Rahul Narvekar, Founder and CEO of NDTV Ethic Retail Limited’s Indian Roots has had an extraordinary life, starting his life from a small room in a chawl in Mumbai. His father raised him by working in a factory and supported Rahul's dreams. His mother sewing clothes for a living. He completed his studies from Sardarni Pratap Singh Janta Vidyalaya. Rahul despite being in such hardships, he was a topper, was into theatre, athletics, debates and is a voracious reader. To develop his voracious reading, he used to buy Time and Fortune magazines on lowest rates from local cache vendors. It helped him in moving forward and never stopped dreaming.
To fulfill his dreams, he took up small jobs like delivery boy, war boy, taking tuitions, vegetable selling etc. but he never stopped reading and dreaming. He had to leave K.J. Somaiya college, Vidyavihar, Mumbai and subsequently joined K.C. college in the second year but was not allowed to take the exam as he was also working simultaneously to support his college education. He finally completed his graduation via correspondence from Mumbai University. While pursuing his post graduation, he was again thrown out of the college for several reasons, but never stopped dreaming. In his own words,
" However I learnt a lot from Bohra community as they are very hardworking and warm people. My classmates and friends from this community in college bought me food, kept me in their homes and gave me a lot of love and encouraged me to dream big. They were very nice to a poor kid with no money"
During his college days, Rahul set up his first venture which dealt in selling advertisements on cable. Then later on he teamed up with five other people and started Asia's first music channel- Channel Oxygen, in Mumbai in 1999 which eventually sunk. Rahul then participated and won a screenplay competition and then went on to write screenplay for TV serials where dialogues were by Anurag and Abhinav Kashyap.
After so many phases in his life, personally and professionally, Rahul met NDTV who were to keen to start an online clothing portal to sell ethnic and designer wear all over the world. Rahul launched indianroots.com in 2013 for which they raised 5 million USD in the first year.Indian Roots even received the prestigious ‘Emerging Concept of the Year Award’ at the Star Retailer Awards 2014. IndianRoots.com showcases over 100 designers including Sabyasachi, Anita Dongre, Rohit Bal, Neeta Lulla, Pranavi Kapur, and Rajesh Pratap Singh and more than 700 brands on its online marketplace. India and USA are its biggest markets.
As one of the sought after corporate speakers, Rahul has spoken at many national and international events including prestigious institutions Harvard, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta.
When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge.
Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.
The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the
world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in
their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in
New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting
knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the
corporate world, globally.