Nistha Tripathi, Unstartup

Tell our readers about Who is Nistha Tripathi as a person? What are her likes and dislikes?

Like many engineers in India, I thought studying in the US and getting a job with a big corporation is the way to be successful in life. I gave it an honest shot and became a techie on Wall Street. This is where my definition of success started drifting away from what I had always thought it to be. I did not see myself slogging in a cubicle life for long and headed to the NYU Stern School of Business for an MBA.

I was smitten by the world of startups at this point and there was no looking back. I dropped out when I got a coveted full-time offer from a fast-growing startup in Manhattan. I ultimately returned to India to explore my own startup ideas, writing ideas and travel. All my experiences ultimately led me to write 3 books on Indian startups and be a startup speaker at leading startup events and college startup fests.

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Being a certified with NeuroLeadership, how does this really helped in your endeavor becoming an Author and in startup space  


Many of my books have been based on interviews with startup founders so far. The art of interviewing relies on asking right and timely questions. This is where being a coach helps. The coaches ask a lot of questions and help clients generate their own insights.

Further, practicing as a NeuroLeadership coach has made me more aware of how our brains function. This allows me to have more meaningful and productive conversations which are pivotal to conducting interesting interviews.

We would like to know how Scholar Strategy was born and how this helped students

 Scholar Strategy was born in 2013 when I helped an engineer with his Grad School application to universities in the US. The student got great admits and sent many of his friends to me. I could see that existing guidance about studying abroad was superficial and applicants found value in my advice.

So, I started Scholar Strategy as a consulting company which has, till date, helped 600+ applicants get into top MS and MBA programs in the US including MIT, Harvard, and Stanford. It went on to receive awards in the education content sector by SheThePeople in 2018. After getting certified as a career coach, I have been offering a wider suite of career services via Scholar Strategy.

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Tell us about the, No Shortcuts, Futurepreneurs and key takeaways from that book

No Shortcuts featured 15 successful Indian entrepreneurs and was written because I was tired of turning to Silicon Valley books for advice on building startups in India. For No Shortcuts, I interviewed the founders of some of India’s biggest startups including Freshworks, Zerodha, Faasos, Unacademy, Ather Energy, Slideshare etc. The book was widely appreciated by the readers and went on to receive the 3rd best business book of the year award in 2019.

India is on cusp of bigger startup revolution and this inspired me to write more books. In Jan 2022, I launched my second startup book called Futurepreneurs which shows how successful deeptech and AI startups can be made in India and gives a primer on the complex sounding technologies that power these startups.

The book was praised by the most notable Indians in the Science and Tech sector and was critically acclaimed for shining light on most promising startups for India’s future.

Now we all are excited to know about ‘Unstartup’. What the readers will be looking forward to from this book.

Until now, I had written about the 0 to 1 phase of Indian startups by showing how multiple successful companies were started. With Unstartup, I have taken a deep dive into the scaling up journey of a unicorn startup. Unstartup chronicles the unconventional strategies that transformed a simple YouTube channel into a $3.5B startup, Unacademy.

It is a business book for which I conducted 50+ interviews with Unacademy’s founders, board members, advisors, current and ex-employees. Reams have been written about the glitz surrounding startups, but it is the daily grind, small choices and critical pivots that no one tells you about. Unstartup offers a ringside view of how Unacademy ignored conventional advice and created its own playbook for success.

We have crossed 100 unicorns in India so far. If we want to create 500 more, we need more high quality startup literature. I am writing these books so that many more entrepreneurs find inspiration to start up in India.

This interview was authored by Vishwasjeet Singh, Editor-in-Chief, Estrade Business News. To share more stories kindly email: