E17: Sajith Pai - Foremost thought-leader of India's Startup Ecosystem

The Story Rules Podcast

Jun 17 2022 • 2 hrs 3 mins


“Whether It’s a start-up or not, narrative building is important. I think of it in terms of ‘lines, not dots.’ Whenever you see someone do a great presentation, sell a great story, etc., I don’t feel there’s an overnight success; that person has put in a lot of work to shape something (from nothing). Typically, the people who have (good) narrative skills, (are the people who) are using it all the time. They would have had preliminary communication going out; they would have articulated it; some bit of self-selection of the audience would have happened over time.
Success happens when there’s a fit between the audience, the product, and the content.”

Sajith is a VC at Blume Ventures and arguably the most astute observer and thought-leader on India’s vibrant start-up ecosystem.

So I’ve been a fan of Sajith’s writing for several years now. He has the rare gift of being able to discern patterns which are unseen-yet-obvious-in-hindsight. He’s able to then label them making them easier to discuss and analyse.

For instance, he created the Indian consumer stack as 4 parts – India 1 Alpha, India 1, India 2 and India 3. Sajith is a prolific writer on his blog, on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

Over the years as I followed his writings, I almost always found them sharing something new and insightful, in an easy-to-understand yet engaging manner.

In short, to me Sajith was a rare leader – an accomplished business executive turned successful investor, who was also a gifted storyteller.

I’d been wanting to have him on the podcast for a long time… and I must admit – it was not easy getting him. But I persevered and he was patient and receptive to my request.

I’m so glad that I put the fight – this is perhaps the most insightful conversation I’ve been a part of.

There are so many gems across such a wide range of topics. For instance, Sajith shares with us:

- Why you should ditch newspapers and instead focus on curated newsletters and podcasts

- How everyone can sharpen their thinking, learn from others and form better connections by doing one simple thing: writing online

- Why it is critical to choose the right metrics in measuring and rewarding performance and in telling data stories

- How data presentations should be about “lines and not dots”

It's a fascinating conversation  - I hope you learn as much from it as I did.


Links to show notes:
Sajith's website, newsletter, LinkedIn and Twitter
The article on Indo Anglians