and CEO of Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Ula, came to entrepreneurship late in life, having first worked at Sequoia Capital, Flipkart, Pine Labs, Amazon and Boston Consulting.
The delay didn’t hurt though, with Ula now counting Jeff Bezos, Prosus Ventures, Tencent and B-Capital Group among its investors, hoping to capture a portion of the $300B+ retail market in the region.
This is his story and life- and business lessons.
(This interview with Do More’s Khoo Hsu Chuang was part of a collaboration with CGS-CIMB and Endeavor Malaysia as part of the ‘Thought Inspire’ Series, filmed at the Asia School of Business, a partnership between MIT Sloan School of Management and Bank Negara Malaysia.)
00:00:00 – Intro
00:00:53 – Which Came First: Employment or Entrepreneurship?
00:03:22 – Get a Job First?
00:05:05 – When Was the Plunge Taken?
00:06:11 – Which Skills Were Most Valuable?
00:07:15 – What Do Blue-Chip Investors Like Sequoia Seek in Entrepreneurs?
00:12:49 – Does Academic Excellence Matter?
00:15:31 – Should Entrepreneurs Expand to Indonesia, ASEAN’s Biggest Market?
00:18:24 – In New World Order, Should Entrepreneurs Pivot to Profit Instead?
00:22:08 – How To Choose A Market to Operate In?
00:28:46 – In Tech, Layoffs & Cost Cuts. Discuss.
00:31:19 – Have Valuations Suffered in the Current Market Conditions?
00:34:48 – Managing Investors When Valuations Fall
00:38:27 – Where to List? Asia or US?
00:42:36 – Why Did Jeff Bezos Invest in Ula (And In His Personal Capacity)
00:45:31 – Nipun’s 60-Second Pitch to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos
00:46:20 – What Does it Take to Succeed in Indonesia?
00:48:18 – How to Scale In Indonesia
00:49:26 – How to Develop Expectations Jointly With Investors
00:52:40 – What Are Tencent’s Expectations?
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