April 2, 2020
E-Commerce as a Critical Tool in Scaling Entrepreneurship

E-Commerce as a Critical Tool in Scaling Entrepreneurship


ANNOUNCER: Good afternoon,
ladies and gentlemen. Good afternoon,
ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to one of
the last breakout sessions for the GES 2017. We are about to begin
the session on E-Commerce as a Critical Tool in
Scaling Entrepreneurship. Please put your phones
on silent and stay seated during the session. We also request you to
keep questions brief and refrain from personal
description due to time constraints. We don’t mind all
session participants to turn on Bluetooth
and briefly open the GES mobile app
to take advantage of the interactive features. We will now call our speakers
for the session on the stage. Our moderator for the session
will be Miss Radhika Aggarwal. I now hand over the
session to the moderator and request the audience to
put their phones on silence. MISS RADHIKA AGGARWAL:
Thank you so much. And an absolute
pleasure to be here. I’ve been here a
couple of days now. And I have to say that
the energy that I’ve seen at the GES session
has been inimitable. I have met some
remarkable entrepreneurs, and today I have some
remarkable entrepreneurs here on the panel with me. So when we were given the topic
of E-Commerce and in many ways if you look at the
technology world today, E-Commerce seems to be
the traditional child of our technology. And in spite of that,
it is the only trillion dollar industry that continues
to grow at a double digit rate for the near
foreseeable future. So fast growing, very,
very large, and financier who built amazing companies. So we’ll start with
quick introductions. I’ll let Ashish start. Ashish, you can tell us a
little bit about yourself and, of course, BookMyShow. ASHISH: I’m the founder
and CEO of BookMyShow, it’s a company that I
started 19 years ago. I was 24, I’m 43 now. My Monday mornings
haven’t changed as much as my Friday evenings. Both excite me. The day that equation
changes, I’ll stop doing one or the
other so that’s us. MR. RITESH AGARWAL: Ashish
has been a true inspiration. We’ve known him for a while. But I’m 24 now so, you know. High End British started
roughly 3 and 1/2 years back. We had a very simple mission. When common men
travel across India, finding beautiful living
spaces is a real challenge. Our mission has
consistently been, how can we bring
beautiful living spaces for the common man in India? In the process, we’ve
come a long way, but we still feel that
we’re getting started. The current key operate in
just– not just hospitality company in the economy
and mid-scale hotels. The mission continues to
remain similar from what it started with. And today, millions of
people use us every month. We hope to continue
to drive this change toward bringing beautiful living
spaces for the common man. Thank you. ANKITI BOSE: Hi, everyone. My name is Ankiti Bose. I’m the co-founder
and CEO of Zilingo, which is Southeast Asia’s
largest fashion and lifestyle marketplace. We started just three years ago. So way, way after
Ashish started. And I think it was in 2014 when
I was on a holiday in Bangkok– I used to work in
India back then, in Bombay and then
in Bangalore, when I saw women and men,
a fair number of men, flying down from
all parts of Asia and all parts of the world,
are flocking to these markets in Bangkok for, you know, long
tail designer labels and stuff that was not available
in any of the countries. And it was a very
obvious, aha moment, why is this stuff not on line? Three years later, today,
we have 7,000 labels from eight countries,
shipping in 10 countries now, and it’s been an
incredible journey. And I think a lot
of our story is about being a good platform
for small merchants and driving value for them. That’s– that’s everything
that we do right now. Thank you. MS. AGGARWAL: Thank you. Quick introduction here. I’m Radhika Aggarwal, the
co-founder of ShopClues, which is a horizontal
E-Commerce player. And it is focused right at
the bottom of the pyramid, either way you look at. Consumers, we’re
very, very focused. On tier 3, tier 4, rural
consumers based out of India. And for those of
you who visiting India for the first time,
I can tell you, it’s much, much beyond what you’re
seeing in Hyderabad as well. About 70% of India
lives in rural areas. So tier four rural areas. So there is a huge
consumer base that is just being exposed to the
internet for the first time. They’re coming online for
the first time and shopping via the marketplace. And, again, bottom of– bottom
of the pyramid because we’re very focused on micro,
small, medium enterprises. And these are
small merchants who are either traders,
manufacturers, wholesalers, mom and pop stores, that you
see as you drive down the roads of India. We have about 600,000 of these
merchants on the platform. We started in 2011, and
it’s been, I would say, like all startups, it’s been
a crazy roller coaster ride. And I’ll do it again
in a heartbeat. We ship out about 3 and
1/2, four million units on a monthly basis now. And the kind of
traction that we’re seeing from tier four
rural India right now, gives us a lot of
excitement about, you know, what is going to happen in
E-Commerce in the future. Many times when we
talk about E-Commerce, and that’s where I would
leave the next question to the panelists, you know. We– we think about E-Commerce
as a has-been industry. It’s reached a certain
amount of maturity, yet there’s a lot of disruption
that continues to happen. And possibly start with
you, Ankiti, you know, you started about
three years ago. How have you seen
that [INAUDIBLE]?? MS. BOSE: So, again, my context
is a little bit more Asia than India. So I’ll take that lens. If you think about
Southeast Asia, I see on the agenda, along
with China and Hong Kong, it exports about $300 billion
of fashion and lifestyle finished goods annually. $50 billion is consumed
within the region itself. Less than 5% of that
supply is online to date, and that is three years
after we’ve already started and whatever,
sizable scale, right? Less than 5% of the
supplies online. But unlike India,
where there’s obviously a lot more product
innovation at a higher speed has happened already,
the consumers there are quite [INAUDIBLE]. We were rather kind of
just discussing this before the panel started. There’s higher
internet penetration, there is higher credit card
penetration, look at it and come as way higher. The poorest of our
markets is still do x-book average
income of India. Women’s per capita income,
if you split it by gender, it is higher disposable
income, with women is higher. So it was– it’s very
obvious that while it seems that it looks like with
internet companies in Southeast Asia raising billions of dollars
that, hey, it’s out, you know, it’s perhaps a very
penetrated market. If you think about the
market in and of itself, there are lots of ready
users, and we’re literally 5% done in terms of getting
the supply online. So I think we have a
really long way to go. MS. AGGARWAL: Just
getting started for sure. MS. BOSE: Just getting started. MS. AGGARWAL: Ritesh,
you worked on structuring a market highly– that is
highly, highly unstructured, you know. Oyo has just changed the
face of hospitality in India. What have you
accomplished so far, and where do you expect
to go in the future? MR. AGARWAL: Yeah, I
guess I’d start with– MS. AGGARWAL: Very
basic questions, yeah. MR. AGARWAL: You know, yeah. Very, very basic. So, you know, clearly
when we started Oyo 3 and 1/2 years back,
clearly across the country, India has been one of
the best hospitality markets in the world when you
look at the best five star hotels overall and that’s
on the top of your mind, regardless of which part
of the world you come from. It was said that at
the same time, when you looked at economy and
scale hotels in India, you wouldn’t say that, you
know, anything close to similar existed. So it was an opportunity
that always existed. For 20 years everyone who
got out of railway stations, airports, and so on, knew that. Why don’t we have good quality
economy and mid-scale hotels? So we had the– we did not come up
with any amazing idea, we just tried to solve the
basic problem of saying, how do we get a common Indian
user a beautiful living space to live in? In that process,
I think, you know, in the last 3 and 1/2 years,
we’ve learned our lessons. The following were the lessons. If you want to solve a problem
as large as this in an industry as old as ours, so if you
look at the worst, oldest companies, the two
oldest companies are one hotel at Scotland
and the other hotel in Japan. So that’s how old our
industry and across the world. So that saying
that you are trying to solve this problem with. The solutions tend to be
very, very hard expensive, but the outcome very valuable. So let me talk about
the four core solutions that we are to bring. The first one was being able to
partner the old age real estate and convince them why
they need to upgrade their places into
becoming fancier, chic, and so on and so forth. Today, roughly $20 billion worth
of real estate with partners exclusively for the
distribution partnerships. Well, I know $20 billion worth
of real estate is something that’s like hits on
internet, that’s– that’s– that’s probably
one of the metrics we track internally. We’ve got 300 civil engineers
and designers, stylists, working every day to
upgrade those places. 14 institutes training
kids and graduating them so that they can come in
and work at our hotels and provide a certain
level of customer service. Millions of human lives
being put into service, which means unlike most Western
markets, when you sort of say, hey, I need to set up
an economy hotel chain, you get all of these
things, services, right? You have to go out and fix
all of these at the ground. But good news is that
sort of value creation is. You talked about
E-Commerce and just the way it has evolved over time. 20 years back,
you know, eBay was the Darling of stock markets. Everyone was going long on
eBay and short on Amazon. But just because they
continued to invest in the core of saying,
I’m going to make sure that the fulfillment experience
is truly amazing every time the customer delivers it. 20 years out, it is
exceptionally valuable, probably unsexy
in the early days. So we’re probably not unsexy
period at this point of time. MS. AGGARWAL: I think
that that continues to be the theme for E-Commerce. I feel, you know, there is
so much that needs to be done and we’ve just got started. You’re talking about 5% of
supply in Southeast Asia, but in India less
than 2% of commerce is happening online right now. So just getting started,
yet a long way to go. Ashish, when I was growing up,
and I wanted to watch a movie, it was just going
to the box office was an absolutely
dreaded experience. The lack of
transparency completely, there were [INAUDIBLE],,
there was the black market. You’ve changed all of that
completely, and not just for movies, for much
more beyond that. Yvonne– events have become
so much more approachable. What was the genesis of MyShow? ASHISH: Smoking and drinking. So I don’t smoke,
and I don’t have a problem with people smoking. But I used to work for
J. Walter Thompson, which was a smoking office, it
was like the Mad Men series. Everybody around you smoked. It was carpeted flooring. And it got to me because
I’m a health freak. I sailboat on the weekend, I
like the fresh air and the sun. And here I was in an
organization which I absolutely loved but everybody
smoked around me. So I wanted to clear my head,
metaphorically and physically. And so I decided to take
all my savings in ’99 and go on a backpacking trip
to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. And when I was traveling
from Joburg to Cape Town, I heard a radio
commercial trying to sell rugby tickets online. And I’m like the
Forrest Gump guy, I’ve been born and raised in a
one kilometer radius in Bombay and I’ve never stepped
outside anywhere. And here I was on a holiday and,
I said, gosh, this is so easy, because there’s
a structural hole in India, that arbitration– you know, arbitrary
pricing and scalping, there is no democratization
of information and the experience is
a shared experience. You’re a customer. It’s like going to
Starbucks and saying, here’s my credit card, or cash,
and somebody is knocking you on the knuckles and
saying, screw you, I don’t want your money. So you would stand in a line
at a cricket match overnight, get likely charged and beaten
up with batons by the cops because the line
would get unruly. And then when you reach the
box office, the guy would say, hey, tickets are sold
out, all the scalpers are selling more tickets
at five extra price. And so, I said, you know,
I started mulling over it and then I reached Cape Town,
and they have this little wine growing region
called Stellenbosch, which is like the
Napa in the U.S. And I am a [INAUDIBLE],, which is
considered the jewel of India, and then I am from India where
there’s a land of scarcity. And everybody when they
give you a glass of wine gets very snooty and everybody
is taking the Merlots and cabs and swirling them,
spitting them, and talking about the wine. And I’m from India,
land of scarcity. I’m getting free wine. I kept drinking from 11:00
in the morning until 3:00. I was so smashed. I was so hammered that I woke
up the next morning at 8:00 in a youth hostel on a
bunk bed which wasn’t mine. But I had sent the most
expensive text message of my life to my
boss, saying, I’m quitting because I want to
come back and build a business. And she had said, OK. And the text
message at that time was 169 rupees from
South Africa to India, and it was really expensive. And, again, metaphorically and
actually, and so I came back and I started building
a business plan. And in a week’s time, it
was with a dot com boom that I got investors by Chase
Capital Partners, J.P. Morgan. I didn’t have a
current bank account, they put half a million bucks
in my savings bank account. I could have taken
the money and run. Here I am, 19 years on. And then I got invested by
News Corp in 2001, and the– the scale that you’re talking
about, I was [INAUDIBLE].. There was no skill, there was
no ecosystem from ’99 to 2002. I went from 150 people down to
six, including office helper. I had to look at 144
people in the eye very early days of my life at
the age of 27, and say, the dream is over. They had all quit jobs for me. They took them to Shivaji
Park because I couldn’t afford a conference room like
that, but I negotiated hard with News Corp, got them a
six month severance package, went and mortgaged my mom’s
house, and raised $100,000, and bought back the company. And I promised I’d pay
her back in ten years. I paid her back in 18 months. Didn’t switch on my
lights and electricity and made phone calls
at public STD booths to make calls to clients. And in 2007, the
market turned again and that’s when we sort
of launched the brand and it’s got to [INAUDIBLE]. Today, as far as
we are concerned, we show a 1,600 people, we
are in four geographies, we are in 660 cities and towns. We sell 15 million
tickets a month. We cater to [INAUDIBLE]. We have about 120
million visits. We have 70 million subs
with about 35 million of monthly active users, and
we get about 3 billion pages. And like Ritesh said,
we’re just getting started. MS. AGGARWAL: Phenomenal. Phenomenal. So that’s in true spirit of GES. The more entrepreneurial stories
we all hear, the more inspired we are. And as one of my colleagues
told me yesterday, these are all ripple
effects, you know. I remember hearing a story
of a similar entrepreneur and thinking, you
know, I can do it, too. Ashish, that was
absolutely amazing. So moving on. Scaling up. You talked about scaling up,
you’re just getting started. You talked about scaling up. And you also talked about some
of the misses early on as well. Let’s– let’s– let’s talk
about that a little bit, and maybe actually we
can start with you, but I’d love to get all three
of your opinions in that. So when we talk about
entrepreneurship, E-Commerce, scaling up versus
a path to profitability, and we’ve all gone through, you
know, some of the other toss up. You know, do we focus
on profitability, do we just focus on scaling up? What is the right
thing to do and what is the right way for a
lot of the entrepreneurs who are sitting here, to
think about just scaling up because the market is
just getting started. What is actually thinking
