Weekend Unwind with: Zoo Media, The Starter Labs co-founder Kartik Khanna

Weekend Unwind with: Zoo Media, The Starter Labs co-founder Kartik Khanna

The latest in the series of the informal chat with industry exec in our weekend-special.


Mumbai: With another weekend upon us, it is time to unwind with the latest Q&A edition of Indiantelevision.com’s Weekend Unwind—a series of informal chats that peek into the minds of business executives through a fun lens in an attempt to get to know the person behind the title a little better.

In this week’s session, we have The Starter Labs co-founder Kartik Khanna.

The quintessential early bird with a stunning knack for multitasking, Khanna began consulting and developing young brands right from his college days.

A Master in Management and Marketing from Mumbai University, Khanna is a fellow founder at ‘How Football Works’, a fantasy draft portal that blends streamlined stats with the most active community to create engagement like never before. Today, the platform enjoys a member pool of 300 people from 6 different countries.

In 2016, Khanna sailed onto a new and bigger journey with The Starter Labs. As co-founder, he thrives in managing a myriad range of official and unofficial roles that comprise of finance head, copywriter, strategist, media planner, office help and chief party officer. He has set up various departments like Performance Marketing and Tech Development within the organisation, apart from driving company-wide growth and efficiency.

Khanna’s skill of effortlessly donning multiple hats reflects in his personal life too, the avid sports buff has been part of football, cricket and athletic teams on district as well as state levels. He even represented his college as vice-captain on the national stage, and currently leads the Bombay Gymkhana Football team in the Elite Division.

A man of many interests, Khanna can hold a conversation on the most obscure of tech topics, while also enjoying the most sublime of music and recommending the most spellbinding of movies.

So, without further ado, here it goes…

  •     Your mantra for life

Just Keep Moving. Taken from JP Morgan’s “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are”.

  •     A book you are currently reading / plan to read

No Rules Rules 

  •     Your fitness mantra, especially during the pandemic

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved sport, and that’s what I indulge in 4-5 times a week. So the pandemic wasn’t ideal for me. But I made it a habit to get in sized down versions of my favourite sports and found people in my building to play this with. Calendar invites become a huge deal back then, so I blocked out everyone’s google calendars for a match every evening. The mantra would probably be - Consistency is key!

  •     Your comfort food

A burger with a side of thick cut fries. 

  •     When the chips are down a quote/ philosophy that keeps you going

Being a sportsperson, I resonate with Michael Jordan talking about why he is a success - “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career, I’ve lost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”.

  •     Your guilty pleasure

A lazy Sunday watching the football. 

  •     When was the last time you tried something new?

I tried Crab for the first time a month or so ago. 

  •     A life lesson you learnt the hard way

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes” 

  •     What gets you excited about life?

The opportunities at my disposal to learn and explore different worlds, cultures, and understand how that ties into people’ life, their work , their interests, and their perceptions.

  •     What’s on top of your bucket list?

Surfing off the coast of Costa Rica

  •     If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Don’t take life too seriously. If you put your head down and keep moving forward, stuff will work out, the dots will connect.

  •     One thing you would most like to change about the world

If it was as easy as me saying it, it’d be to instill more empathy in everyone. I believe that just a little bit of empathy towards those we are conditioned to disagree with will go a long way and solve a whole lot of problems. 

  •     An activity that keeps you motivated / charged during tough times


  •     What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?

Good food or good music or some of my closest friends and family.  (Ideally, all of these, together).

  •     Your go-to stress buster

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, nothing matches the endorphin rush a competitive evening of football gives me.