‘Build teams that work with you, not for you’ – 50 quotes from Indian startup journeys

From talent to teams, witness the memorable journey of Indian entrepreneurship in these quotes, excerpts, and stories!

‘Build teams that work with you, not for you’ – 50 quotes from Indian startup journeys

Wednesday November 13, 2019,

7 min Read

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week (see the previous post here). Share these 50 gems and insights from the week of November 4-10 with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights. See also our compilation of 50 Quotes from Techsparks 2019 here.


Being a first-time entrepreneur is equally exhilarating and terrifying. - Courtney Powell, 500 Startups

Being the CEO of a startup is no easy task. There is no fallback. - Girish Mathrubootham, Freshworks

Talent is rewriting business rules around the world. - Debjani Ghosh, Nasscom

The most fulfilling part of any investment is when it has the potent to make an impact. - Nikhil Vora, Sixth Sense Ventures

What you imagine is even more important than what you see. - Daan Oude Elferink

If there has to be impact in the world, it has to be an ecosystem and community, it can never be achieved alone. - Diane Wauters, AB InBev

Sometimes, it so happens that despite the best of efforts, one might not make it to the top. In such situations, people should not get dejected. - Manish Gurwani, IAS


Investing is mostly making mistakes as well. - Munish Varma, Softbank

After the recent WeWork incident, there is a question mark emerging around the business models of startups and new-age companies. - Arvind Singhal, Technopak

Good valuation is a byproduct of a profitable and successful business model. - Gurbinder Rattha, Workafella

Only 10 percent of the Indian population is consuming music online. But it is one of the hottest sectors for advertisers looking to tap into an engaged and primarily millennial audience. - Prashan Agarwal, Gaana

It is an exciting opportunity to leverage the power of technology to solve some of India’s unique challenges and make the internet an engine of economic growth. - Sanjay Gupta, Google India

In India nothing is taking for granted; we are an operationally tough country. - Rohit Kapoor, OYO Life

The online grocery segment has been one of the fastest-growing ecommerce verticals in India and will continue to flourish in both metro and non-metro cities in the years to come. - Hari Menon, BigBasket

Imports constitute 75 percent of the industry sales of medical devices in the country while local manufacturers mostly produce products in the lower end of the value chain. - Nikhilesh Tiwari, ColMed, India

Startups have potential to turn around the complex problem of unemployment by shaping tomorrow's job opportunities as well as making India's youth ready for the future. - Rahil Rangwala, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation


There is a growing customer demand for intelligent automation technology in India and across the broader regions, as organisations seek to improve productivity and lower operating costs. - Prince Kohli, Automation Anywhere

In the West and in China, even a seven-year old is learning to code. It is now like learning a language and doing math. But in India there has been few avenues for the young to do so. - Sneha Priya, SP Robotic Works

India needs a sports nutrition brand for the Indian athlete. - Vijayaraghavan Venugopal, Aeronutrix Sports Products

Digitisation of classifieds in Tier II and III cities and beyond is a large and lucrative opportunity. Local news and information can be served much faster and in a better way digitally. - Madhukar Sinha, India Quotient

The answer to India’s lack of healthcare infrastructure rests with a standardised distributed model for day care and elective medical procedures. - Ankit Khurana, BeYouPlus

All the healthcare products that are out in the market are catering to the top of the pyramid. - Bhavjot Kaur, Clinikk

Cloud services are like lego pieces. - KC Ayyagari, Google

When you look around your home, some of the most successful products are actually the ones that you forget about. - Simone Rebaudengo, automato.farm

E-commerce companies spend a lot of money to get visitors on their sites, but 98 percent of them leave without buying. - Ajay Kashyap, Boxx.ai

Many edtech companies are selling “nice-to-have” education products such as supplementary content and services than the must-have products like degrees or formal schooling. - Pranav Saxena, LINC Education

The best way to approach fearless learning is getting the child to do something they like, and they always like games. - Joy Deep Nath, StudyPad


The sharing economy is all about being sustainable and bringing down the cost of practical ownership. For e-mobility to catch on, there has to be better infrastructure. - Ashwarya Singh, Drivezy

Just go outside Bengaluru or any major city and you will know how persistent power availability problems are. - Sunder Raju, ACT

Flexibility, durability and sweat-wicking ​are innate to bamboo, making it a natural performance clothing material. - Vijaya Raghavan, Lavos Performance

It is important to think of the smallest things while designing and architecting a system. - Prashant Malik

Being aware of your limitations helps you get perspective in terms of the product you are building. - Abhijit Kane, Postman

You may be a successful software company, but to gain acceptance from the medical community you will need to go through a trial by fire. - Anjana Sasidharan, Sequoia Capital India Advisors

People lose countless hours to mundane activities such as commuting, chores, and staring at their phones. - Vikas Goyal, KukuFM

Emojis play a crucial role in our digital and emotional vocabulary, transcending cultural and country barriers. - Carmen Barlow, Plan International UK


People with social impact expertise don’t always have experience building tech products. - Kate Brandt, Google

In order to avoid large-scale damage to human health and the environment, it is important to clean oil spills before they start spreading. - Dhananjay Sharma, Log 9 Spill Containment

Go out there! Sweep a pavement, plant a tree, feed a stray dog. - Twinkle Khanna

The more diverse a board and management team is, and the better the decisions are. - Padmasree Warrior, Fable

If we can use apps to make all kinds of tasks easier - we can also use technology to make the messy and risky job of fighting patriarchy easier. - Noopur Tiwari, Smashboard

We need girls to have experience in technology and coding because these tools are what our girls will use to change the world. - Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code

Gender-neutral parenting entails teaching children of both genders to respect each other. - Sonica Aron, Marching Sheep

As a country housing half a billion women, we are yet to create one global beauty brand. - Iman Allana, Bollyglow

We need to make sure that students are not passive learners, but active learners. - Bjyu Raveendran


Art enhances human culture and makes us true human beings. We express our feelings, thoughts, life experiences, or ideologies through art forms. - Venugopala HS

Creativity is not only about creating something original from scratch but also about taking something that already exists and creating something new and innovative from it. - Beas Dev Ralhan, Next Education

They say you are never alone when you read a book. - Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Bangalore Literature Festival

Artists can be as powerful as politicians in advocating for and influencing policies by being sensory antennae of society. - Afra Khan

When you have tasted some success, it feeds on itself. - Rajnish Kumar, SBI

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. - Simal Soin, Aayna

It is important to struggle to truly appreciate the end result. - Anand Virmani, Nao Spirits & Beverages

Challenges are inevitable in any business and one must not step back. Instead, face them and grow. - Yatin Jain, Odhni

Build teams that work with you, not for you. - Arpita Ganesh, The Voice Company

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).