Uber’s co-founder & CEO Travis Kalanick was undoubtedly the star attraction at the Startup India initiative on Saturday. In his 20-minute speech, the man behind one of the most sought-after startups in the world took the audience at Vigyan Bhawan through his own entrepreneurial journey branding himself the problem-solver-in chief at Uber.
Be a “good” geek, is how the 39-year-old’s nine-point presentation titled ‘From being a geek to an entrepreneur’, started. Kalanick had a picture of him when he was a toddler punching on a computer keyboard.
Known for his go-for-broke attitude, Kalanick said the idea of Uber came to him and his co-founder Garrett Camp when they were unable to hail a cab one night in Paris. “We wanted to get a ride in Paris but couldn’t find a taxi. This led to his realization of a big market opportunity that has not been addressed for a long time,” he said. “New York has had the same number of taxi licences for 60 years. The cab owners lobbied together and created artificial scarcity. Things got so bad that nobody else could get into the business. A driver had to pay almost $150 dollars a day to get a licence and drive a cab,” he said by adding that his idea of Uber, thus, made sense to make things easier for both drivers and consumers.
Kalanick, who is seen a key figure in the global startup community, pointed out that the founders who mark their own territories have the best potential to disrupt.
“Go against the grain, be resilient even if everyone thinks you are crazy. When you see difference between perception and reality, you better be right, otherwise things can backfire,” he said to ecstatic audiences.
The CEO of the San Francisco-based startup highlighted that while technology and products are key to the business, connecting the consumer via storytelling is of paramount importance. “Elevate your storytelling from just a taxi ride to the story of life and its meaning. Learn how to hustle – #AlwaysBeJugaading! There are ways to sell things with honesty, passion, and integrity. While Uber is about transportation you can still inspire people with a good story.”