Podcast with Vasant Dhar

Here. “He was an early dotcom millionaire — and he repeated his success. He wants to reinvent email, and has radical insights on politics. Rajesh Jain joins Vasant Dhar in episode 70 of Brave New World to share his insights on what he has learnt from success — and failure.”

Addendum (from Vasant’s newsletter):

My recent podcast guest on Brave New World was with Rajesh Jain, one of India’s original Internet entrepreneurs. Rajesh made out like a bandit in the 90s after selling his Internet platform company for over a hundred million bucks, and started thinking bigger. He used his platform to help India’s current prime minister, Narendra Modi, in his successful election campaign in 2014. Since then, he’s tried to use his digital outreach capability in creative ways, like trying to improve India’s democratic process by helping promote dialog and surfacing candidates who mightn’t otherwise become visible. That hasn’t quite worked out as intended, but perhaps it’s a question of timing and perseverance, and not entirely a quixotic endeavor. He’s also exploring the use of his digital targeting platform to get  data-based snapshots of things like public mood on important issues.  Andrew Yang drew attention to the need for such types of indicators in my conversation with him last year.

What I find interesting about people who’ve enjoyed huge success is the many failures they’ve endured and learned from along the way. It helps to have a Pepe La Pew attitude: if you fail, try again, and again, and again. But unlike Pepe, learn.

Interview with Ashutosh Garg (The Brand Called You)

The conversation.

00:35 – About Rajesh Jain
– Tell me about your journey in brief.
– What is Martech? Why is it important for businesses today?
03:24 – Why do you advocate a shift from Ad Tech to Martech?
04:50 – Why are digital and e-com businesses not widely profitable? How can they become profitable?
– What is Profipoly? What does it take to build it?
08:57 – What are some common mistakes that a lot of businesses make when implementing Martech?
– How has the integration of AI and machine learning started to reshape Martech?
14:35 – How has Martech been influenced by changes in consumer behaviour?
17:11 – Tell me about your book. Who is the intended audience?
– What are some basic mistakes a lot of entrepreneurs make? How is the proficorn entrepreneur different?


Interview with The Signal

I spoke to Dinesh Narayanan, co-founder and editor of The Signal. An excerpt:

Dinesh: Rajesh, what made you write Startup To Proficorn?

Rajesh: So, Dinesh, conventional wisdom is that the only way to really build a business is to go out and raise venture capital. Venture capital, angel, money, whatever it is. The reality today is that 99.9% of businesses are self-funded. You know, you look at the kirana store, you look at very small startups, they’re not raising capital.

The challenge for a lot of these bootstrapped startups, which are private, is essentially: how do they scale? And that’s the problem I try to address in the book, how can you build what I call a proficorn. So it’s private, it is bootstrapped, it is profitable, and most importantly, it’s highly valuable. And I define “highly valuable” as a valuation in excess of $100 million, because if you look at a unicorn, which is typically $1 billion, founders end up owning 10% of the company.

And if you do that with a proficon, which is valued at $100 million, it’s pretty much the same outcome for the founder. That’s the core message, that you can actually have an alternate approach to building the business where the founder is in greater control, there’s a lot of freedom. And you can build valuable large businesses. I’ve done it twice.


The full interview is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts.

Interview with RepublicWorld

Excerpts from an interview with Sharmila Bhowmick on entrepreneurship and my book:

Keep your skin in the game

Jain thinks that the cycle of continuous rounds of funding, scale and growing too large too soon, ultimately leads to a dilution of ownership. “So many founders ultimately end up working for their investors – exactly the situation they wanted to escape when they quit their jobs to turn toward entrepreneurship. With subsequent rounds of funding, the stake of the founder in the company goes reducing. Sooner or later, they lose touch with the customer and the company loses steam and the founder starts looking for exits. This is not how one builds a sustainable business. If growth is funded from profits, that is how a company continues to grow. It is important that the founder continues to have skin in the game. So many founders today just have 10-20 per cent stake in their startups after rounds of fund-raising, they practically have no control over their own companies as investors call the shots.

Fall in love with the problem 

“A business is ultimately about creating solutions. Entrepreneurs should fall in love with the problem. Businesses must understand that they have to identify a problem and then solve it for the customers. Businesses take five or even 10 years to grow, but they should have a profit engine within five years of founding,” says Jain. Jain says in the book that he has learnt early on the need to turn the business profitable.


Founderpath AMA with SaaS founders

What advice do you have for first time founders on building a profitable SaaS?

One thing which I did in the early days of India World, which I think would be very helpful for you also, is that I ensured that I would personally handle all of the feedback that came in.

As people start using your product, I think it will be very important for you to see what the feedback is, maybe even talk to early customers, see what pain points they have, because people have the best suggestions.

Whatever we make, once they start using it, I think it makes a huge difference in just talking to them, because they will use it in ways, probably which you have not intended.

Try and do that in the first maybe at least two, three months. Rather than delegating it to customer success or customer support, make sure you’re on top of the feedback.

The best would be having conversations with some of the early users. think you’ll get first-hand feedback, which cannot ever be documented.

They give you great inputs on what’s working, what’s not working, what you can do better.

“Startup to Proficorn” Book Feedback – 2

Here is Part 1 of the feedback my book has been receiving. The book has a 4.8 star rating (on a scale of 5) from 35 global ratings.


Anup Das

“Startup to Proficorn: A Private, Bootstrapped, Profitable, and Highly Valuable Venture” by Rajesh Jain is a captivating journey into the world of entrepreneurship, offering a treasure trove of knowledge for both seasoned business owners and budding entrepreneurs. With a storytelling prowess that keeps readers engrossed, author shares the invaluable components of success derived from his own remarkable experiences.

The book stands out for its practical approach, providing a step-by-step roadmap to convert dreams into viable ideas, build a resilient team, attract paying customers, and manage finances effectively, all without the reliance on external funding. Author’s candid accounts of failures and triumphs serve as powerful lessons, helping readers overcome challenges they may face in their own entrepreneurial pursuits.

What makes this book truly exceptional is its holistic perspective. In addition to providing insights into building profitable ventures, Jain emphasizes the significance of sustainable habits and creating a fulfilling life as an entrepreneur.

Author’s writing is accessible, making complex concepts easily understandable. The book’s seamless readability and comprehension make it a must-read for anyone seeking entrepreneurial success.

In conclusion, “Startup to Proficorn” is a transformative guide that not only leads entrepreneurs towards prosperity but also inspires personal growth and excellence. Rajesh Jain’s invaluable wisdom and practical advice are indispensable tools for carving a path to success and fulfillment, making this book a true gem in the realm of entrepreneurship literature.

Amar Naik

Drawing from his own experience as a serial tech entrepreneur, Rajesh Jain book “Startup to Proficorn”is an insightful book that acts as great guide for launching and scaling successful startups without the need for external funding

The author’s personal experiences make this book an interesting read. These learnings provide valuable guidance for overcoming the challenges that entrepreneurs will likely face in their journey. Some of these practical tips are better learnt from this book rather than spending time on self learning or trying on your own thus saving valuable time/resources for any entrepreneurs.

The book’s individual chapters address various aspects of the entrepreneurial journey, enabling easy navigation and providing a useful reference for readers. Author also emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach, offering readers both the tools for business success and insights into personal growth and well-being which is a more sustainable way of surviving the ups and downs in the longer run.

Moumita Deb

The book has insights into the right way in which one’s business can start the journey becoming a Proficorn. It has definitions and explanations about the business growth strategy, how the author has implemented all of these strategies in his business and made huge profits.
This is a quick read to gain knowledge about startup business or how to become a profitable company.


This book is a complete toolkit for aspiring entrepreneurs and young and new-age startups. One of the most striking features of this book, which I admire the most, is that it doesn’t only guide and deliver information to aspiring entrepreneurs; instead, it also serves as a review opportunity for well-established businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs.

Although there are many books piled up when it comes to the topic of entrepreneurship and new-age startups being established, However, this book is quite unique in terms of what it delivers to the readers.

The author has successfully managed to deliver all the important concepts of entrepreneurship while sticking to the basics of business and delivering value to society.

He has emphasised a lot over the importance of managing finances as well as the cultural outlook of a startup or business in the modern entrepreneurial world.

Monidapa Dutta

What sets this book apart is the author’s ability to weave personal stories from his own life, which are filled with both failures and successes. Through these anecdotes, Jain provides relatable and practical guidance for overcoming the challenges that entrepreneurs are bound to face along their journey, regardless of their current stage. By sharing his experiences and lessons learned over three decades, Jain equips readers with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the path to startup success.

Jain’s expertise shines through as he unveils startup success secrets and highlights potential pitfalls to watch out for when managing one’s own venture. His insights go beyond the typical startup advice, as he also emphasizes the importance of cultivating sustainable habits and creating a better life as a full-fledged entrepreneur. This holistic approach demonstrates Jain’s deep understanding of the entrepreneurial journey and his desire to guide readers toward both professional and personal fulfillment.

