HomeEntrepreneurAnkur Warikoo: A Trailblazer in Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Ankur Warikoo: A Trailblazer in Leadership and Entrepreneurship

“There will be struggle in trying to live with the world, by its rules. And there will be struggle in trying to build your own world and your own rules. You get to choose your struggle.”

In the realm of human existence, it is an indisputable fact that no individual can traverse the path of life unscathed, free from the burdens of personal dilemmas and professional tribulations. However, those who persist in wearing a resolute smile upon their countenance, despite the arduous battles they face, can rightfully be deemed champions. 

Recognizing the arduous nature of this endeavor, Ankur Warikoo, a 42-year-old luminary, asserts that it is far simpler to bemoan the absence of certain possessions than to express gratitude for the abundance already attained. 

Renowned as a self-help guru, Warikoo boasts an Instagram following exceeding two million. His ability to delve into the depths of human struggles while maintaining a lighthearted tone has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a beacon of inspiration. Here’s what Warikoo has to say about struggles.

Warikoo has even talked at length about his failures on Twitter, there is even a dedicated thread on it. 

In the thread, he opened up about the formidable hurdles he encountered throughout his educational and corporate pursuits, shedding light on the stark reality of setbacks in life.

From grappling with the disappointment of failing entrance exams for esteemed institutions like IITs and St. Stephen’s to enduring rejections in the corporate world, Warikoo’s experiences serve as a testament to the intrinsic nature of setbacks along life’s path.

Recounting his personal journey, Warikoo shares a poignant memory of his father’s tears when he failed to secure a spot in any of the IITs during his 12th grade. Undeterred, he made another attempt during his first year of college, where the tears had ceased to flow, even from his own eyes. His pursuit continued with a subsequent effort during his master’s degree, yielding no success apart from an interview invitation from IIT Kanpur, which he left mid-way after struggling to answer a question posed by Dr. HC Verma.

In his quest for further education, Warikoo applied to seven US universities for his Ph.D., only to face rejection from six institutions within a month. Undeterred, he decided to drop out of the Ph.D. program and return to India. 

He even reflects on his role as a co-founder, acknowledging his failure to utilize technology for scalability, his tendency to tackle problems solely with his own time, his reluctance to admit mistakes, his absence of soliciting feedback, and his failure to recognize his own missteps. Consequently, after a year, he was let go from the startup by his MBA batchmate-turned-business partner—a decision he deems justified.

Achievements so far

In 2006, the Indian School of Business recognized Warikoo’s exceptional leadership abilities, honoring him with the prestigious Young Leader Award. 

In 2014, Fortune Magazine acknowledged Warikoo’s outstanding accomplishments by including him in their esteemed “India’s 40 Under 40” list. 

In 2018, TEDx NIT Srinagar bestowed upon him the esteemed India’s Most Promising Entrepreneur Award, underscoring his innovative and visionary approach to entrepreneurship. 

Additionally, Warikoo’s expertise and thought leadership have been acknowledged by LinkedIn India, as he was named among the Top Voices for three consecutive years: 2018, 2019, and 2020. 

In 2016, during his tenure as CEO of nearbuy.com, Warikoo took a bold step and launched the Warikoo brand. With a focus on storytelling and establishing a brand for future talent, Warikoo embraced public speaking, delivering impactful messages through a video series titled “Warikoo Wednesdays.” The brand’s exponential growth can be attributed to its widespread presence across major social media platforms. Leveraging video content, the brand empowers consumers to make informed decisions based on knowledge, promoting a culture of informed choices rather than ignorance.

Final thoughts:

Through rejections from investors, he learned invaluable lessons in perseverance, relevance, and the need for continuous refinement. Warikoo candidly admits to the gaps in his knowledge during his time at Groupon India and his journey within the company, which later evolved into Nearbuy. His vulnerability and humility shine through as he discloses abandoning his childhood passion for coding and his inability to gift his parents a vacation.

By openly discussing his shortcomings, Warikoo reinforces the notion that failure is an integral part of life’s journey. He emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and learning from mistakes to foster personal growth.



Snigdha Basu
Snigdha Basu
A multifaceted writer, Snigdha Basu is a freelancer and a columnist at Entrepreneurs Today. She also spearheads Chic Life Edition - her own Digital Magazine with sustainable fashion, beauty, and culture at its core. Reach out to Snigdha at [email protected] for inquiries.
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