Shan Kadavil, one-eighth a co-founder and 100% a CEO at FreshToHome, one of the largest online sellers of fish and meat in India, made a rough business plan in 2015.

From roughly $2 million in sales in 2016, he wanted to grow to $200 million by 2022. That’s 100X in 6 years. This year Fresh To Home will do around $130 million. 65X is not bad at all.

As TAMs – total addressable markets – go, you can’t go wrong selling meat and fish in the world’s largest country, where the majority of the population are nonvegetarians. Go one level deeper, and Kadavil says the consumption of fish outstrips that of poultry by nearly a factor of three. And fish offers gross margins of 40-50%, unlike, say, smartphones or consumer products.

Starting with a mission to “Clone Mathew” (Mathew Joseph being one of the FreshToHome co-founders and its current COO) to running an OKR-driven organization modelled around gaming pioneer Zynga (where Kadavil was an early employee and subsequently executive), this conversation covers a lot of bases around the first principles of running a business that isn’t easy.

From obsessing over CURR, NURR and RURR metrics or encouraging employees to look for ways to disrupt their own business, Kadavil offers a lot of first-hand insight from his multiple stints as an entrepreneur.

This is episode 15 of First Principles. If you like our deep interviews with some of India’s best-known founders across a range of domains, please consider rating us on your podcast platform.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Rohin Dharmakumar

Shan, I have in my hand a copy of the business plan that you wrote for FreshToHome—though, I must assume that it wasn’t called FreshToHome back then—dated back to 2016.

And the first plan for 2016 says ‘Clone Mathew’. What does that mean?

Shan Kadavil

So, this was actually at the time when we were called FreshToHome. Mathew, my co-founder  and I, and you know, seven of us—so, eight co-founders started together.

Rohin Dharmakumar

Wow, eight co-founders.

Shan Kadavil

Yeah. We have been working with each other for 20 years across multiple different companies that I’ve started or I’ve been instrumental in starting.

I’m an entrepreneur, so I’ve done gigs in the valley—in San Francisco—as the Enterprise CEO for