"I went from not having written anything to just starting a publication" - This is Shrehith Karkera, the co-founder - and you could say Chief Storyteller - at Finshots.
The Finshots newsletter reaches 400K subscribers daily - a staggering number, considering they write about complex topics on finance and economics. (For comparison, the Business Standard newspaper, which launched in 1975, has a circulation of about 189,000)
Their Android app has 100K plus downloads and a 4.9 rating with more than 11K reviews! (They have a 4.9 rating on the iOS app too)
Their podcast is ranked #11 across all Indian podcasts and is the #2 news app.
And they have achieved pretty much all of this over the last 1 year.
What was even more staggering for me was to find that Shrehith - the accomplished writer who writes most of the Finshots stories - is someone who basically never read or wrote anything when he was young. He essentially started reading and writing seriously only in his early 20s.
In the episode, I speak to Shrehith about his upbringing, what shaped his insatiable curiosity, his eclectic reading choices and his core writing philosophy.
More than anything, I found Shrehith’s story hugely inspiring - for anyone who feels they don’t have it in themselves to become good storytellers, since they never were into reading or writing... You’ll change your mind once you listen to this story.
PS: The conversation is a bit rambling, moving back and forth between topics… Also, in some sections, I have made edits to ensure continuity and clarity.
For more information on Story Rules, you can check out the website or you can connect with me on LinkedIn.
0:43: What makes Shrehith/Finshots special
2:39: The Finshots mission - to simplify financial news
3:18: How the Theory of Constraints led Finshots to the one-story-per-day
5:37: Finshots staggering achievements - 400K subscribers...
7:40: … and some great user reviews too
9:09: Storytelling is the differentiator
9:55: Shrehith’s upbringing with his imaginary friends and surprisingly, his lack of interest in reading
14:42: Choosing Engineering...
17:00: ...and then opting out of placements
18:05: Leading to an ‘extremely productive year’
19:40: Where a chance video makes Shrehith pick up his first non-fiction book
21:55: And he learns the value of discipline
25:50: The story of how he tanks all IIM interviews... except for the one at IIMA…
30:40: Shrehith comes to IIMA and is accosted by some unfriendly subjects
33:15: Two of the co-founders of Finshots meet and bond over their shared discomfort with studies
35:34: I reminisce about my own time at IIMA and empathise with Shrehith!
37:15: Shrehith considers his job options post IIMA
43:15: … and decides to start-up with his batchmates
47:42: Shrehith narrates an inciting incident - the ‘investor’ who ran away after the first meeting
51:22: The period of voracious reading that gave Shrehith his insight: the need to make finance relatable
53:59: Shrehith starts writing
55:50: How Shrehith thinks about the ‘Hook’ for a story (The Mathusian prophecy for Bal Krishna Tyres!)
57:40: How Shrehith started reading about finance and markets
1:05:00: … and the source of his insatiable curiosity
1:06:40: How Shrehith went from not writing at all, to creating a publication
1:10:10: We talk about a&