about profitability is about? ASHISH: Firstly, do whatever
sell job you want to investors, but be true to yourself
and don’t listen to them after that. I mean, everybody wants
to put you on a treadmill and run hard. Let’s do a reality
and fact check. While India has a phenomenal
market, and the GDP is growing and all of that
is great, there is a difference between the
universe and the time. And here is a fact check. There’s one 1.2 billion Indians,
there are 900 million handsets, there are 500
million smartphones, there are 350 million
data connections. There are only 26
million credit cards in this country owned
by 12 million Indians. There are only 500
million bank accounts. 10% of this country
owns 37% of the GDP. The bottom 40% only
controls 5% of the GDP. If the guy doesn’t
have food to eat, which is such a sad metric,
what are you going to sell him? A hotel room, shoes to run,
and a movie ticket to go to? He doesn’t know where his
next meal is coming from. So I think we’ve got
to have a reality check, an
entrepreneur’s supposed to know in their gut what
is right, what is wrong. The investor’s job is to enter,
to exit at some point of time. He wants to put
you on a treadmill and run it 12 kilometers an hour
and sell it to the next guy. That’s not how
businesses are built. And in America you could be
a co-generation entrepreneur by the time you’re 43. But in India, it takes time,
and it takes seven to 12 years. It’s an enormous
problem to solve, but you will reap the
benefits of really changing lives and changing people and
creating some significant value for yourself. As far as scaling is
concerned, what my show did was very early on in its days. We focused on the top 10% of
the market which, in itself, is 120 million people. It’s not a small market. Now, we are coming in
and in with a lot of, sort of, you know, disruption
in the mobile space, the market is growing really rapidly. 90% of the internet goes through
that one telecom provider. 9x growth in Q2 in
the last 12 months. So after 19 years,
I can actually see the next five years are
going to be very exciting. But as an entrepreneur, you’re–
you’re always optimistic. Somebody says the pessimist
says the glass is half empty. The optimist says
it’s half full. As an entrepreneur, I
look at this empty section and I say, hey, listen,
I could add some scotch. Either I’m going to
be too drunk to care or I’m going to enjoy the drink. So, you know, that’s
how you look at life. MS. AGGARWAL: I do think
one of the key takeaways from this session should be to
listen to the entrepreneurs– listen to the investors when
you’re trying to raise money. After that, do
what’s right by you. ASHISH: I don’t mean– I don’t mean it literally, but
I’m just saying that a lot– MS. AGGARWAL: No,
that’s completely fair, I think all of us would agree. ASHISH: –a lot of entrepreneurs
behave like investors when– when they build a
business, they’re talking about an exit, hey,
I’m going to exit in four– four years. Or, you know what, my company
is a billion dollar company, it’s a unicorn. Or why aren’t you
thinking about does– what you’re trying to do,
does it solve a problem? Are you excited? And is the consumer or the user
at the center of your universe? Is the empty chair here belong– does it belong to the customer? And I think this whole
valuation and how fast can I grow, and only looking
at one metric, nobody talks about an NPS, nobody talks
about profitability, nobody– now, they’re talking about the
light at the end of the tunnel. It’s single unit metrics. What is the caco? Why don’t you talk
about caco over LTV? I mean, those are some real hard
questions people need to ask. It’s not about land grab, it’s
about building a business. Whether it’s the internet or
whether it’s nuts and bolts or whether it’s
brick and mortar, it’s a business at
the end of the day. MS. AGGARWAL: Ritesh. MR. AGARWAL: So I agree
with Ashish on one and disagree on one. OK. Not disagree but
sort of disagree. So, you know, I
agree with Ashish on saying that this
is not a shot in play, this is a marathon. And this is a
marathon that you need to run like you’re in
a sprint situation. So it’s hard. It’s hard because you go
through all those days when you have to look
at people in the eye and say that dream’s over. And then you have
to look at thousands more people in the eye and say
that the dream’s back again and still work with all of
them through your lifestyle. So I fully agree with that. I think the second bit
is I feel generally that Indian internet has been
very top 12 million focused. But I feel on the other hand,
India is a much larger consumer opportunity. On– you know, on one side,
India’s FMCG companies look at a time of
600 million people. Go to any small village
across the country, you will see the levers,
you’ll see the Britannias, the Procter & Gambles, everyone
having a separate business unit just funding that. Oyo already operates
in 100 plus cities. We operate in 160 cities. Very distributive
business operations. Our view of the world
is the opportunity’s much bigger than what the
usual internet companies see. And, you know, ShopClues
has seen advantage of it, which is primarily
focusing in a lot of people who are coming on the
internet for the first time. But with that said,
commenting on the question of profitability
versus growth, I think everyone has a
different view on it, so I will just share
mine personally. I was– I’m– I’m a lot more old
school in that view. I feel that investment
and [INAUDIBLE] are two completely
different things. I feel that you’re
investing in capabilities, it’s absolutely OK, and if
that means that you’re not profitable, so be it. Because at the end,
those capabilities are going to monetize
in significant volumes. And I’d like to
share some examples. If you have exceptional
capabilities of delivering faster than ever
before, you will monetize. When Amazon was being shot
at for the longest time, people didn’t see that,
but now has a 35% bottom line at the end of the tunnel. If you have– you know, Facebook
is another example of it, which is losing tons of
capital, and Microsoft invested 15 billion dollars,
people said, these guys are crazy. Why would somebody invest
15 billion dollars? Probably the best
corporate investment in the history of mankind. In which, you know,
that don’t flip, you know, Alibaba, one
of our shareholders, SoftBank, invested
in them long back. By the way, they just
took two trillion dollars in transactions. Jack felt that he
wants to make a profit, so he makes 2% margin. By the way that’s $4 billion,
which makes complete sense. So building capabilities
makes sense. I think burning capital,
which is what I was just talking to Ashish and just
saying that if you just care about [INAUDIBLE],,
if I stand right outside the convention
center and start handing out the new 52 piece then that
nice to look beautiful. If you start handing
them out, there’s a huge queue of people
wanting to take that. So that’s– that’s probably
something that I don’t believe in personally, but investing
in capabilities, please, always welcome and, you know,
it will create value all throughout your lifetime. MS. BOSE: So just
[INAUDIBLE],, all of us are working in
emerging markets, which means that, you know,
we are, whatever, 1% [INAUDIBLE],, 2% [INAUDIBLE],,
which means that we have to create trials somehow change
your behavior amongst customers who have not been used to this. And while I agree with
everything that they said, I think that’s just one more
dimension to that, which is when you’re thinking about
skill versus profitability, to generate scale, you have
to create trust, right? And inherently there
is lack of trust in emerging markets like
India, or like Indonesia, or like Ireland, or like
some of the markets that are very [INAUDIBLE]
Philippines, Malaysia. So when does lack
of trust and you have to create that behavior
or, you know, it’s completely, entirely new or you’re creating
a segment, new segment, a new sector. You’re changing a behavior. It’s OK to invest in it
as long as you are not generating trust, right? If you’re not, like
he said, if you’re handing out $50 bills,
that’s not generating trust, that’s just– that something is
