[Podcast] Entrepreneur Niraj Singh on the hurdles on the way to Spinny’s success

In a conversation with Anand Daniel, Partner at Accel, Niraj Singh, Founder and CEO, Spinny, talks about his journey, how he built one of India’s most recognisable startups and more.

On the very surface, Niraj Singh’s startup story might seem like one you have heard before. The IIT-Delhi graduate is the CEO and Founder of Spinny — the online platform for people to sell and buy second-hand cars.

You know this already.

But behind the scenes, nothing about Niraj’s journey is familiar; his grit story long preceded his entrepreneurial days. 

Studying with his textbooks and a Hindi to English dictionary side by side, attempting JEE exam for the second time in secret to switch from B.Arch to B.Tech, a few entrepreneurial stints even before he hit 30, and the loss of a loved one — Niraj has accumulated significant life experiences at a young age.

In a conversation with Anand Daniel, Partner at Accel, Niraj talks about how he built one of India’s most recognisable startups, sheds light on his journey from a small town, his two trysts with JEE, and how his formative years shaped who he is now.

And, there’s more:

  • His venture into the Indian startup ecosystem in 2007 — the differences in attitude, the infrastructure, and the experience of building something even as the industry was just getting started. 
  • Starting TechMonkey in 2011 — a content platform to serve content in local languages — the learnings, losing funding at an important time because of their plan to pivot, and more. 
  • Coping with loss while trying to helm an organisation where people were depending on him. 
  • Building a supportive core team, and how that helped his journey. 
  • What it means to be receptive to feedback. 
“Speaking to founders is the central tenet of what I do. But it never ceases to surprise me — how I almost always walk away with a new story, a fresh perspective,” Niraj says. 

To know more, listen to the podcast here.


00:00-03:16: Introduction

03:17-5:26: Tough beginnings, and what shaped Niraj

05:33-7:25: Grit to get to IIT-Delhi

12:34-13:42: The support from the Indian startup ecosystem

14:53-17:23: Lost his father, but bounced back in three to four months and started his second company

31:42-33:51: Going with the full-stack model although the new investors pulled the term sheet

35:22-37:37: Restarting with the new business model: What happened after the investors pulled back?

39:43-41:28: How the team stepped up during tough times?

52:46-53:57: Being open to feedback and its importance.

Edited by Suman Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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