[Awesome Startup Employee] Naresh Deshaveni of Scale Arc
Naresh Deshaveni is our Awesome Startup Employee. He is nominated by the founder and CTO of Scale Arc, Varun Singh.
Naresh’s fascination for technology since childhood earned him the nickname of Scientist by his friends. College days in Mumbai saw him attracted towards computer networking. He got his first break in development of network security product at Gajshield and from that point he says, “there has been no looking back.”
He was working with IBM Pune in the development of network security products when he got a call from ScaleArc.
Naresh joined the company when it was just a month old. He says, “this was my fist association with a startup that was at an infant stage. At this point it required a lot of patience and perseverance to chart its growth. We used to have endless discussions and debates to shape the product and the process. Our efforts bore fruit when we gave our first successful product demo to our VC and his team.”
“Our founders had a clear vision about what they wanted to achieve. They shared this vision with us. This helped us in setting our targets.”
Naresh shares, “for almost first two and a half years the team size was pretty small, so I use to do pretty much everything that was needed to get the product to the current state. I wore multiple hats- product management, architect, developer, QA, Product release manager, handle customers and customer issues. These multiple roles gave me a lot of exposure, experience and confidence.” As the team started expanding, Naresh started managing teams, enabled team members to ramp up, mentored and guide to align them to company road map.” Managing product features, time lines and release cycles became his responsibilities.
Naresh shares, “when we started our US office, I had co-ordinate with the US executive team about the product development.”
Talking about his time with ScaleArc Naresh says, “it has been a wonderful journey so far. I believe ScaleArc was the best thing that happened to me. I have 3 patents under my belt of the 4 filed and many more patents are underway. In the last 5 years I have been the part of the evolution of a startup.”
He further adds, “this is the most valuable experience and is a big asset that I have acquired. I have seen various stages of growth of the company. For example in the early stage - the organization is trying to convert the idea to realty. Then comes the stage where it is trying to validate its product in the market by demonstrating it to prospective customers and the then the stage where it is transforming itself from a startup to an enterprise.
What Naresh loves doing most is being part of an organization which is trying to solve customer pain points. He says, “I love the team, the leadership, the technology and the problem that we are trying to solve.”
Naresh shares that, “before the company started expanding, we used to sit together in a single cubicle. At this time we developed very close bonds. We argued, debated, agreed to disagee and even challengd each other. At the end of it all however, we used to come to a common agreement. We have a larger team now. Varun has now shifted to the States, and though there is geographical distance, but the bonds are still there strong as ever.
One of the biggest challenges Naresh has faced has been the one of explaining to others, the technology that he and his team are building, the potential that it holds, the problem that they are trying to solve.
“The other challenge has been convincing our founders about why some things are done the way we want it to be,” he says with a grin. Varun would never accept anything until he is thoroughly convinced about what we are proposing.
Apeaking about the work culture at Scale Arc he says,”if a new joinee wants to take up a feature and wants to lead it to its completion, there is nothing stopping him in doing so. We encourage such an initiative. Majority of the engineers joined us in last 2 years and today they are leading the product.”
Some of the core values of Scale Arc according to him are stability of the product, and customer satisfaction. He shares, “even today when I change/add code I have to get it reviewed by my team, most of whom have joined in last 2 years. This is how we ensure product stability.
Customer deployment and customer issue are our top priority. Even though we have customer support team, the engineering team is always on alert to take up an escalation.”
One of the defining moments of life For NAresh was t”he first customer payment we received, it validated the years of efforts and the work is worth something.”
Naresh recommends startups to people. “Whether it is successful or not you learn a lot by being through that cycle. It opens up one’s mind for various possibilities and provide the much required confidence.
As far as support from family is concerned he shares, “my family has been very understanding and co-operative. I had just gotten married when I joined Scalearc. My wife used to complain that the company won’t stop functioning if I work only 9hrs a day, e says with a smile. We almost worked at ScaleArc 24x7 in the first year.
For last few years things have changed for better. We now have a team in place, so no more midnight calls for customer deployment/escalations.
Work at ScaleArc is always fun. We have very good individuals, so there is never a dull moment. I have two kids now, so once I head home, I spend my rest of the day with them. I am learning a lot from my kids.
The happiest moment was when we first demonstrated the working product to our VC and he was amazed about the achievement we have had in such a sort period of time, with such a small team.
To his colleagues at Scale Arc he says, “you have done the right thing by joining ScaleArc. Do not confine yourself and restrict your self to do what you have been told to do. ScaleArc provides the right platform for personal growth. So talk to your leads or mangers and unleash your potential.”
To our readers he wants to say, “do not join a startup, just for the sake of it. Join a startup which is working in domain of your interest. You are bound to gain tons of knowledge and invaluable experience.”