Ankur Warikoo is an entrepreneur, angel investor, mentor, and public speaker. He was born on 25th August 1980.
He completed his schooling at Don Bosco School, New Delhi. Then he joined Hindu College (BSc, Physics). After that pursued Ph.D. in Physics from Michigan State University (MS, Astrophysics), which he dropped out from after completing his MS. Post coming back from the US, he pursued his MBA from The Indian School of Business, graduating in 2006.
He was one of those rare kids in school that always knew what I wanted to do in life. He had a 3-step plan.
- Go to the US for his PhD
- Join NASA as a space scientist
- Become the first man on Mars
He came from extremely humble beginnings. We never had enough. Hand to mouth existence. Always out of money. So to even dream to go to the US was fucking crazy, let alone doing it.
His parents, irrespective of our financial situation, always ensured that he and his sister got a good education. Their dreams were pegged on them. They were the ones to change our family’s orbit.
He worked hard towards that and made it to a top US university for a PhD. program in Physics, on a full scholarship (the only way we could have afforded it). His dad had to take a loan of Rs. 55,000 to pay for the one-way ticket to the US.
But then,he realised that something was missing.Not sure what, he began to have these tough conversations with himself. And that is when he realized – he was good with Physics, but he wasn’t happy doing it.
And he decided to come back to India, dropping out of my PhD program. He was 24. No plan of what to do. No savings. No financial backing and nothing waiting for him back in India.
He decided to reset his life at 24 and start all over again. Someone, suggested him for an MBA. And he came across this rather young school called ISB, applied and fortunately got through and that 1 year at ISB changed his life forever.
Joined Kearney as a management consultant, post ISB. Worked there for 3 years until 2009. Alongside Kearney, he started to work with a couple of batch mates from ISB on his first venture – called SecondShaadi.com
In 2009, Ankur Warikoo quit consulting to join the start-up full-time and over the next couple of years he built several other websites across automobiles, education, finance. The big one of that became Gaadi.com, which eventually got sold to goibibo.com in 2010.
After SecondShaadi.com and Gaadi.com, in 2011, he started Groupon’s India business as the founding CEO. Ankur Warikoo led the business for 4 years until 2015. In 2013, Ankur Warikoo was also given the additional responsibility of managing Groupon APAC countries of Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines. Finally, he quit in 2019.
These 9 years taught Ankur Warikoo so much about people, about building businesses, about fundraising, about investing. More than anything else, about his own self. Who he is? What he is good at? What does he suck at?
In 2016, as a way to create an employer brand and attract the best talent, he started an online video series called “Warikoo Wednesdays” on LinkedIn. He spoke about his experiences as a founder, a CEO and a people manager. His learning from that.
Today he loves public speaking, Connecting with people, Story telling , Cracking really bad jokes and Making awareness cool! He often speak at corporate events, education institutions and conferences.
Team Inspiring Life provides you with 10 lessons to learn from the life of Ankur Warikoo.
10 lessons from the life of Ankur Warikoo.
- Make sure all the choices you make in life come from a point of awareness and not ignorance.
- Don’t worry about what the world says about you.
- Do the job that give you happiness.
- Realise your dream.
- Be ready to take risk.
- Learn from your weaknesses and develop your strength.
- Acknowledge failure.
- Do the job passionately.
- Forget the past and forgive the offender.
- Make your life enjoyable.