Earlier this week I hosted the founder and CEO of a billion-dollar company on my AMA Show. As part of my work I get to do this regularly, meeting overachievers. Won’t deny, it’s an addictive source of inspiration.
With all the pessimistic opinions floating around on how successful people are completely different on screen vs off-screen, I’ve had a different experience. The ones I’ve interviewed so far have failed to exhibit dual personalities. In fact, they have been so single-minded that I started to admire them for it.
This week it was Girish Mathrubootham, the founder & CEO of Freshworks, a SaaS company that started in 2010 and has been growing impatiently as if it wants to prove something. And proven it has, over and over again.
The company has doubled its revenue every single year from 2014, has launched 7 products so far, acquired 9 other startups and boasts of 150,000+ customers. All this while maintaining a near break-even cash flow. They’re impatient, in a good way.
I flew down to Freshworks office in Chennai to host this episode. Located in a giant tech park, the office is surrounded with the biggest corporates but the story of Freshworks, its culture and the enthusiasm oozing out of its office can give them all a run for their money.
I met Girish briefly before the show, shook hands, exchanged pleasantries and got to his office to start my equipment setup. I enter his office and two things caught my eye… first, a picture of Rajnikant, the superstar of Tamil cinema. Second, his picture with the superstar. Needless to say, he is a fanboy too.
Five minutes before the show he got back to his office which I had rearranged a bit. He was calm, casual and surrounded by some of his employees who were clearly in awe of their boss, this superstar of Indian SaaS industry.
“Is my Shirt looking good or should I wear the jacket?” he asked seeking reassurance. “You look great!” was my instinctive reply as he adjusted his chair which had a gazillion mechanisms at the bottom. He went through a back surgery this year so a comfortable chair is his prime need of the hour.
Getting done with all the adjustments and positioning of our chairs together, I hit the Broadcast button and you can see the rest of our conversation in the video below.
Noticed his clarity of thoughts? That’s another common trait I’ve observed in the guests on my show. I can blindly bet on the significant contribution of this trait in their success. You ask them anything and they’ll have a philosophy about it, almost always.
After the show, I spent another 10 minutes hanging out in his room, wrapping up and discussing a few ideas with him about our work. He listened to all of it patiently and mentioned a recent article that he read on our website, in a parallel world I gave a hi5 to myself that he reads us. 🙂
After clicking a few pictures, I took his leave and that was the end of a brief but inspiring meeting with Girish.