Gautam Gupta

NatureBox Co-Founder & CEO

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When Did You Know Your Business Was Validated?

Well you know we did things a little bit differently than most entrepreneurs. We started NatureBox actually out of a test. We launched a website and we started driving traffic to that website. By the…

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What Was One of the Toughest Moments in Your Life?

There have been a lot of ups and downs in the process of building NatureBox and I remember when we were probably about six months old as a company. We had an opportunity to be…

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How Have Your Parents Affected You?

Well, you know, both my grandparents were entrepreneurs, and I think from a very young age, business and the aspect of entrepreneurship was something that was supported at home. So my parents were very supportive…

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What Do You Do to Promote Employee Wellness?

So we do a lot of things to promote wellness but actually one of the things that I'm a big fan of is we do walking meetings. So we have a nice little trail by…

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What Is a Unique Challenge Faced by Women Entrepreneurs?

Well you know I am fortunate to have mentored female entrepreneurs that are just starting out and raising funding and I think one of the challenges is dealing with the stigma that's out there about…

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How Do You Keep Your Superstar Employees Happy?

This was one of the surprises when we started Naturebox and we started hiring engineers. We thought it would be really difficult to get engineers to come and work at a company like Naturebox because,…

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How Do You Deliver Bad News to Your Team?

I think the best way to deliver bad news is just be transparent and upfront, and have an action plan. So whenever we've had to deliver bad news to the team, we like to spend…

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How Do You Make One-on-Ones More Effective?

One of the things that has worked well for me in a one-on-one meeting is come into that meeting prepared and I think that that rests on the shoulders of both people so you know…

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What Is the Secret to a Great Co-Founders’ Relationship?

I think you know maybe in some ways a cofounder relationship is like a marriage so you kind of have to work at it. You know for us we started this tradition a few years…

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What’s a Sign Someone Is Ready for a Promotion?

I think this is one of the things that maybe most companies and most managers don't do that they should be doing is have the conversation with your team members about what their long term…

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What’s the Biggest Mistake When Raising Money?

Well, I think one of the biggest mistakes people, entrepreneurs make when they raise money is they don't address their weaknesses. So every company has weaknesses or flaws or you have things that just aren't…

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What’s Your Biggest Regret So Far?

You know, I think one of my biggest regrets in building NatureBox was we waited a long time to hire a management team. And my advice to other entrepreneurs is start building your management team…

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What’s the Most Surprising Thing You’ve Learned About Your Customers?

You know, I think the most surprising thing about customers or consumers in general is if you ask them the right questions, they are happy to give you feedback. And one of the things that…

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When Did Customer Feedback Make You Change Something?

Well, you know, just as recently as last year, we started moving away from subscription. So previously, the only way to buy NatureBox products was to be a subscriber. And one of the things that…

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How Do You Find Great Talent?

I think recruiting is a 24/7 job, so you as an entrepreneur, have to always be recruiting. You've got to be building relationships with senior executives in other companies, really trying to understand where there…

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What’s the Most Effective Marketing Technique You Use?

I think the most effective marketing technique is word of mouth and referral. You have to build a product that customers love. And if they love it they're going to tell their friends and so…

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What’s Your Power Food?

Well you know so I eat a lot of just fresh foods. You know but obviously when I'm on the go I snack a lot. I love you know just a light popcorn, you know…

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Where Do You Go to Rejuvenate?

You know, so I take one or two trips a year, vacations, and I just try to, as mush as possible, unplug. It's a great opportunity to read books and kind of catch up on…

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Where Did You Get the Idea for Your Company?

So the idea for NatureBox actually came from a childhood struggle with obesity. Up until the age of 18, I struggled with obesity. I was very overweight, but luckily, at 18, a light bulb went…

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What’s the Most Effective Way to Pitch Your Idea?

I think the best thing to do to pitch your idea is pitch your passion. So I think all investors, even other entrepreneurs, coworkers, whatever it may be, want to know that you're in it…

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"Calls himself a recovering venture capitalist"

Gautam Gupta is the Co-Founder and CEO of NatureBox. Recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s 2015 "30 Under 30 Best and Brightest Entrepreneurs" — Gautam Gupta’s entrepreneurial ambition sparked at a young age, inspired by both his maternal and paternal grandfathers. By 2nd grade, Gautam was buying packs of colored pencils and individually selling them to his classmates. His love for creating things from scratch led him to attend Babson College, an academic haven for aspiring entrepreneurs. During his time at Babson, Gautam interned for two and a half years at General Catalyst Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm, and, and this time met his best friend and NatureBox Co-Founder, Ken Chen. Upon graduation, Gautam joined General Catalyst Partners full time, focusing his career on early stage consumer investing. He played a key role in several major investments including GoodData, PlumDistrict, BigCommerce, Shareaholic, Honest Company and FriendBuy — seeing firsthand the huge potential within e-commerce.

Gautam began brainstorming opportunities, and in November 2011 the concept for NatureBox was born, reuniting Gautam and Ken as Co-Founders. Over the next several months, Gautam worked tirelessly to bring NatureBox to life and launched the company in January 2012. In its first two days, the snack subscription business was met with 100 signups, forcing Gautam and Ken to hand-pack each box from their shared apartment in Mountain View, CA. From there the business skyrocketed — shipping 50,000 boxes in 2012 and 1 million boxes in 2013.

Today, NatureBox is one of America’s fastest-growing food brands, and shows no signs of slowing down. Gautam resides in San Carlos, CA, a short walk from NatureBox’s headquarters. When he is not working, Gautam dedicates time every weekend to speak with three to four aspiring entrepreneurs, believing deeply in the power of mentorship. As Gautam puts it, it is his way of paying it forward for the many important people in his life who provided with him guidance and inspiration. Gautam also remains actively involved in the consumer market, as a personal investor in FriendBuy, CompStak, Dunwello and the Haystack Fund.