A Developer-Turned-Entrepreneur: An Interview With Akarsh Sanghi
Akarsh Sanghi is an engineer & designer born and brought up in New Delhi, India. Previously, he was leading the Growth & Card product teams at N26 Bank in Berlin until August 2019. Having joined the N26 team in the early days, he was responsible for the growth of the product across European & US markets. He also helped set up a new product and engineering hub for N26 in Barcelona and led the product teams to launch N26 You & N26 Metal.
Before that, Akarsh worked on special projects at The Studio – a new kind of an innovation studio set up in collaboration with IDEO & Zalando in Berlin. He has a Master’s degree in design from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. He has lived and worked in Delhi, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Singapore, Berlin & Barcelona.
Currently, Akarsh is on the journey to start his own company, a new fintech product. While the project is still under wraps, for now, he has shared some powerful insights into his entrepreneurial journey.
What do you see as the biggest challenges you’ve had to face?
Over the course of my professional career, I have had the opportunity to fulfill different roles in different kinds of teams I have worked with – from software engineer to product designer and product manager. The hardest thing has been to quickly adapt to the needs of each role and try to perform to the best of my abilities.
What has worked for me to overcome this challenge has been to understand a subject as deeply as I can by reading books, talking to experts of the field, and forming a point of view to be able to try new things, and then just going and doing them. It might not always lead to a successful outcome but the experience of trying it is also worth it.
Is there anything you wish you’d known sooner?
Something I have learned over the years while working and living in different countries is that there are tons of opportunities out there, one just has to try things out. There will never be a “right time” or one will be “ready” for something new. It’s better to take the plunge and try new things.
Who are the people you admire – and why?
A lot of the work in the world is done by teams of people who have come together to and deliver great work. Some of the teams I have admired over the years – Xerox PARC – for their pioneering work in the personal computing industry, Bell labs – for their work in electronics and digital communications to help make the push for the information age, Syncopy Films, Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilms – for their vast breadth of creative work and pushing the boundaries of films and media which directly influences pop culture.
Is there someone who has played a defining role in your career?
A lot of the people I have come across in my professional and personal life by living and working across so many different cities around the world have helped me a lot in different ways, and I am thankful to all of them.
What is your greatest success?
Definitely managing to live a life without having any regrets!
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company