seriously wrong with things like that sort of cash
back, or things like that. But if you’re generating
trials and, therefore, you are not making
money because you’re going to invest that in scale
because you are inherently changing your consumer’s
behavior, that’s OK. And I think as
entrepreneurs, right, we have to be really
true to ourselves. Very quickly, we
can tell whether– we may not know it
at the beginning whether we’re just
generating trials or we’re just
wasting money to grow metrics like GNB, which actually
don’t matter to the founders as much as it does to
investors, or people who are trying to raise, or sell. So, inherently, if you’re
talking about scale and if you’re doing things
that change the behavior and generate trust, it’s OK. But if you have no idea how
that is going to go down a path of profitability, and as
a founder you always know that, well, then that’s
the right thing to do or the wrong thing
to do, I think– I think that’s where our– that’s– that’s one of those
decision points where you know whether you’re going
to make it or not. For me, personally,
that’s a good check of scale versus profitable. MS. AGGARWAL: So it’s
great, you know, we all have a very clear view of how
we are building our [INAUDIBLE] and where we plan to
take it going forward. But as we scale up, you know,
there are some bottlenecks that come up at
the infrastructure that it does and
I know in India, you know, about
three years ago, we expected it to turn into
internet penetration to go up much faster than
it has actually happened. And, you know, where
do these remedies lie? What kind of support do you
expect from the [INAUDIBLE],, and– and keeping in mind that the
guess your role with the faith and we’ve all been
invited by the CIO to come in and talk about our
experiences as entrepreneurs. Maybe we can start with you,
Ankiti, you know, where is it, what should the
government be doing. And let’s talk about your
government as well so– MS. BOSE: Sure. So I think– I think that’s a nuanced answer,
and let me start with– well, this is my personal
view, of course. When you compare India to
some other markets, one of the most obvious things,
and India is a very complicated market to solve for, right? We’re a really large country,
a democracy on top of it, and a good one. So it makes it hard to implement
solutions in a dogmatic fashion several– several times. However, having said that,
India has certain problems, like [INAUDIBLE] said, right? So growth rates, internet
penetration, et cetera, are not moving at the
speed at which we all are rather analysts, have
estimated time and time again. And I used to be
[INAUDIBLE] analyst, so I know that some of
the numbers are, you know, estimated in a certain way. But India has not,
really, followed through. And I think some
of those problems are fairly macroeconomic. Some of those are
very social, right? Such as per capita income, such
as gender, gender distribution, and women’s participation
in the workforce. Right. And that has been a general
theme at GES this year, and it’s such an important
thing that if, you know, half of your population
is not contributing to the economy the
way that they should, it is going to be incredibly
hard for us to double up our per capita income,
which is incredibly important for consumers to have
companies to succeed, right? So while we are all thinking
about India and time in a certain way,
like Ashish said, if you want to talk about
not the top 10% of India, then you have to start looking
at who the rest of India is, and who has disposable
income in the rest of India, and who’s making the
buying decisions. So I think at some level
we, in India, as Indians we have a long way to go, compared
to several other markets, and that can be said about
a lot of emerging economies. Which is not true of some of
the markets that are obviously a little bit more
developed where, you know, women are 50% of the
workforce or, you know, even in a country such
as Indonesia where in the lower income
group, also, 86% is female to male
ratio in the workforce. So automatically
that switches up distribution that actually
really powers consumer internet growth because a
lot of decisions are actually driven by women. So if you had to ask me what– you know, what the
government could do to really help the consumer
and [INAUDIBLE] companies, it’s actually
perhaps at that sort of basic level of understanding
that some of the problems are about income,
income distribution, and the genderedness
of income distribution. Yeah. MR. AGARWAL: OK. So, you know, 50% of
the Indian population is below the age of 25. Great, right? On the other hand,
the official elected– you know, to stand up in
election– elections in India, the official minimum age is 25. So, basically, the people
who are writing the rules and regulations for
people in India, have nothing to do with
people who are actually going to be impacted with
those rules and regulations. So not that I’m saying
that all potential elected representatives should be below
the age of 25, I’d love that, but I know that it could
have some percussions. Some, you know, the entire
country might be go of history, just a few. But, you know, I just believe
that that’s very important that the government starts
listening and understanding what the next generation really
needs and sort of expects from its new [INAUDIBLE]. I think we are
very, as a company and as a young citizen
of this country, I’m very proud to, you know,
have seen in the last three years how the government’s ears
are so close to the ground. You know, when GES
happens, it doesn’t have, you know, the $100
billion family, you know, rich coming here. These are first
edition entrepreneurs creating and solving problems. So I feel very happy
about the work that’s happened in the last
few years, but there is a long way for us to go. And the hope is some day people
who are 25 years or lesser in age will have more in
terms of say in what rules and regulations are being
written, other than just [INAUDIBLE]. So that’s– that’s probably
one aspiration I’d have in the future. ASHISH: Look, I’ve
been around too long. And my view of government
versus no government, and it’s changed
like Ritesh said, but I always believe that if
you want to succeed in China, you want to be– you want to be close
to the government. But if you want to
succeed in India, you want to be as far
away from the government. And all traditional
businesses are all screwed up because the
government was too involved in their lives. And the reason why KPOs,
BPOs, and internet businesses did so well because nobody
in the government bloody knew what we were up to. And then we became too large for
them to fail and say anything. And now they’re
all supporting us. However– however,
I think I’ve seen a new breed of bureaucracy. Amitabh is a friend,
[INAUDIBLE] has been trying me. I’ve always stayed away
from the government. Champions of Change happened
in Delhi, the government in Telangana at the
bureaucracy level, and at the ministerial
level, the government in– in Tamil Nadu, the government
and in Maharashtra, I think they have
a fiduciary system and, therefore,
at the state level I’m seeing this new
breed of either ministers or bureaucrats, which
really mean business. And they are transparent. They are straight
forward, they are– the plain speak and I
like that because there’s no bullshitting, right? They tell you to your face
what’s right, what’s not, and what I’ve also
liked is they are listening to entrepreneurs
and people and saying, how can I help you? Like I’ll give you an example,
and to that point earlier, look, I’m not saying that the
rest of India is not important. But the fact is that in India we
sell two, billion movie tickets which is all of Africa, Middle
East, North America and Europe put together. But we have only 12 screens
per million people in India as opposed to 128 screens per
million people in the U.S. As opposed to 30 in
China, which has now grown to 64 in the last four years. In India, we are
still at 12, and this is for the last 50 years. The policies which give
the land the taxation, if I want to do a Bruno Mars
or an Ed Sheeran concert, which I did last month, and
then I did a [INAUDIBLE] concert a few years back in– in Hyderabad. The GST 28, in
