Kunal Kohli isn’t afraid of change– he embraces it. After stints in the finance and fitness industries, he turned his attention to launching BOU, a line of natural bouillon, gravy cubes and soup cups. We talked to him about the parallels between parenting and the business world, what he’s proudest of his daughter for, and why he calls himself a “forever student.”
Congratulations on the success of your company, BOU Brands. What do you think made BOU’s bouillon and gravy cubes stand out?
I believe the innovation that BOU is bringing to a stale category, revitalizing century old kitchen staples, and messaging is why we are seeing some success. Our design team did a great job of bringing color and life to our cubes, and our marketing team does an excellent job of showing people how easy and versatile the product is to use.
On LinkedIn, you call yourself a “forever student.” What does that mean to you?
Our world is constantly evolving. We’re seeing new generations, new tastes, new preferences, new habits. I love how we live in a digital world where new ideas and concepts are available at a click of a button. As a start-up, we must always think of new ways to keep up, and in some instances, be ahead. Because of this, we must constantly be learning. I’m always reading new books, researching new trends and working with our team to figure out more ways to stay relevant or ahead of the curve.
Are there any parallels between life in the business world and parenting?
Tons! Time management is the most crucial. I unfortunately missed the first nine months of my daughter’s life because I was going into work early and coming back very late. I didn’t get a chance to really “hang out” with my daughter and become her father. When BOU started rolling, I made sure that I managed my time effectively. I believe I’ve gotten better at this. Now, I can proudly say that I’m my daughter’s best friend. Most of the time, she is waiting for me to get home from work so we can play (and so she can see the toys I bought!).
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Changing dirty diapers! I always found a way to get my wife to do it when our daughter wasn’t toilet trained.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
My early morning routine on the weekends is to go to the gym, clean up and then read for 30 minutes. I do all of this before my daughter wakes up. I get to clear my head at the gym and motivate myself to tackle what lies ahead, and then I learn more through reading.
What is your best parenting hack?
Bribery! Our daughter is a very picky eater and in order to have just one meal a day, we have to buy her at least 2 new toys!
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
We are starting to get questions of where babies come from so…
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your fatherhood journey that has made you proud?
Seeing my daughter display some amazing athletic ability. She’s quickly becoming an awesome soccer player, and it’s not only because of her speed and strength, but how she understands the game and what needs to be accomplished. This truly is amazing in my eyes at such a young age.
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
Never fear failure—it’s the best way to learn. Just make sure you cover as many angles as possible.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other parents?
I’ve watched my wife instill this trust in our daughter where she can be who she is and say what she is feeling. Yes, our daughter throws temper tantrums and wants things her way, but instead of getting mad or raising her voice, my wife always reasons with our daughter. She makes her understand why something can’t happen the way she wants. I truly believe this is key to the successful development of a child.
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
I work extremely hard and am blessed to have an amazing team that helps me in every way possible. I try to stick to a schedule and make sure that I carve out enough time to hang out and play with my daughter till she gets bored of me!
What was the last book you read?
The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier.
Favorite Form of Exercise:
High Intensity Boxing (Rumble)
What is on your DVR?
Jersey Shore. Don’t ask.
Favorite Kids Store:
It used to be Toys R Us, but I’m now in search of a new one!