Five Questions for Manish Chandra

Poshmark founder on what Indians and Americans can learn from one another

Poshmark users take photos of products to sell (Poshmark)

On December 11, Poshmark founder and CEO Manish Chandra will address the Asia Society as part of our Corporate Briefing series. Poshmark is a mobile application that allows users to buy and sell fashion directly from one another. Originally from India, Chandra earned an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and previously founded Kaboodle. Here, we get a sneak peek at some of Chandra's insights.

What lessons from India did you apply to your business ventures in the U.S., and what should American entrepreneurs learn from India?

In India, the diversity within the country can be very challenging for any new product. The same product can be delivered with different features at completely different price points and have massive levels of adoption. American businesses would do well to understand minimum viable products that build on a core platform but can be adapted to serve a diverse global market.

How has the Indian community in the Bay Area shaped your outlook on entrepreneurship?

The Indian community provides a rich set of resources and inspiration to anyone looking to venture out on their own. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE, a business industry group) have been instrumental in helping provide very early support to many companies and linking entrepreneurs to capital and help. TiE often provides the bridge from an idea to getting the venture off the ground.

Do you have any plans to expand Poshmark to Asian markets?

We believe that the core value proposition of Poshmark works equally well in any part of the world. Every woman in the world buys fashion and every woman has a closet. We plan to eventually offer Poshmark in many different geographies including Asia.

Which business leaders in India and the U.S. do you look up to?

India has produced so many iconic and inspirational business leaders, including Narayan Murthy, who changed the landscape of Information Technology, and Ratan Tata, who is positioning India at the forefront of automotive innovation. In the United States, Silicon Valley is home to leaders who have challenged and revolutionized industries like telecommunications with the iPhone and cars with Tesla. Both Steve Jobs and Elon Musk inspire me with their approach of accepting no limitations and changing the status quo completely.

Aside from Poshmark, what apps are you particularly excited about?

I love Uber's one-touch access to cars in any city, the ability of WhatsApp to help people communicate across the world, and the elegant browsing paradigm of FlipBoard.

Join Asia Society on December 11 to hear more from Manish Chandra, who will be in conversation with McKinsey director Kausik Rajgopal. For full details and to purchase tickets, click here.