varun bhalla

Varun has been passionate about entrepreneurship ever since he joined IIT Bombay in 2005. Apart from his classroom time learning Chemical Engineering, he was deeply involved with the Institute’s Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell) – one of India’s largest student organizations promoting entrepreneurship. He went on to lead the E-Cell team in his final year, and launched a host of new initiatives, including a global conference of E-Cells and a Startup job fair for campus placements.

Realizing that he needed more exposure before venturing out himself, Varun joined Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 2009 as a project manager at their manufacturing facility in North India. Over the next 3 years at P&G, he led complex constructions for launch of new product lines, water/ energy savings, and capacity expansions – a total investment of over $25 Mn. He treated his projects as mini startups, and enjoyed spending time building the capability of his team and business partners.

It was on one of his business trips at P&G to the US when his first bite into a Chipotle burrito convinced the foodie in him for the need of this product in India, and in 2012 he decided to pursue this vision with Picante Mexican Grill. Rapidly growing the organization to 4 restaurants, he led the entire operations, and setup home deliveries and outdoor caterings as parallel revenue streams. He is also a fellow at the Startup Leadership Program (SLP), a global network of startup CEOs and investors.

Towards the end of 2013, Varun moved on from his entrepreneurial stint and decided to join the Khosla Impact team as their first Associate in India. He believes that both disruptive innovation and disruptive business model need to go hand-in-hand to bring about the socioeconomic change we want to see in the developing world.

In his free time, Varun loves to travel and spend time in youth hostels intermingling with folks from all over the world. He enjoys reading fiction and loses respect for everything else with a good book in his hand.