Kartik Gurmule

There is no specific age to start entrepreneurship. An 8-year-old kid, as well as an 80-year-old man, can change their life completely being an entrepreneur. There is no age-factor in business.


Kartik Gurmule is an 18-year-old entrepreneur from India who is currently the founder/co-founder of KASA, Tryft, Rydable and Soul Society. KASA specializes in brogue designed footwear. All of the products are designed in the United Kingdom and made in Milan, Italy, by KASA’s partnered manufacturer. Every piece is hand-painted and handmade using Blake-stitching techniques. Each shoe showcases the brand’s signature style and bears witness to the luxury lifestyle.

According to Crunchbase, Kartik and his partner Terry was able to secure over $22.1million funding in his new venture Tryft which aims to increase the re-usability of products, decrease waste, and provide the best deals possible via the introduction of brand new and ecologically friendly alternatives to high-cost brand goods at ‘thrift’ prices from our select suppliers.

Where did the idea for KASA come from?

During a family trip to Italy, I wanted to buy myself some Chelsea ankle boot- the popular shoe of the day. Upon visiting the Italian factory where the boots were made, I noticed that each shoe featured buttons with elastic closures similar to the kind big brands produced in Italy and France. Inspired by the possibility of creating more jobs and improving the lives of residents, I decided to expand my interest in shoes.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am a high-school student as well as an entrepreneur. I wake up at 8 AM, attend school daily until 2 PM, play basketball with friends until 3 PM, study from 3 PM to 8 PM, and start business hours from 8 PM to 2 AM because it is the time in Indian Standard Time when the USA wakes up. I am available online at 8 AM in the morning until 2 AM in the night throughout in case there is an emergency at the business, or any email needs to be sent.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I believe in hard work. Nothing can be achieved with just money; one needs an idea, perspective, and smartness in starting a business. Nothing can be made by just hiring people to do the task. One thing that makes us a CEO is the ability to sit in the chairs of any employee and be able to do their job.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The one trend that excites me is people becoming active in eCommerce more often than before. The percentage of people actively being online is increasing at an excellent rate, which enables many entrepreneurs to grasp the opportunity.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

The one habit of mine that makes me more productive as an entrepreneur is watching documentaries of billionaires and reading books about them. I believe in the power of books and visual information; one can learn some things within an hour that a great personality has learned throughout his life.

What advice would you give your younger self?

The best advice I would give to my younger self would be to stop procrastinating over everything – from studies to interests. As I liked to develop programs as a 10-year-old, I would advise myself always to stay linked to what interested me and stick to it without procrastinating it for anything.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The only thing which I think is true and nobody agree on with me was to start early in life as an entrepreneur. I faced much criticism from friends and adults when I started KASA at 16-years of age. According to people, one should focus on studies and getting a degree in business rather than engage in starting a business and waste you time. I believe failing and trying a hundred times is always better than never trying and never failing.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

As an entrepreneur, I draft what I want to make again and again. I design the website, concept, or a deck starting from scratch again and again because every time I do it still, I find new things that can be added and make the concept more productive.
Also, I prefer to set my schedule and timeline for a project, again and again, to accommodate new changes in it and adjust accordingly.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

The strategy that helped me grow my business was surely networking with the people who have already done similar and are an expert in it. Nothing can be more potent than being mentored by an expert. I got to know about more ways of marketing, strategies, email marketing, and every element of reaching out to people with the product.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Being a teenager and full-time student in high school, I was unable to visit the manufacturers or their fairs in person.
I originally wanted to manufacturer the footwear in the UK or France, but when I contacted them, I had a little trouble because of my age factor. Almost every person I talked to didn’t take me seriously, being a 16-year-old teenager. The age factor caused me difficulties in nearly everything in this business.

I failed as an entrepreneur starting my business KASA, I was unable to do marketing, where I lost thousands of dollars from my savings.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

In the upcoming world, I believe small electric vehicles like skateboards can be the right niche to start a business in. Another being, AI-powered stock trading, I came across many friends of mine who are pro-stock-traders who are thinking about developing an AI-powered stock trading software.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I think the best $100 I spent recently was getting books – “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and “Redefining Global Strategy.” These were my best reads yet, giving more knowledge and ideas than any other book.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Honestly, there are many softwares like Google Trends, HypeAuditor, and Yes.Al that helps me be productive with my time. But I use www.yes.al almost daily to handle all my business social media at once.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I would suggest the readers read the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. The book involves easy language understood by many readers, and it gives a glimpse into a world of business quite precisely.

What is your favorite quote?

“People with purpose and goals have no time for drama. They are too busy adding value
to their own life and the people around them.”

Key Learnings:

  • There is no specific age to start entrepreneurship. An 8-year-old kid, as well as an 80-year-old man, can change their life completely being an entrepreneur. There is no age-factor in business.
  • Social media is more powerful than anytime before. It has the ability to make businesses flourish and reach millions of quality people within hours, if not seconds.
  • People should invest time in themselves rather than in the people around them who hamper their potential and work energy. Critics should be avoided at all costs.