Stay Touch Founder Gaurav Goel: “Go large and don’t be a victim of scarcity of resources in one city”

Kate Mowbray
Oct 18 · 9 min read
Gaurav Goel

One of the challenges I faced was finding the right team members who are motivated, talented and able to deliver and keep the cohesive spirit. We live in the world where tech or any resources for a startup are rare, and it’s even more difficult if you develop technology which hasn’t been done before and requires rigorous and meticulous efforts. The same thing also applies to finding the right members for marketing. I faced a challenge when I realised if I stick to one geography and try to find members, it could cost me lot of time. So, I needed to go large and not be a victim of scarcity of resources in one city. I was able to get amazing team members, who are in different cities. Now that brought a different challenge of coordination and organisation, but compared to finding good resources, this was an easier task, I just had to make sure we all communicated. There is no scope of misunderstandings if we all communicate properly.


I had the pleasure of interviewing tech entrepreneur Gaurav Goel. Being born into an entrepreneurial family, with his father owning multiple businesses in New Dehli, Gaurav always aspired to entrepreneurship. However, it was only when he grew frustrated when networking and needed to find a more efficient way to exchange contact details, when he created ‘Stay Touch’; an innovative app designed to transform the way we network.


Thank you for your kind words. It all started with my passion to follow the footsteps of my father as an engineer and then as an entrepreneur. I completed high school in New Delhi India then I pursued electrical engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi). During my engineering studies, I spent some time interning at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany.

My engineering studies provided me the most vital tool — problem solving skills. I was interested in pursuing a Masters in Management and learning about French culture, so I decided to pursue the coveted management program at ESCP Europe in Paris. The world of finance attracted me and after completing a summer internship at Goldman Sachs, I worked in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs for seven years. During my time there, I worked for several cross-border transactions and advised clients, I began to understand the world of finance in great detail. I then moved onto the investor side by joining a leading European private equity house Astorg, where I worked for three years and completed several buy side transactions as an investor.

And all this experience, helped me take the jump to entrepreneurship which has been my goal from day zero. My personal frustration grew to such an extent that I knew this was the time; now or never.

Gaurav Goel

India is truly an amazing country, full of diversity. I grew up in New Delhi. The education system is meritocracy based, so from the day one studies are focused on hard work. This is not only limited to studies but also extracurricular activities and sports. Of course, there is lot of competition, that comes with having a population one billion people, but that also comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Advantages such as a developed competitive spirit, focus and determination, with disadvantages such as continuous pressure to perform. This upbringing provided me that key motto “hard work never fails”. I graduated from IIT Delhi and enjoyed every single day of my undergraduate studies. I should mention, that as there are so many things to see in India, I still haven’t fully discovered India.

StayTouch is a result of years of personal frustration of collecting business cards or exchanging contact details by social media and not remembering the context of the meeting or who the person was I met few days ago. My frustration started during my business school studies and grew exponentially during my banking career at Goldman Sachs. I used to meet a lot of new people. From friends of friends to new colleagues to classmates to business acquaintances, my social circle was growing all the time. I encountered the same problem time and again when trying to exchange contact details at business school career forums, networking conferences, work meetings, and even housewarming parties. At work I was tired of collecting business cards, receiving heavy CRMs, keeping track of handwritten notes, and frantically searching through emails to find important contact and meeting history.

We’ve all been there — trying to exchange phone numbers is one problem but also very often having to repeat the numbers over and over again, or trying to find someone on social media with only a name, entirely forgetting who someone is or how you know them weeks later ads to the awkwardness and useless frustration when it comes to networking and contact management. Moreover, our address books are filled with useless outdated phone numbers or email addresses, promptly losing business cards right after receiving them.

I was convinced that there was no reason exchanging contact information should be so cumbersome. But I couldn’t find one. So, this frustration grew to such an extent that I relied on my engineering and finance background and decided to take the entrepreneurial road, just like my father.

