EP #64: Rajan Bala – Missing Out On A “Big Exit” As The Co-Founder Of Retail Tech Startup Hiku

Rajan Bala (@im.provising) enjoys being a tech builder – he was a co-founder at retail tech startup Hiku.

Rajan joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to how Carleton University (@carleton_u) is underrated when it comes to engineering talent, how the idea for Hiku was formed along with how they got the idea off the ground, missing out a big exit with Walmart, starting a charity to help transfer knowledge from the Tamil diaspora back to Sri Lanka, financial independence and more.

Follow Rajan:
– LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajanbala/)

*TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



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

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan