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Fifth guest on the Play to Potential Podcast series is Professor Kartik Hosanagar. Kartik is a Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Kartik's research work focuses on the digital economy, in particular Internet media, Internet marketing and e-commerce.

Kartik has been recognized as one of the world's top 40 business professors under 40. He has received several teaching awards including the MBA and Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching awards at the Wharton School. His research has received several awards including the best paper award at the Consortium on Technology Policy and Management. Kartik is a cofounder of Yodle Inc, a venture-backed firm that has been listed among the top 50 fastest growing private firms in the US. He has served on the advisory board of Milo Inc (acq by eBay) and is involved with other startups as either an investor or board member. His past consulting and executive education clients include Google, Nokia, American Express, Citi and others.

This conversation was published around February 2017.

Academics as a career

Did you always know which profession you wanted to pursue? Our career is often shaped by an opportunity that we seize on the way. Prof. Kartik Hosanagar talks about how academia came by as a career choice while he was researching options for his postgraduate education. Named as the world’s top 40 business professors under 40, he certainly seems to have made the right choice!

Highs and Lows in Academics

Interested in the academic world? Kartik reveals some important questions you should ask yourself and elaborates on some qualities you should possess before embarking on this path. Academia, according to Kartik, is ‘entrepreneurial without the risk profile of an entrepreneur!’ In this nugget, he also discusses some professional highs and lows that face an academician.

Surprises in the Academic path

We often choose a career without having much idea of what the reality is like. Often times, people who like team work take up jobs that may require long solitary hours. In this nugget, Kartik reveals a couple of surprises that people encounter on the path to becoming an academician.

Impact of technology

Technology is all pervasive in our lives today. But how has the world of academia been impacted by this? Hear Kartik elaborate on the increase in opportunity afforded by the tsunami of technology.

Backing an entrepreneur

Apart from being an academician, Kartik is also an active entrepreneur and invests and mentors start ups. So who better to ask, how does one pick an idea to back? Kartik elaborates on three main skills he looks at before deciding to support an idea or a person.

Leadership inflection points

As organizations grow from being start ups to more established businesses, their leadership needs and demands also change and vary. In this nugget, Kartik traces this spectrum of leadership inflection points and maps it with funding cycles.

Building the leadership muscle

We all know the traits and characteristics of a good leader but what does it take to become a good leader? In this nugget, Kartik enumerates three things that you can do or cultivate to harness your leadership potential.

Building an entrepreneurial culture

Organizations love to grow yet want to retain the entrepreneurial culture that nurtures innovation. What is the one thing that Kartik looks at to figure out if an organization has an entrepreneurial culture or not? Find out in this nugget. Hint: Don’t miss the anecdote about a major competitive advantage that Pixar has cultivated and fine tuned which has led to its unprecedented success in the movie business.

In Summary – Playing to Potential

We all have an aim that we work towards. But in the feverish rush to achieve this goal, we often forget something. Hear Kartik talk about what is really important before we set any goal or take any career decision. It is something we hear a lot about but do we really follow?

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