One of the most refreshing aspects of “Startup to Proficorn” is its focus on bootstrapping and profitability. Jain challenges the notion that external funding and investor involvement are the only paths to success, providing a refreshing alternative perspective. By sharing his own experiences and strategies, Jain empowers readers to convert their dreams into viable ideas, build effective teams, attract paying customers, and manage cashflows with confidence.

In summary, “Startup to Proficorn” is a must-read for anyone seeking to launch or scale their own startup. Rajesh Jain’s wealth of experience, coupled with his engaging storytelling style, makes this book an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey. Through this comprehensive guide, readers will gain practical insights, actionable advice, and inspiration to navigate the challenges and achieve success on their own terms.

Sagar Naskar

The book offers a step-by-step guide for developing aspirations into workable ideas, putting together a solid team, attracting paying clients, and efficiently handling cash flows. Jain frankly recounts the lessons he learnt along the road through personal accounts of his failures and accomplishments, offering essential advice to overcome the difficulties faced while embarking on an entrepreneurial path.

Jain’s ability to condense his three decades of expertise into helpful guidance is one of the book’s highlights. He provides readers with startup success tips and warns them about typical traps to avoid when operating their own businesses. The book is a fun and interesting read because of its practical approach and realistic experiences.

Jain stresses the value of sustainable habits and building a better life as a full-fledged entrepreneur in addition to the business components. “Startup to Proficorn” stands out for its wholistic approach, which provides readers with both the business success tools and insights into personal growth and joy.

Because of the writing’s clarity, conciseness, and accessibility, it is appropriate for both inexperienced and seasoned business owners. Each chapter of the book covers a different component of the entrepreneurial path, which makes it simple to navigate and use as a reference.


Radhakrishnan K

Unmesh Patil

1. How to Build a Proficorn?
2. Is It a Binary Choice Between Profit or Growth?
3. What Do You Do with Profits? Once you’ve achieved profitability,
what’s next?
Are a some of the issues that entrepreneurs always had…
The book “Startup to Proficorn,” authored by our very own Netcore Cloud founder Rajesh Jain , replies and shares three decades of business expertise, and I’m pleased to tell you about it!
The book reveals the crucial principles discovered while developing a “proficorn”—a business that successfully balances profitability and expansion.

Grab a copy of “Startup to Proficorn” right away, and start your transformational reading journey. This book is a vital tool that will inspire, educate, and equip you to grow your startup to new heights whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or an experienced business leader.

Amit Bhateja

Startup to Proficorn is #mustread book for anyone who has a dream, courage and passion to start a business.

In this book there are 10 Golden questions for entrepreneurs :-

1. Figure out how much cash you really have?
2. Figure out how much time you really have?
3. Pick a domain and go deep 🌈
4. Surround yourself with experienced and positive people 🫂
5. Find Angel investors only if required 🕵️
6. Figure out who you want to look like in five years 📈💹🌱🪴
7. Get Customers as customers are the oxygen for business 🧬
8. Learn everything you can about what you are about to do!
9. Figure out the fallback plan and be ready for failure 💔
10. Figure out what to do if you fail ( Face your fears before you start) 🏔️🌍

Starting as an entrepreneur is not a easy decision.


Mountains beyond Mountains 🏔️
Mountain requires courage, determination and stamina and of course some #luck!
Understand today’s challenges and prepare for tomorrow uncertainties.
The more you chase money, the further it runs away from you.

Keep going🏃🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️
Go S-L-O-W-L-Y 🐢🐢
Work Hard 🏋️🏋️
Follow your Passion🚢🛳️
Ego is the closest enemy. Keep it aside. 🍳
Be Positive!
Be strong!
Respect your Time and others Time too!
Keep moving and be ready for daily shots 🎥🎦🎬🎬
There is always a tomorrow 🔦

P.S – Keep meeting new people as we see the world through their eyes! 🌐🌏🌎🌍🗺️
Your promises don’t make you a better person, your commitment does 🌈



Excellent for young and aspiring entrepreneurs


Your book, like these other two books, was contextually very relevant for me as I begin my journey as an Entrepreneur. Thank you for sharing your experiences and deep insights in great detail.


I had expected it to be a book on entrepreneurship and it really took me by surprise as for me it came across more as a book on life