Malaysia, it’s 5%. The free tickets that
you’re supposed to give in Kuala Lumpur is only 20. By law, you’re– I have to
at least give 1,000 or 1,500 tickets. And then you have to
pay under the table to actually get things done. But there is a new
breed of bureaucrats, and ministers were
saying, no, we will help you
solve this problem. How do you get the
transport ministry? You’ll get the city
minerals system, which we don’t have because
everything is fragmented. How do you then get the cultural
ministry and the tourism ministry, and the
sports ministry, to come together to deliver
an event in the city which gets taxes for that city? And economic value for the city. And creates jobs for the city. Now, when I go to an
international city, there’s a mirror system. He ties everything up for me. Sure, the chief
minister does not control the city because
there is a mayor who doesn’t have to eat. But then there are different
ministerial ministries that don’t want
to come together, and that’s really
the problem, right? So, mind you,
there are companies which are in 100
cities, 150 cities, booked my shows in
650 cities and towns. We’re not talking. So the way we look at our world
is stop through next five, next 28, and focus 60. And our first obligation
is to fix that problem while we are present
in the other, because the task is so
enormous, it’s so large, that it’s not going to
get solved so quickly. MR. AGARWAL: Yeah, I’d
just like to add to it. He’s absolutely right in saying
that the new age of bureaucrats are just, you know,
changing a lot of things. So, for example, I must
talk about Hyderabad. Jaysh would be here some that,
you know, I saw him earlier. He’s in a session outside. I met him right here earlier. He’s been telling them
to go on and, you know, I met him five months
back and I thought about this whole civil
engineering lab thing that we wanted to set up. And since then, they have
taken the responsibility of getting [INAUDIBLE]
involved and making sure that the lab comes in. We already have a team
set up in Hyderabad. We’re doing this work
in four months flat. So they are moving
very aggressively from being just enablers to
actually influencers of saying that not only are you
enable you to be successful, but we are going to work with
you to make you more, you know, successful so that our
students get more employment and [INAUDIBLE] advantages. ASHISH: I mean, you’re
just walking around like a movie star. I said some really
good things about me and not some very good
things about the government. And you just walked in. MS. AGGARWAL: The timing
was perfect, [INAUDIBLE].. And I’m going to go
back to something that Ritesh mentioned earlier. You talked about, you know,
a majority of the country being under 25 years
of age, and none of the government representation
being under 25 of age. Let’s talk about 50% of
the population that is just missing from either
most of the government as well, from any of the
decision makers, the women. They’re not here. They’re here, of course, and
the big hand to everybody who is here. I think we should give a
big hand to all the women entrepreneurs. But what is our responsibility? And I’ll tell you, as– as a woman entrepreneur, I
believe that me, Ankiti, we’ve done our share. It’s time for the men to step
up and change the narrative. So it is time for the
men to step up and say that, yes, we are ready. ASHISH: And not
just ready, we’re going to work together
to make this happen. I think it is
absolutely important and, especially, I’m
very lucky to be, again, a part of this
generation, which is going to see this huge movement. None of our next
generation people would hopefully need to
have this discussion even. [INAUDIBLE] would
say, how are we going to enable opportunities,
that should be table stakes. So from our
perspective, you know, I have two responsibilities. One as a young entrepreneur,
and one as somebody who’s running a company
which has [INAUDIBLE] impacted on us as a society. I think in terms of beginning
with our partners which form the core of
our business, we have enabled hundreds of
hospitality entrepreneurs, who are women, who do
a much better job and, again, I know
we should make sure that it is unfair to
both genders, but to do an exceptional job
of the hospitality that they enable for customers. Townhouse is one of our new
upper mid-segment hotels that we brought up. I’m going to say you
should not do your economy, you should just do townhouses. You know, in that process we’ve
made 50% domestic footprint for front offices managing. It’s hard, but the
outcome of it is fabulous. We feel our customers won’t
care, they will notice, but we’ve already seen
customers noticing, hey, townhouses getting
there is easier because we know they’ll
be a tremendous reception at some point. As a company, we feel that
[INAUDIBLE] at the board, at the management,
and then all the way to the last level
in the company. It is very important to
start pushing aggressively for women representation. And not as if it’s a
feeling or a pressure, we’re just talking
about the impact and the positive
advantages it has. Because you have a concern
of rubbing it the wrong way. If you are trying to
push it on people. But then people realize that
if you have women at the board, they can bring representation
of a lot of matters that companies won’t
know or don’t care about. And you might have
situations like that of Uber five years later. You’d much rather solve for
them in the entry stages. So I feel that these are
important priorities. We are aggressively driving
this both from partnership into internal teams, as
well as on the third side, making sure that our
customer base in terms of women customers has
special experiences that we can solve for. I’d like to add something. GES for me is personally
very transformational because I have seen three
very big [INAUDIBLE] events if I were to see. There was one which was, you
know, the huge start up India. Then there was Changemakers
which Ashish earlier thought– Champions of Change is great. Both of these, you will
see the undercurrents already showcasing that this
significant amount of women entrepreneurs in that. But this one, it
almost is, you know, and all you said
you would see women. In almost every dice you’d
see women leading the charge. Around yourself,
almost every booth you see, you’d see women
entrepreneur [INAUDIBLE].. I think that’s a great change,
but it is not an undercurrent anymore, it’s out there. And I feel that if– if it begins there,
a lot of us will start thinking about
that being a priority. If we do it, a lot of our team
members would think about it. And then, hopefully, you know,
like I said in the beginning, the next generation
of us should not need to have this discussion. It should be table
stakes that, you know– you know, regardless
of the gender, opportunities should be equal. MS. BOSE: I just
wanted to add to that, it’s very true when Ritesh
said that consumers see it. Basically, I think
what has happened is that there was the
old boys’ club making all economic business
and governance decisions. And that was for an old boys
club world where old boys club was also making the
buying decisions, right, in– in households. And as there’s more
diversity in the consumers, if decisions are made
by the old boys’ club, that company is going to fail. And, eventually, you
know, that government is going to also have a problem. And the sooner
the old boys’ club realizes that they need
to shake it up a bit to stay relevant and, therefore,
make the economics work, I think that’s when
things start shifting. So I think– I think the whole
gender issue is not just a social issue or a
moral issue anymore, it’s an– it’s a legit economics
issue which is perhaps why men are taking it so seriously. I know I sound a
little, sort of bitter, when I say that,
but it’s definitely a matter of economics and I’m
glad that it’s being taken seriously one way or the other. But it’s definitely a
matter of economics now. MR. AGARWAL: I’d like to
add to that, you know. For India’s GDP growth,
it is absolutely necessary that India has significant
women population working. I mean, look at any economy
that grows at a 10% YOY. India has just 15% of
