The Ups And Downs While Trying To Be An Entrepreneur

Anish Malpani
7 min readAug 23, 2020

Have you heard of the difference between causal reasoning and effectual reasoning?

Well I hadn’t either. But when I did, it gave me that tingly, joyous feeling that resonance beckons. It helped me make sense of the loneliness I had been feeling in the pursuit of entrepreneurship.

Wait, don’t Google it, let me explain.


I got locked down in Aurangabad. I was supposed to be there for a three-week project, but then the mighty forces of (human) nature had other ideas.

The three weeks quickly became three months, and the illusion of my “plans” swiftly fell through. Nothing is for certain; that is the only certainty.

It was again one of those full circles of sorts. I spent the first nine years of my life living in this little (ish) city. And there I was, some twenty years later, imbibing society-life, like my first memories vaguely remember it.

I was fortunate (again) to be living there comfortably with (another) one of my uncles. For the past few years, the concept of family has always been through the phone — a stray obligation that sprinkles enough guilt to warrant an escape, only for reason to correct course.

But now, in India, it’s family loving through and through. No escape needed, just spoilage. Lots of spoilage, and finally the idea of home is starting to feel real.

It’s been 8 months here since I have been back, trying to start something that addresses man-made injustice. The pandemic has arguably been the only hiccup so far, but I can hardly complain. In fact, it became a reason to engage more immediately in relief efforts.

I worked locally with the organization I had the three-week project with. Their roots across the city allowed us to deliver relief to thousands of homes where relief was needed. And then nationally, we used data to direct donors to the most economically vulnerable states.

It was a whirlwind of pain and hope.

Pain because the pandemic amplified the gap between the fortunate few and the unfortunate many — it suddenly sucks even more to be poor.

Anish Malpani

Trying to incubate my own social enterprise. Also these consume me: data, spoken-word and friggin’ Arsenal.