Absolutely, ESCP Europe played a vital role from the conception of idea of StayTouch to the launch of it. First and foremost, the idea was born actually at ESCP Europe, because I had that frustration of ineffective networking or exchange of contacts at career forums at ESCP Europe. Then of course the management studies, specialisation in finance helped me secure job at Goldman Sachs, where I learnt the essentials of finance. Once I had learnt engineering, management and finance, I was ready to start my own business.

I am not highlighting enough the importance of networking during business school studies. ESCP Europe helped me interact with students, alumni from different nationalities and career backgrounds. It taught me how to interact, how to solve problems, decide on marketing strategy and get the important feedback from students, my core market. Also, the internationalism of ESCP Europe i.e. 5 campuses, make interaction and networking even more important.

After the development of the app, my first presentation was in front of ESCP Europe students, specialising in strategy and marketing in London.

The most important thing is “get an idea, validate it as soon as possible but most importantly, if you have an idea which is validated, just go for it”. There will never be a perfect moment to become an entrepreneur. There will always be something holding you back, but once you have that idea for which you are completely passionate about, just jump. You will learn things on the way. However, if you don’t have the idea, don’t force it, take time to learn things, learn skills, expand perspective, make a real network of friends and surround yourself with mentors.

The decision was the tough part. Working in banking at Goldman Sachs is great, I learnt a lot, I literally loved my job as banker and as an investor. There were definitely tough hours, but there were also perks and a relatively “better” work life balance. However, my passion to find the solution to my frustration grew to such an extent, that all I could think of was that the problem needs to be solved and if I don’t do it, I will regret it.

I had an upbringing that encouraged me to take risks, and an education that supported me with engineering and management from brilliant universities, but my passion and determination pushed me over the edge. Ever since, I have loved the decision I made, there is so much to learn, deliver and accomplish. Of course, not every day is perfect, but the satisfaction of people using my solution is priceless.

Users of StayTouch

The biggest challenges I faced as an entrepreneur was working so many long hours that it definitely makes you alone. My banking career taught me to cope long hours, but entrepreneurship was a completely different ball game. Moreover, it’s is keeping delays to bare minimum. The delays happen not only during the development phase but in continuous product improvement. You need to remain focused on choosing and juggling between good enough versus perfection. As a startup, delivery is the key, so delays, good enough vs. perfection all ads to the stress of delivering what market wants at the right time.

Frankly lot of moments are proud moments, in this long road of entrepreneurship any achievement or milestone should be celebrated. However, what’s really top on the list is when we received our first positive user feedback regarding the problem we are solving and solution we designed. Other proud moments are when we finished the first phase of product development, filed for our patent application and then launched our first beta test phase. Or when we raised our first 500k USD funding with some well-known investors who highly appreciated our technology, vision and solution. And yes, when we found out by chance that StayTouch was ranked number two in the UK android new social app for two weeks. Nothing would have been possible without the right team, so a moment I still remember is when I recruited that team member who completed our “startup” lean team. When you’re starting a new business, you have to recruit the right team, it’s essential.

One of the challenges I faced was finding the right team members who are motivated, talented and able to deliver and keep the cohesive spirit. We live in the world where tech or any resources for a startup are rare, and it’s even more difficult if you develop technology which hasn’t been done before and requires rigorous and meticulous efforts. The same thing also applies to finding the right members for marketing. I faced a challenge when I realised if I stick to one geography and try to find members, it could cost me lot of time. So, I needed to go large and not be a victim of scarcity of resources in one city. I was able to get amazing team members, who are in different cities. Now that brought a different challenge of coordination and organisation, but compared to finding good resources, this was an easier task, I just had to make sure we all communicated. There is no scope of misunderstandings if we all communicate properly.

I have very high ambitions for StayTouch. StayTouch was created as a result of years of personal frustrations. There are lot of features and solutions that can be developed based on the technology, for which I already have a clear vision. We intend to roll out both consumers and enterprise solutions in coming months. In five years, I would like to see StayTouch being used by consumers such as students or business professionals as if it was an obvious natural solution and StayTouch being industry standard for enterprises when it comes to contact exchange and management and much more.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Kate Mowbray

Written by

Interesting people, ideas and businesses

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade