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The Tamil Creator Podcast (EP #64): Rajan Bala - Missing Out On A "Big Exit" As The Co-Founder Of Retail Tech Startup Hiku
"Rajan joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to chat about how Carleton University is underrated when it comes to engineering talent, how the idea for Hiku was formed, missing out on a big exit with Walmart, starting a charity to help transfer knowledge from the Tamil diaspora back to Sri Lanka, financial independence and more."
Ara Ehamparam
Co-founder & Podcast Host ("The Tamil Creator")
Canada
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Rajan joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to chat about how Carleton University is underrated when it comes to engineering talent, how the idea for Hiku was formed, missing out on a big exit with Walmart, starting a charity to help transfer knowledge from the Tamil diaspora back to Sri Lanka, financial independence and more.

"The Tamil Creator" is a podcast started by me (Ara Ehamparam) to celebrate, spotlight and learn about the brilliance among Tamil creators globally.  I want you to feel like you're a fly on the wall eavesdropping on a conversation that is a combination of educational, inspirational and entertaining. 

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Timestamps

00:19 - Ara introduces this week’s guest, Rajan Bala
01:25 - Rajan speaks on how he got into building
03:49 - Being 1 of 5 kids and all of them having stereotypical Sri Lankan careers
04:33 - Is Carleton University underrated when it comes to engineering programs?
07:48 - Working for BlackBerry before coming up with Hiku; the idea, the name, using kickstarter
12:17 - What Rajan envisioned for Hiku’s revenue model; was it a one-time free, ongoing subscription, etc.?
15:30 - Why Hiku didn’t charge end users during the data collection process
17:34 - What was the plan to monetize data?
19:40 - How Hiku built relationships with big retails and/or big consumer brands
24:01 - Rajan’s mindset as Hiku began taking off
31:31 - Why Hiku didn’t go down the path of ‘leasing hardware to consumers’
34:33 - Integrating with Walmart and receiving $2.5M in funding, almost being purchase by Google, and more
44:03 - Rajan has no regrets about not getting a ‘lavish exit’ - what he’s learned
45:55 - What the future holds for Rajan; Amazon being an incredible place to learn
52:42 - Rajan’s interests outside of work; travelling, hiking/walking and simultaneously listening to podcasts
53:55 - Co-founding a charity
58:36 - What he’s insecure about; becoming complacent
1:00:12 - The power of consistency; how it has improved Rajan’s life
1:00:56 - The personal legacy he wants to be remembered for by friends and family
1:01:50 - Rajan’s view of financial independence for others, and his own view of money
1:04:20 - Who he admires from the global Tamil and non-Tamil community
1:06:35 - Creator Confessions
1:11:33 - The Wrap Up

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Ara Ehamparam
Co-founder & Podcast Host ("The Tamil Creator") | TamilCulture.com
Canada
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