Sameer Nigam of Stratbeans says he regrets not starting his business in the 90s

Sameer Nigam, CEO & Co-founder of Stratbeans, answers the Proust Questionnaire for YS Weekender.
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Sameer Nigam is the Chief Executive Officer at StratBeans, a startup that provides technology platforms for driving customer success through digital transformation.

An IIT and IIM alumnus, Sameer has over 20 years of experience in strategy formulation and implementation and has been focused on driving growth and investor returns. He is also passionate about enabling digital transformation for enterprises. Under his leadership, Stratbeans has witnessed tremendous growth with an impressive geographical expansion.

Prior to his entrepreneurial journey, Sameer worked with GENPACT and TATA Consultancy Services (TCS). He now enjoys training budding entrepreneurs and guiding them through their journey. Besides this, he ensures the company maintains high social responsibility wherever it does business.

Here are his responses to our Proust questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Quietly meditating — with friends and family around but not bothering me.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing loved ones.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I hate losing my cool, which I try not to...

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

When people don't listen intently, worse if they conclude while someone is halfway through explaining.

Which living person do you most admire?

There are two. Elon Musk since he is about my age but he was already venturing out while I was enjoying the comfort of a dorm/home. And Sadhguru of Isha because he speaks logically and lucidly about life without mixing religion.

What is your greatest extravagance?

First-class upgrades on international trips, I miss good old pre-COVID-19 days too much.

What is your current state of mind?

Thankful to the universe.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

I consider loyalty to be the most overrated, be it to faith, leader, doctrine or any popular myth. It leads to hardened views and a servile mindset.

On what occasion do you lie?

Sometimes when people ask a personal question with no need for them to know.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Wouldn't mind being several inches taller.

Which living person do you most despise?

Can’t think of any...fortunately.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Ability to laugh about himself.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Women folks trump us on sincerity and mental strength all the time, but I like kindness the most.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Let’s park that question for a while. (Seriously that was my response )

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My wife.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Kung fu.

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

Would love a better short term memory.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Implementation of PAN and Indian tax accounting software while working with TCS. Now everyone uses pan and the entire direct taxation in India depends heavily on the tax accounting backbone developed in the 90s.

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

A deep-sea diver in Norway.

Where would you most like to live?

Interlaken, Switzerland

What is your most treasured possession?

My passport.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Thanklessness after success.

What is your favourite occupation?

Wine taster and travel blogger.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Optimistic to a fault.

What do you most value in your friends?

Predictability.

Who are your favourite writers?

Jim Corbett — his visual language bring the jungle into your living room.

Mark Manson — funny outrageous and writes compelling ideas very precisely.

Dan Ariely — wrote about human unpredictability in decision making.

Yuval Harari — has sketched the evolution of human beings in easy to understand manner.

Oren Klaff — he is the rockstar in the art of presenting ideas

Who is your hero of fiction?

Betty Cooper of Archie Comics, because she was a reliable friend and a kind, relatable person. 

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I identify with Shivaji and Akbar a lot, ironically both of them were on opposite sides!

Who are your heroes in real life?

Neerja Bhanot, Prof Sunil Handa of IIM Ahmedabad, my dad, my co-founders

What is your favourite name?

Sweets - that is what my wife calls me.

What is it that you most dislike?

Queue jumping, this annoying behaviour as it causes so many problems.

What is your greatest regret?

Not starting my business in the 90s, and giving the IT revolution a miss at inception

How would you like to die?

In a plane crash so that I get a chance to make a final call to my son

What is your favourite journey?

This was a pre-COVID-19 trip to Singapore where all arrangements were handled by my son and niece. I only followed their itinerary and enjoyed a carefree week.

What is your motto?

Be classy.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta