Taking people to new places and being able to tell great stories. You have to be able to excite people around an idea, take them on a journey.
Agreed. We often see brilliant consultants who have strong commercial grounding but lack the ability to step away from jumping to a solution. Our clients look for consultants that stretch the thinking, take leaps and, as you said before, have their antennas up. It’s this curiosity and creativity that allows idea development to happen.
Exactly. And so, I think that management consulting rigour can serve you well in terms of commercial and business acumen, but if you don’t have your eyes and ears open you will struggle to drive innovation and new thinking.
It would be great to understand more about your side hustles. What you do outside of your role at Intuit to educate and contribute to the industry.
The Intrapreneurs Club is something that I'm involved with. There is Founder Vine and One Tech as well. I want to support more diverse people coming into the tech ecosystem to address the diversity issues. So, I mentor people that have ideas and help them develop their skills. It’s about giving people confidence and sharing my story. I’m also being mentored. Learning from others is massively important. I’m part of the Berkeley Alumni Association here, and there are a couple of folks that made the switch from the Silicon Valley to the roundabout. Understanding their stories, successes and pitfalls, has been invaluable. I’ve also been able to test my own ideas within these circles to gain that outside viewpoint.
So that's something I do on the side. I also consult in general. So, when people are running into problems and thinking, man, who could I reach out to that would know about ecosystems, fintech and stuff like that, they can reach out to me and I consult for an hour or two. Collaboration and knowledge sharing is a big thing for me and I always encourage others to be open to this. Lastly, I am working on podcast called Saka’s is that so? which will challenge conventional wisdom across a range of industries.
And finally, what does the future hold for you? What are your aspirations and goals?
That's a great question! I love what I do and I think Intuit have the resources and culture to capitalise on what’s happening in the fintech ecosystem. This is exciting.
For the long-term future, I think I will launch my own venture. I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I’ve always got my antennas up, thinking about new ideas and looking at customer problems I could solve. It’s about being honest with myself. I have 10-15 ideas at any one time! But not all ideas are created equally, right. So, I need to ask myself am I passionate about it? Am I uniquely capable of solving it? It’s about knowing your skills and limitations and pursing the right idea. This curiosity and creativity pushes me, and it’s the insight and thinking I bring to my job every day. Who knows, Intuit may have something in the future that I can own, solve and create. Lots of exciting possibilities!
And being in London, a hub for innovation and fintech, is great. There are always barriers and complications around launching a new venture, but I think the community around entrepreneurship and innovation affords people the space to test something. The barriers have reduced massively. There’s also loads of exciting things happening. Visa acquiring Plaid for example.