Interview with Mukul Kumar, Co-founder & VP at Pubmatic

Yesterday, announced that it had raised $7.5 million in funding from Helion Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Nexus Venture Partners. This is the third round of funding, and in all they have raised $18 million.

Pubmatic, whose development team is entirely in Pune, is an Ad Optimization Platform that helps websites increase their ad revenues. We interviewed Mukul Kumar, the Pune-based Co-founder and Vice President of Engineering of Pubmatic to understand better what exactly Pubmatic does, and how it does it.


Click on the “Play” button above to listen to the interview. If you don’t see a play button, or are unable to hear the interview for some reason, click here.

(This is an experiment. Audio interviews are much easier for us to do than full-fledged text interviews. So, if you like this, please let us know, and we can do many more such interviews. If you don’t, then we’ll assume that nobody is interested in listening to audio interviews, and we’ll go back to doing our (few, rare) text interviews. If any reader is willing to spend the time to transcribe (or ever write a text summary) of the interview, please let us know. You can get attribution a link from PuneTech in return for this social service! Thanks.)

Mukul Kumar is VP Engineering at Pubmatic. Search PuneTech archives for more interesting articles about and by Mukul
Mukul Kumar is VP Engineering at Pubmatic. Search PuneTech archives for more interesting articles about and by Mukul

About the Interviewee – Mukul Kumar

Mukul Kumar, is a founding engineer and VP of Engineering at Pubmatic. He is based in Pune and responsible for PubMatic’s engineering team. Mukul was previously the Director of Engineering at PANTA Systems, a high performance computing startup. Previous to that he joined Veritas India as the 13th employee and was Director of Engineering for the NetBackup group, one of Veritas’ main products. He has filed for 14 patents in systems software, storage software, and application software and proudly proclaims his love of ? and can recite it to 60 digits. Mukul is a graduate of IIT Kharagpur with a degree in electrical engineering.

Mukul blogs at

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12 thoughts on “Interview with Mukul Kumar, Co-founder & VP at Pubmatic

  1. Can the transcript of the interviews be provided? I understand limitations of text medium. But lot of people I would like to forward this link to may not have very good broadband connections and having to wait for video/audio content then becomes entry barrier.

  2. Sushrut, the main problem is time. Doing a good text article/interview will take me about 2 hours. I can do an audio interview in 15 minutes. Transcript of the interview will take 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

    This means that I could do lots of audio interviews, or a very few audio+transcript interviews, or very few full text interviews.

    I was hoping that “lots of audio interviews” would be a useful addition.

  3. Navin – ways around these problems –

    If you are looking to do lot of audio interviews, hire a freelancer to convert it to text format. Will cost you about 3-4$/hour. I am ready to pitch in for up to 25$. Just put up a donate button and you should be fine. You will find such freelancers on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

    Try out google voice centric auto-transcription tools.

    Else just give a shout out to your readers if some one wants to volunteer in doing the transcriptions and in-return just put up a link to their business in the article. This gives such volunteers some link-love and page-rank boost.

  4. Sushrut, thanks for the suggestions.

    1. Asking readers to transcribe in exchange for links is a good idea. I’ll try that.

    2. Google voice centric auto-transcription tools… I was unable to find this. Could you provide a link? All I found was auto captioning of YouTube videos, and Voicemail transcription. Nothing that could help me convert this audio file.

    3. I don’t want to get into the hassles of raising money, and then paying people to freelancers to transcribe. Too much overhead for my taste…

  5. this is a generic issue,lots of free podcasts and video lectures on web but we cant benefit from them since they involve bandwidth and more importantly time.Text is so much faster to read.There is surely a market for this since its assumed that interviewee is an interesting person and more people would read text than listen. Even excellent lectures like MIT’s are not transcribed in-place since high quality brains are such a waste in doing a mundane activity like transcribing.
    A startup is the answer.Shall this enterprise too be born in Pune?Any angels out there.
    Lets examine some numbers: if a person is hired for Rs 8k/month and does 80 transcriptions per month 20*4,cost per transcription: Rs100
    Infra Cost:Computer with Internet.
    Let me not be silly to put in perspective the monetary worth of an interview.
    Interview can be uploaded as a PDF doc on Google docs.
    Fairly low tech but high impact especially in bandwidth deficient India.
    The host website can be something similar to Project-Syndicate and can easily attract high quality traffic of influential people regularly and hence charge premium ad rates.

  6. @Bagdu,
    There are already a number of startups doing this, as a google search on “transcription” will show…

  7. Navin,r u referring to the transcription part or the interview part?transcription of course is available and was even hyped up during dot com boom era for medical transcription.i mean is there a website already that collates and converts video and audio interviews to text which otherwise are not available as text?Would be thankful to get a link.

  8. Bagdu,
    Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying. That’s a decent idea, but the business model will get significantly complicated by the fact that you need permission from the owner of the audio for transcribing it to text.

    In some cases, if the audio has been released under an appropriate creative commons license, it can be done, but in most other cases, the overheads of getting permissions would make the enterprise not worth the trouble.

  9. @Bagdu – I will think this is opportunity for tech-startup rather than service startup.

    @Navin – I dont seem to be able to find google voice based products I mentioned in earlier comment. I still see it in my notes, but links are not recorded (my mistake). Probably notes were taken on Friday night I guess and hence sorry for sending you on goose-chase.

  10. one suggestions to the interviewr, dont keep saying “yes”, “ummm”…”ok etc while the person being interviewew is speaking, its not a phone conversations and we, the listeners, want to listen to the more important part of the conversation without interruptions. listen to any radio or podcast interview if you disagree.

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