Ishan Khatri is the founder and CEO of, media buying and marketing solution firm ThisVrepublic which helps businesses and individuals to leverage the growing opportunities in the digital and social media segments.
Along with the marketing firm, Ishan owns a successful eCommerce business in India. He developed an interest in marketing while he was at NIT Kurukshetra pursuing his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. He started his marketing career with $100 in 2018. Since then he has managed over $2 mn in ad spend and personally mentored over 50 aspiring entrepreneurs in bootstrapping their ventures and reinvesting their profits.
Where did the idea for ThisVrepublic come from?
I was approached by my cousin in 2018, he was looking to expand his event company through digital marketing. As for most of the business, results matter the most. I decided to opt for media buying so that we could reach relevant audiences more effectively. We experimented with a $100 budget and were able to massively scale the revenues and approached by other businesses from the area.
After that, I started my first eCommerce brand in India along with ThisVRepublic with the vision to help more people with limited infrastructure in scaling their businesses.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts around 5:30 am with meditation and yoga. It helps me to maintain my focus throughout the day.
After my breakfast, I have a look at my portfolio and global news that could affect my investments or businesses I’m working with.
I usually prepare my schedule a night before but as a media buyer surprises are always there and I love them.
On Saturdays, you’ll find me researching the new marketing trends or reading research papers on technology, psychology, or economics.
Sundays are reserved for family, friends, and social activities.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I do extensive research and reverse engineering. If I have an idea, I would first complete my research and try to find a similar kind of product/service that already exists in the market and is successful.
Then I would plan about my offer, marketing angel, and delivering an unmatched customer experience with the future possibilities of expansion.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Businesses around the world are evolving rapidly after this pandemic. I’m excited about the whole shift of the traditional businesses on digital platforms, It has created a lot of opportunities for guys who are just starting out with minimal infrastructure and investment.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I make decisions based on the numbers and facts present. As an entrepreneur, you should focus more on the actual data than your feelings. This single habit would save you a lot of money and time.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t hesitate to ask questions, discussing ideas, and be a good listener.
It took me some time to realize how important these three qualities are to be successful.
And don’t stop just because you fear failure.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe in investing rather than spending on lifestyle. I usually re-invest 80% of my profits back in the business and my portfolio, My friends think that I should spend more on myself but I love to see numbers grow.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Earn and reinvest. Your dream car can wait, the day you’ll realize the power of compounding your perspective about life would change.
Build enough assets before you spend on liabilities.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Maintaining healthy cash flow and cushion, In your initial days you’ll get enough opportunities to scale up your business and you’ll be growing very fast.
Make sure you cut your input costs and spend less on the things which are not necessary for the business.
You should always be ready with the cash flow so you could make the best use of those trends and opportunities,
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Nothing is more dangerous for an entrepreneur than giving up in self-doubt.
In my initial days, I invested all of the money I earned in buying the inventories fora product which was making decent sales, and due to some policies change the custom department didn’t allow the product in the country.
It was more of a mental setback then financial. I decided to sell my whole business but wasn’t able to find a buyer. Next month, I approached a local manufacturer of the same product and started again. It turned out to be our best seller.
Now I’m thankful for not giving up my business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Try digital products.
Focus on building a product/service which could be delivered directly to your customers without a need to hold inventories or requires physical movement of the product.
It would save you a lot of costs and your customers don’t have to wait for it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My best $100 investment is on my latest eCommerce accessories store for a case study. I started on a Free trial plan on one of the platform providers and tied up with a local supplier. This allowed me to invest the whole money in marketing.
With micro-influencers and ads, the store generated over $70,000 in sales with 40% profits and still growing.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Well, eCommerce was proven to be a game-changer for me. I would suggest anyone who is thinking about it to try Shopify. It saves you a lot of time and headache of creating a digital presence for your business and managing orders. I’m a marketer so it’s a big relief for me and allows me to focus on my marketing research and customer satisfaction.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
People usually think reading a lot of books would make you wealthy. I believe in testing and trying. Without failing enough you can’t really learn anything.
But if I have to name one, I would suggest ‘Way of the Wolf’ by Jordan Belfort.
What is your favorite quote?
“Spies are known by their failures” – Vikram Sood.
I strongly believe a marketing campaign is only good if people don’t perceive it as another marketing campaign. It should blend well in your customer’s newsfeed and deliver an experience rather than pushing them to buy something.
• Make fact and data based decisions where money is involved.
• Re-invest your profits before spending on liabilities.
• Maintain a good cash flow.
• Never give up on ideas too early.
• Practice meditation and yoga, It will surely help.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.