participation from women. If you don’t have one or two
women participation like, you know– you know, we travel
to China very often, and it is just impossible to
see places where women are not leading the charge. One of our shareholders,
China Lodging Group, in the board group, in
the management group, there is 60%
representation of women. So– MS. AGGARWAL: Unfortunately, in
India, we have yet to see that. But we– the change is
evident, and I think hats off to the [INAUDIBLE]. Ashish, would you
like to finish that? ASHISH: Look, it’s a
tough problem to solve, and I’ll tell you
our own internal set metric is that 26%
of BookMyShows work forces [INAUDIBLE],, but only
2% of our leadership team is women. And the– what we
are trying to– we’re a very altruistic company, and
our philosophy and our purpose in life, and I guess
it comes with time, has been to draw from society
and give back and create value. And I’ll give you
a few examples. See, I had run a program called
BookASmile, which, basically, is cheating and skimming
millions and millions of money. It should actually be an opt in. But I made it an opt out,
which is Times New Roman grey, and you miss it. And I’m collecting one
one rupee every time you buy a ticket from
BookMyShow and I’m cheating, but I’m building good karma
for 68% of my customers. So we are supporting a
program from Cuba where these [INAUDIBLE] goods, 300 of them. I’m trading them for the soccer
program for the last three years. Eight of them went for
a UF level 1 training. We also showed that. And these are goals that
have come from this place outside of Ronchi, which is
about 130 kilometers outside of Ronchi. And they are being
trained, they come from very impoverished
background, some of their mothers have been
[INAUDIBLE] and rape victims. And they’re ostracized in
society, and we’ve taken them and there’s a huge confidence
that we’ve seen in these girls. We also support a program for
just BookExpo girls in Karachi and Bombay, and then
we get these girls once a quarter to come and
jam with us in our office. Now, the other thing
that we’ve done, is all the toilets in
BookMyShow are common toilets. There’s no outside toilet,
it’s a common toilet. And the reason we do that
is because, you know, you can have your Cocker
Spaniel come in your bed, but you can’t have
another person who’s socially economically challenged
do not use the same pot. And you have executive
and regular loos in there? I mean, it’s still–
it’s the same shit. If you open the switch
and you identify yours with somebody else, I don’t
understand this logic. And so we have the same. We have a food program
that is run in the company. For women in the Company B
we have a Vishakha committee, which is, A, mandated
and, secondly, we’ve run a very, very strong
Vishakha committee. Over and above that we
have a voluntary fund in the company where
we are training all the outsourced staff
which is our janitors, which come from an outsourced agency. We pay for medical bills
for 1600 employees, even if they’re outsourced,
for themselves, the spouse, two children, and a set of parents. And insurance from last year all
paid, no copay, by the company. And we run a food
program that all of us pay a premium, and everybody
else below 30,000 rupee salary, pays only 20 rupees,
because three years ago when I spoke to some of the
folks and they said, I eat 20 rupees worth of
bananas or rice, or [INAUDIBLE],, just to keep my
energy levels up. And you see a lot of
people just having glucose [INAUDIBLE] biscuits. And a lot of this impact
is to the women which are getting not the best jobs. MS. AGGARWAL: I’m going to– I love all the CSR initiatives
that you’re talking about, but women are not a charitable– ASHISH: No, they’re not. MS. AGGARWAL:
—-[INAUDIBLE] it’s– ASHISH: Don’t get– MS. AGGARWAL: –I think that
has to be a difference there. ASHISH: No, no, no, I know that. I’m saying this is not a
problem that I created, it’s a problem that I
see, and it is a problem that I’m willing
to walk the walk and walk the talk,
that’s all I’m saying. And at the leadership
level itself, they’re inducting two
new board advisors which we have said will
be [INAUDIBLE] for women. So we’re looking at both ends
of the– ends of the spectrum. But if that is a
societal issue, I’m going to solve it what is in
my means and in my control. I’m not doing
charity, but I feel that I’m obligated
to as a company and that is an
organization to do that. And so we’re doing it. MS. AGGARWAL: So
very, very impressive. Everything. Everything that Ashish is doing. But I think where
the problem comes up, and I’d love to get
your point of view on that as well,
Ankiti, is that women, there is a [INAUDIBLE]
of funding problem. There’s absolutely
no doubt about it. When you talk about the
fact that you have two board seats that are
mandated for women but they’re not
filled because you don’t know who to
get on that, that is a top of one the problem. But I think that is
a bit of a– there’s a bit of a viewpoint
difference over here where we see that we are
working for the underprivileged and we’re working for women. There’s a distinct,
distinct difference there. Ankiti? MS. BOSE: Yeah, definitely. I think– I think there’s one– one aspect where
you’re trying to uplift a certain segment of society,
and then when you, you know, when you say I love
everything that you’re doing at BookMyShow. But there’s one– one sort
of [INAUDIBLE] of upliftment, and the other tone of making
you an equal shareholder of [INAUDIBLE] and
then outcome, right? Certainly, India has a top
of the funding problems, [INAUDIBLE],, many, many
Asian societies do. And I think that only
changes over time when there are enough women
decision makers also, right? So if you have an entire panel
full of men making decisions about women’s lives and
women’s health and women’s reservations, that is
suddenly a problem. But– but, definitely,
that can change only when there are also
women on the other side. But the solution
is never in trying to treat it like a charitable
cause, of course, while doing charity at the same time. It isn’t genuinely trying to
build, invest in mentoring, coaching. I mean, I would love for
you guys as male leaders to be allies to female– female potential leaders, right? Like, absolutely, I
think that’s important. MS. AGGARWAL: I think
that that is absolutely– MS. BOSE: Yeah, right. One of the most important
things in my life has been that, that
having male allies. MS. AGGARWAL: When we talk about
top of the funding problem, you know, it– and I should rephrase that, too. And I want as many women as
we can on our team as well. And it’s a struggle,
because the fact is that as women that are
not enough mentors around. And this has been a
phenomenal platform because we’ve seen
women moderate most of the discussions around. In spite of that, there
has been a couple of panels where they’ve been– we’re
talking about investing in women owned enterprises,
and there’s one woman and there’s mostly men. I must have pitched to about
1,500 investors across, and I pitched about two women. Just not their. So I think it’s all our
responsibility sponsoring not just have people
sitting on the panel, but pretty much
everyone over here to make sure that we either get
a chance of equal participation or we mentor the new– MS. BOSE: Exactly. Like as a woman
entrepreneur, I think for me, the most useful thing
is that, because we have a role model gap, it’s useful to
have male role models, also, who are willing to mentor
you and be your Alli, right? That’s such an incredibly
important because there are just like– there are five
women entrepreneurs in Asia anyway, maybe ten. So we’re all already
mentoring each other. MS. AGGARWAL: A
quick time check. This has been a
great discussion. We’re going to open it up
for audience questions. Just put your hand up and
we have a few mics around. And just point
out which panelist you’d like to ask
the question to and we’ll be happy to answer. If it’s a generic
question, [INAUDIBLE].. [SIDE CONVERSATION] AUDIENCE: –discussions
have been very interesting. So I wanted to understand. We all talk about scaling up,
and maybe every entrepreneur here has a different definition
of what’s scaling up, but could you, in
your own words, like, clearly break down
what is scaling up? And another factor
that I’ve picked up, you’ve used the Indian
market as an example a lot. I think you forgot
about the rest of us. But, anyway, we sort of share
the same challenges in Africa. So what I have picked
from most of the sessions, and I especially
want to pick out Mr. Fernando, the
one of Del Monte, he really touched
me because he talked about when you build your
business that you also think about sharing your
profits with the less, like you’re talking about
women or your workers. So it sort of made
me thinking, maybe when we talk about
scaling up, we are only thinking of
the financial aspect. But could scaling up also deal
with like bettering the team around you, bettering
the systems? Like can we define
what scaling up? Because scaling up is like
always about the profits. But if we want to be good
to the human race, what is truly scaling up? ASHISH: So I can sort
of try and answer that. That’s what I was trying
to sort of allude to. That the purpose and
the goal of BookMyShow has been very different over
the last three or four years. By the way, BookASmile,
which is our charity is an all woman team
led by [INAUDIBLE] and led by [INAUDIBLE],, so the
whole orientation towards women comes from that theme
and not from me. Also, what– what I said is that
we’re training 11 of our office boys in the company to night–
night college right now, and the education for
any work in the company below a certain
salary is free of cost funded by a voluntary
fund that we’ve created in the company,
which is presalary before it comes to you. So with what we’re
doing with BookASmile, the altruism of
the company, what we are trying to
do with consumers and drawing them
in the work that we do, I think there is a lot
that we’re anyway doing, even though we are not
obligated under the government CSR because you have to get
it out of your profits, etc. We’re just doing it
out of our free will. So, you’re right,
it’s not a metric that we only look at profits
at least for ourselves, but we are seeing
if we can better lives through insurance, through
medically, and through a food program in the company,
through education, and through BookASmile by
getting out into the community and seeing if that
makes an impact. It’s– it’s a very, very
important and dear subject to us. It’s– BookASmile is not an
NGO, but a part of the company. We’ve not farmed
it out as a trust, but we actually have
it inside the company and it has metrics which are sat
on every annual operating plan every month. So, I mean, you’re right,
profits without a conscience mean nothing to us. MS. AGGARWAL: I’d
like to add to that. So most of us sitting
here are– are trying to change to be the
consumer behaves, right? But beyond that, there
is a social element to all the businesses over here. I’ll talk a little bit about
what we do at ShopClues. We work with about 600,000
small and medium merchants. One-third of them are women
who work from their homes. Who have the ability to create a
livelihood for themselves which they would have possibly not had
if E-Commerce had not come down knocking down their doors. So why didn’t we look
at P&L’s are important, financial metrics are important,
but the kind of impact that we are having not
just on our consumers but on our merchants as well. The kind of employer– the kind of employment
we are generating. So each one of our
merchant [INAUDIBLE] are hiding about three people. The kind of employment
that we are generating, these are all metrics
of social impact, just very critical
for us as well to be able to
measure our success. MR. AGARWAL: I’d like to add
to that just taking a minute. We’ve got 10 more
minutes so hopefully I’ll finish it up before a minute. It is up– you know, clearly,
for our kind of companies and next generation
companies, social impact is very, very dear. As a principle, our company
does not talk about any of the, you know, causes
that we work towards, because we believe that it
becomes a little bit of a test something right,
but outside of that, you know, outside of helping
the kids at [INAUDIBLE],, outside of enabling
education, we believe that companies have a great
role to play in country building as well. So I had the opportunity, you
know, today to look at it. As a company, we have been
able to in 3 and 1/2 years bring jobs to close
to 100,000 people. These are full time jobs. ,
People all the way from minimum wage to data scientists
from across the world. The ability to make sure. So I had the opportunity to
have dinner with Prime Minister film for the last time
doing Changemakers and he mentioned something
very interesting. He said, how many employees
work in the company? I said, you are indirectly
within the company there’s 6,000 people, and then
outside the company we enable contractual
employment for others. He asked, can this
6,000 people give me two ideas that they
take responsibility of and for the next
five years, they will work on making
the new India. Because it’s not my job
to make the new India, I’m just an enabler. But can each one of
them produce two ideas? So we run a campaign inside
the company where everyone put two ideas up,
and every six months and we had a big town
hall, five of them come up and shared
what they have done for nation building
outside of the usual businesses that we operate. My personal mission has been
that 10% of India’s population should see beautiful living
spaces for the first time in their life, and then think,
why is my house not like this? And, hopefully,
increase their quality of living while continuing
to do what you’re doing. MS. AGGARWAL: Thank you. Let’s take a question. AUDIENCE: Hi. I’m Lakshmi from [INAUDIBLE]. My question to all of you is
really about retaining women. And I’ll tell you, I’m
much older than all of you so I can say this
with authority, that a lot of the women’s
problems are in their heads, also. I think they take
it up on themselves with the primary caregiver. In all my conferences
I’ve run, it– it’s for sure it’s the women
who drop out as speakers. It’s the most
frustrating thing for me, because they take on too much. What are you doing
in your own companies to train women to be
unapologetic about asking for what they want? I think they talk
themselves down too much, they take the back seat
very, very quickly. And there’s all kinds
of statistics about it. I would love to know what you
each are doing to retain women, especially after
marriage, especially after having children? MS. BOSE: Thanks, Lakshmi,
that’s a great question. And it’s true. First of all, I’d
like to address why, and we don’t have a lot
of time, so quickly like to address why I think
that happens, right? And as a young
woman entrepreneur who’s worked in tech
and investing before, I know exactly what
you’re talking about. Less than 10% of every industry
I’ve ever worked in with women. But the problem is actually also
a lot of social conditioning that has happened since, you
know, we were kids, right? So that’s what we’ve seen
in school, college, that’s what we’ve seen in families. We expect that of ourselves. We don’t necessarily always
give each other the networking platform that we should be like,
you know, like the Bros do, or the Bros Club do. So one of the things that
I found very effective, and I actively do, is to mentor
women differently from the way that I mentor men or
coach men in my company, at least, at Zilingo. Because it is required,
like you said, you have to make them
unlearn the dogmas of social conditioning that
they already have in their mind, and actively solve for it. Sometimes, you know,
there is actually evidence that says
that if you give men and women the
same test on how good they think they are
on certain topics, women will rate themselves
six when they’re an eight, and men will rate themselves
nine when they’re an eight. So there is a lot of
psychology at play that you have to
actively solve for. It’s easier for us
to do, you know, since we are a hundred
people company. We’re– we’re a small team. We’re 50% female, our leadership
is 10%, LGBTQ 50% female. My board is 50% female. So here there’s enough
diversity at the leadership and the management level to
actually make this very easy in the DNA of the company. It’s a little tough for
when the companies are a little less
international, because you have to then seriously
think about how to solve it. But I think you have to actively
make an effort from right at the beginning of when
the woman starts a career. It’s easier like what they
said, like our generation is obviously a lot more open
minded about these things, but we still have to
invest a lot in making them unlearn the social stuff and– [INAUDIBLE],, I’ll take
a quick 30 seconds because we are
running out of time. When we started the company,
for every male we employed, we hired, you know, we would
try to hire a woman as well. And as we scaled up, that went
out of the window completely. Not for lack of trying, because
I can tell you out of the– and we’ve been
out in the boonies in Gurgaon where
most of the women would come in with their
parents for an interview. Because they wanted to
be sure that they’re working at a safe place. And in many ways I felt like
I was the token woman there. They’re like– [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Sorry that, you know,
there’s another woman there so you can go and work
there, that’s safe. So in many ways I think
the most important part and I’ll tell you what
has worked for me, it’s the right mentors. And it’s the right mentors,
not just the women, but also the men I work with. So it is very
important for the men to mentor the women
the right way as well. MS. BOSE: Completely agree. MR. AGARWAL: I think– MS. AGGARWAL: The mentor has
to change with the men now. I have sort of a
tactical situation, or something that I have
seen work for our company. I sort of find it
very similar– like I find it very simple from
a perspective of how you look at your team members. So even a male team
member would not be very excited to continue
the challenges in life if he does not feel that
the opportunities are endless outside of this. If he sees that if I do this,
life’s going to be sunny, it’s going to be great. So I feel that two things. First, the problem
is really social, you know, how many
times in a supermarket do you see a pregnant
woman and feel OK about it. Like I’ve seen from like,
you know, someone I know, family starting
to stare at them, saying, why are you at,
you know, the supermarket. It’s OK at the fifth month
to be at the supermarket, it’s no problem with that. So I think, first, being able
to tell people that, you know, you can really become very
successful if you do work. That is when people
would start challenging a lot of the social
norms and saying that it doesn’t matter
because the opportunities are so amazing. I know a friend of mine
who has an exceptional job, does really well at the place
she is at, and finds that as a great opportunity
and feels next five years are going to be great. I can tell you, she gets
married, she gets kids, she’s not going to leave
her job because she feels that the opportunities
are so exciting outside of this. MS. AGGARWAL: We have time
for about one more question. AUDIENCE: Hi, I am [INAUDIBLE]. That’s you. MS. AGGARWAL: Oh, somebody
already has the mic. AUDIENCE: So
waiting for my turn? MS. AGGARWAL: So
we’ll take two more. We’ll take yours as well. AUDIENCE: I’m sorry for this. MS. AGGARWAL: Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Just waiting
for my turn to come. It was a really nice
discussion which you had. Let me come up with
a quick question because I was just
waiting to hear something about E-Commerce. So I wanted to know
something which– the one thing which
you feel that– which we should consider. And to build up the trust in
E-Commerce business in India. According to you, what
will be the one thing? Because I am– we are coming
up with a new tech company, so I wanted to know something,
the parameter of which we should consider in
building up the trust. Thank you. MR. AGARWAL: You know– OK. So from my perspective,
it’s fairly clear. To create trust, you need to
create a much better product and much lesser price. So the better
product should make people feel I’m not going back
to what I used to do earlier, which is then you’re
taken over and you feel like I’m never going back
to the previous kind of taxis. And it has to be cheaper
for people to say, it’s too low cost for me
to try for the first time. So I think these are two things,
better and cheaper, should– MS. BOSE: In India, those
celebrities build trust, too, so if you can hire [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: I’m just
curious to know that when will be
the possibility of these online companies
have accepting the crypto currency like bitcoins
as a mode of payment? MS. BOSE: Already. AUDIENCE: Like all of
the– all are accepting? MR. AGARWAL: So, you
know, we’ve been– we’ve been discussing about it. I think the only
problem is nobody wants to spend bitcoins anymore,
because the value is growing so fast. People are saying let me just
buy and keep it with myself. So when– once people
start spending, then maybe we’ll start
working on accepting them. ASHISH: You want to
go ahead and ask? You’ve been asking– MS. AGGARWAL: That’s all right. AUDIENCE: Hello. MS. AGGARWAL:
Super, super quick. AUDIENCE: Sorry. I’m just curious
about E-Commerce. I come from the Pacific Islands
and there’s no E-Commerce at all, so you guys
are far, far advanced in your region of the world. I just want to know
quickly did you build your own
platforms of E-Commerce or did you use
existing technology? And how do you do it? MS. BOSE: Did it on our own. MS. AGGARWAL: For us, well, we
used an existing technology, but we built pretty much
everything else that modified it for our audience. MR. AGARWAL: We started as a
brick and mortar hotel company, then we had no platform
to build a static site, but over time, we built
everything in house. ASHISH: We built everything,
we design everything. At concerts, we even
make our own food. So we don’t outsource anything. It’s all inhouse. AUDIENCE: I have a
specific question. MS. AGGARWAL: Last question. AUDIENCE: Last one. So what do you see the
role of emerging technology in E-Commerce? For example, can
we use your rule for emerging technologies
like virtual reality in E-Commerce as enablers
and gainers of trust so, for example, in
track two trailers, it’s sort of the normal
trailers of my show. Or in track two, virtual
reality [INAUDIBLE] which are immersive and
interactive rather than just photographs? Do you see a role for such
technologies going forward in E-Commerce? ASHISH: See I’ll make it real. AI, DL, ML, blockchain,
sounds all sexy. I’ll give you real examples. We’ve launched a jukebox
product for radio. If you’re listening to Congo
and you increase the volume, I get data points to know
that you will like Congo and similar music like that. If I’d known there were
10,000 Kings of Leon’s fans and 20,000 people listening to
Dave Matthews Band in Delhi, then I can get
that concert here. So it’s very, very simple. You can call it DL, you can
call it ML, you can call it AI, you can call it whatever. When you finish a movie
and you watched it, I send you a push notification. When you rate the movie, I
know exactly how many people have given a [INAUDIBLE]
rating to the people that have actually watched the movie,
and a low rating to the critics who are actually
voting for that movie. I go back to distributors and
cinemas after the first weekend and tell them
[INAUDIBLE] actually is going to lift over
the next two weeks because we are seeing a
better run of consumer saying I want to see. So you can call it AI, MA,
DL, blockchain, whatever that you want to call it, but
this is just common sense. We’re using data
to enable business and to make a difference to
consumer’s lives, I mean. And– and, of course,
we’re using– of course, we have data scientists,
of course, we have a team in Israel
that’s sitting. Of course, we have
analytics teams. But, you know, at
the end of the day, how are you going to use that? Data is most important. So it starts with how are
you going to use the data, how are you going to
make a difference? Use your common sense and then
technology will keep changing and the terminology
will keep changing. MS. AGGARWAL: With that,
we’ve ended, but that’s true–

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