I admire Sridhar Vembu the most: Abhimanyu Saxena of Scaler

Abhimanyu Saxena, co-founder at InterviewBit and Scaler, answers the Proust Questionnaire for YS Weekender.

An alumnus of IIIT Hyderabad, Abhimanyu Saxena is the co-founder at InterviewBitand Scaler Academy

Passionate about creating something new, he started his entrepreneurial journey during his BTech days, co-founding Daksh Home Automations Systems with his batchmates. Daksh Home Automations Systems was a cost-effective and green AI-based system that helped households reduce their monthly electricity consumption. He later sold it to an organisation based in Malta. 

Abhimanyu Saxena

In 2010, Abhimanyu joined Progress Software as a programmer, building scalability solutions for the research labs and the largest airlines of the world. Post which, he moved to Fab.com in New York.

During his stints at Progress Software and Fab.com, Abhimanyu experienced a scarcity of skilled tech talent owing to the considerable gap that exists between the university curriculum and the skills that are required to succeed as a software engineer. This led him to join hands with his college friend Anshuman Singh and launch InterviewBit in 2015. InterviewBit is an online interview prep platform for tech job aspirants.  

In 2019, he co-founded Scaler along with Anshuman. It is an upskilling platform for students and working professionals. Scaler is backed by marquee investors like Sequoia Capital India, Tiger Global Management, Global Founders Capital and Rocket Internet along with several high-profile individual investors.

Recently, YS Weekender caught up with Abhimanyu to ask him questions from the Proust Questionnaire. The Proust Questionnaire is about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

Here are Abhimanyu's answers:

YS Weekender (YSW): What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Abhimanyi Saxena (AS): Being able to create an impact which leaves the world a much better place than how we found it.

YSW: What is your greatest fear?

AS: Can’t think of any, candidly.

YSW: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

AS: Not being able to stick to my fitness routine.

YSW: What is the trait you most deplore in others?

AS: Lack of punctuality. 

YSW: Which living person do you most admire?

AS: Sridhar Vembu

Sridhar Vembu, Founder, Zoho Corp

YSW: What is your greatest extravagance?

AS: Getting a robo vacuum cleaner during the pandemic.

YSW: What is your current state of mind?

AS: Intense. 

YSW: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

AS: Intelligence.

YSW: On what occasion do you lie?

AS: Never.

YSW: What do you most dislike about your appearance?

AS: Nothing, I rarely see mirrors, so not very well aware.

YSW: Which living person do you most despise?

AS: None, life is too short to despise anyone.

YSW: What is the quality you most like in a man?

AS: Integrity and hard work.

YSW: What is the quality you most like in a woman?

AS: It’s the same :) Integrity and hard work.

YSW: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

AS: ‘Very Good’ and ‘Exactly.’

YSW: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

AS: Family and friends.

YSW: Which talent would you most like to have?

AS: Flying a plane.

YSW: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

AS: Be more disciplined. 

YSW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

AS: Building InterviewBit & Scaler.

YSW: If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

AS: Same again.

YSW: Where would you most like to live?

AS: Pune.

YSW: What is your most treasured possession?

AS: My book collection

YSW: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

AS: Not having people close to you around.

YSW: What is your favourite occupation?

AS: Creating something. 

YSW: What is your most marked characteristic?

AS: Resilience 

YSW: What do you most value in your friends?

AS: Honesty

YSW: Who are your favourite writers?

AS: Paul Graham and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

YSW: Who is your hero of fiction?

AS: Iron Man

YSW: Which historical figure do you most identify with?

AS: JRD Tata

YSW: Who are your heroes in real life?

AS: Ratan Tata

What is your favourite name?

AS: Abhimanyu

YSW: What is your greatest regret?

AS: None.

YSW: How would you like to die?

AS: At peace, doing something I love doing.

YSW: What is your favourite journey?

AS: Road trip to Hampi, have done it multiple times

YSW: What is your motto?

AS: Leave the world a better place.

Edited by Anju Narayanan