Interview of Shashank Sathe

Be a trustworthy, genuine, empathizing & humane individual – Shashank Sathe

Born & brought up in a typical middle-class Maharashtrian Brahmin family, the life values of brutal honesty, dignity, benevolence, gaining knowledge & aspiring to seek wisdom, were imbibed in him, since very early days. Maximum priority was accorded on education, learning & on how to be a genuine & a good human being.

As he grew older, everybody in the family always emphasized balancing the 4 pillars of his life viz. Mental & Physical fitness, Personal Relations, Professional commitments & honest intent & efforts to give back to the society, what it had/has been kind enough to bestow them with – empathy & compassion!

Although it was a nightmare in terms of his academic progress, he took on to computer programming rather willingly, way back in 1985 & quiet loved the computing environment overall. He reckons that was when, it was destined, to be his life-long profession.

What inspired you to join the above company or this sector?

I started my professional career with a bank & got several opportunities to bring in innovation & lateral thinking in the then existing mundane banking processes. I was fortunate to get to work with some of the best engineering brains in the peer-to-peer banking & then the online banking verticals. Those were perhaps the most formative years of my computing life.

Naturally, I started getting more involved in the Banking & Finance vertical & as times progressed, adapted to the FinTech, Rich Internet Applications & Extreme Engineering as a natural progression. Digital Transformation has become the need of global FinTech vertical, since most financial institutions are even today, working on a 60~70-year-old banking system & protocols.

With bleeding-edge tech & several disruptive innovations happening in the Finance vertical, it is imperative that all financial institutions adopt these changes & by that line of thought, FinTech today is one of the hottest & most happening sector for disruptive transformations.

What is your life mantra?

I have 3 mantras:

[1] Work hard, play harder…

[2] Be kind & humane to all. Your designations are with you until the day you retire… but your character is with you for your Life &beyond!

[3] Create memories… Travel as much as you can; on every opportunity you get – that is the only thing that makes you richer on the inside!

What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?

Change Management: Change Management is the most epic toughest activity to do, as that requires changing the Human Nature & breaking/shaking years of acquired Habits.

How do you protect yourself from the problem of brain drain?

I ride a Motorcycle! For those who ride, that statement is enough to explain the emotions & the sentiments that go with it! I don’t ride to add Days to my Life… I ride to add Life to my Days 🙂 I always plan ahead for my weekend escapades & long biking trips. Both these things keep me focused on finishing the tasks at hand, so that I am geared up and raging to travel on weekends & other planned touring trips!

Share one habit that you think makes you more productive?
Solo Motorcycle touring is a phenomenally relaxing, rejuvenating, insightful & introspective activity. Out on the wide-open twisty roads, with lush greenery all around you and the surreal nature’s grandeur as your company, one tends to realize the true essence of life. Motorcycling solo always makes me realize the things that are most important for me – on personal & professional fronts; this, in turn, simplifies my thinking & attunes me focus & productivity!

Share one habit that you wish to change in yourself?

I am obsessed with tech gadgets & eternal craving for upgrading my motorcycle parts. I want these never-ending desires to stop. After all, how much is too much – is a question I need to come to terms with!

Answer in one line.

One tip to success – Perseverance & Consistency

One mistake you believe every individual must avoid–Being Egotistic about what position/designation you hold… outside the 4 walls of the organization – everybody is a non-entity!

One most important lesson that you have learned till now – Be a trustworthy, genuine, empathizing & humane individual – life is tough for most – most everybody is going through hell at some point in time… try and make their journey a bit easier – that is all that you can do/try as humans

Apps you can’t live without – Spotify, Google Maps& Eat-Sleep-Ride-Repeat

Key in the workplace – Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.

If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?

I will try & get my academics a bit right. Also, I would value & handle my relationships with several friends, relatives & parents, in a lot different manner, than what I did in this birth. Once these individuals are gone, they are gone forever – I wish I could turn back time!

Share a quote that inspires you the most

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What makes you excited about Mondays?

The upcoming Saturday & Sunday 🙂

According to you how self-worth and happiness important in a job?

Both are indispensable & absolutely priceless! Self-worth is a direct result of self-respect bundled with self-confidence, in knowing what you are, and trying to do what best you can, every single day. Happiness is a derivative of the realization that you did what you best could & you would have done it perhaps in a similar manner, had you had another go at it!

Describe some difficult leadership situations and how you managed people through them.

We techies always say that there is never a dull day in paradise! 🙂 Every upcoming day brings with it a fresh set of challenges, a new way of looking at things & yet another innovative manner of mitigating the situations.

I’ve had various tough situations in last 24 years of my career – half of the dev-team doing mass resignations, due to the manner in which the CMD spoke about them; or handling people in legacy setups & training them to adopt new solutions; or unreal project timelines & schedules; or undefined & roving targets set for the product & tech teams; or managing ego related issues within the teams; or managing team of talented freshers versus mediocre experienced guys; a bizarre case of complete systems outage at midnight due to a lightning strike, etc.

In all these cases, the common factor that helped me mitigate the situation & take corrective remedial measures was a cool head & camaraderie. A cool head allows you the ability to think clearly & act logically, regardless of the situation you are in. And the camaraderie & delegation allows you to identify, empower & mobilize the right individuals at the right time to act on the right tasks.

As the legendary Coach John Wooden would say it… “I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people…”

What’s your opinion about StartupLanes

Not much, other than the fact that yours is a maximum success story run angel investor network & that you have a team who works on fundraising initiatives, product incubation > invention > innovation > releases & the entire set of SDLC activities