Kunal Kapoor on time management, future of Ketto, and building responsible businesses

At TechSparks 2021, Kunal Kapoor shares his method to madness between acting and entrepreneurship. He also delved into the next big step for Ketto and how it expanded 4X during the pandemic.

Award-winning actor, a trained pilot, rally car driver, and entrepreneur, Kunal Kapoor dons several hats all at once. The co-founder of Asia’s largest crowdfunding platform Ketto sat down for a fireside chat at TechSparks 2021, YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference.

Juggling acting and a business, especially when he delivered three releases this year, must have been a mammoth task. He was seen in T-series production Koi Jaane Na followed by Disney-Hotstar show The Empire and Netflix anthology Ankahi Kahaniyan in 2021.

On how he manages his time between cinema and business, he said, “Time management puts a structure in place. It might be tempting to be on Instagram or Twitter all day but assigning designated time to do everything from priority tasks to downtime and social media really helps.”

While Kunal admits that he loves tech, he is also equally old-school when it comes to time management as he prefers writing his schedule in a diary over using online apps to manage his days.

“There was a time when I used to make my schedule on the phone but strangely that doesn’t work for me. I love technology but when it comes to scheduling I still rely on my diary,” he added.

At TechSparks 2021, Kunal Kapoor shares his method to madness between acting and entrepreneurship.

From crowdfunding to healthcare

Kunal’s entrepreneurial venture Ketto — in partnership with Varun Sheth — is touching millions of lives by supporting them with online crowdfunding. The platform has seen over 55 lakh donors and over two lakh fundraisers that have raised over Rs 1,100 crore since its inception in 2012. Now it’s planning to introduce healthcare products and tools.

Kunal said, “We’re working towards going beyond being a crowdfunding platform to a platform that also provides medical information and solutions. We’ve taken our first step towards it with a healthcare community app called Healthnest that we recently launched. The idea is to connect patients and caregivers so they can share their experiences in a safe and secure environment."

"We’re now working to get medical practitioners on board so they can give the right advice to these patients and caregivers. The other thing we’re working on is moving crowdfunding beyond urban centres to Tier II and III cities by tying up with medical institutions and hospitals so we can create awareness in those cities,” he added.

Expansion during the pandemic

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic began last year, crowdfunding platforms have gained more influence and relevance. So, logically, Ketto too scaled up in 2020-2021.

“It happened with a lot of online tech startups because, during the pandemic, people relied on the internet for a lot of things that they would earlier do offline. The one good thing that came out of the pandemic is the realisation that people wanted to come forward to contribute and help in whatever way they can. As a result, Ketto grew 4X during the pandemic. We’ve had to double the size of our team so anybody who is transacting on the platform continues to have the best possible experience,” Kunal explained.

While business expansion is the way ahead, he stressed how important it is for businesses today to be responsible.

“We’ve reached a place where we have realised that earlier, society was run on the principles of capitalism for us to move ahead in life and that has its own repercussions. But I think we need to be socially responsible as well. Growing up in a business family, I don’t remember social responsibility being a significant factor. Business was just about profitability. However, it’s changing now with every new generation,” Kunal added.

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Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta