The On Call with Insignia Ventures podcast introduces a new mini-series featuring startup leaders at companies we’ve covered or featured on our show. We go beyond the perspectives of the founders or CEOs and get to know the other key executives who are driving the growth of these companies and creating an impact for the customers and communities they serve. They share first-day experiences, the growth they’ve experienced on the job, leadership styles, and what excites them about the future.
For each episode we do a Q&A interview for our blog and also produce a one-minute highlight for our TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We also highlight open roles in the functions led by these executives in case you would like to join their team and work with them as well!
Who better to feature for our first episode than Sourabh Gupta, the VP of Product Management of pioneering Indonesian money transfer fintech Flip, whose CEO Rafi Putra Arriyan we had over for our season finale last year?
@vcinsider A Leader A Minute: a mini-series on the #podcast featuring #startup #leaders and #jobs! First is Sourabh, VP of #Product #Management at @flip_id #fyp ♬ original sound – The VC Insider
About the Featured Leader #1
Sourabh Gupta is VP of Product Management at Flip.id. With more than 14 years supporting the growth of very large organizations and bootstrapped startups across Product Management, Consulting, and Engineering roles, he brings to Flip his expertise in leading cross-functional teams consisting of product managers, analysts, and engineers across India and Southeast Asia as he leads Flip’s product and design functions. He was previously Head of Product International Expansion and then VP of Payments Platform at Gojek before joining Flip.
Join Sourabh on Flip’s Product Team:
- Lead Product Manager Consumer Solutions (Remote)
- Senior Product Manager – Consumer App Platform (Remote)
- Product Designer Lead (Remote)
A Leader A Minute: Why did you decide to join Flip (given your background coming from Gojek and also coming from India)? When did you join and what was your first day like?
Sourabh: One of my key reasons for joining Flip was that I found it to be a place where I can create a lot of impact by leveraging the learnings I build over the years in terms of scaling products and teams. Fintech is also a space that excites me and in my discussions with Ari [Flip CEO], it seemed that both of us had a shared view of the future vision on how we wanted to democratize payments in Indonesia.
I joined Flip in May 2021. My first day wasn’t the typical first day for a few reasons, one being that even before joining I had started talking to the team and key stakeholders to build an understanding, so things were not new on my first day. Also, due to the pandemic, my first day was remote onboarding so I didn’t really feel a lot of change; the only thing that changed was my laptop.
A Leader A Minute: What would you say has been your biggest contribution to Flip has been in your time with them thus far?
Sourabh: I think one of the big changes that I have helped in driving would be how we work. This is a problem that gets more pronounced as the organizational scale increases. If I look back, I can say that today we have the right foundations and are much better structured and organized in our day-to-day workings, working on cross-team initiatives, our decision-making framework, and so on. This has helped us move quicker in terms of execution and having clear boundaries in terms of ownership.
A Leader A Minute: Given that Flip is a fully remote company, what is a typical day like for you?
Sourabh: I start the day with a quick scan of email and slack to see if there are any pressing matters that require my immediate attention. Post that I make a note of things I need to close within the day. The rest of the day is mostly consumed in 1:1 discussions, brainstorming/problem-solving sessions, regular cadences, design reviews, taking interviews, reviewing metrics, etc. Being a growth stage company the number of tactical things to handle during the day is a lot, so for things that need more of my own thinking time like creating a plan, strategy, documentation, analysis, etc usually happens post working hours.
A Leader A Minute: What has been your most memorable day at work?
Sourabh: One day that I can think of is when I had an “Ask Sourabh Anything” kind of session. Being the first non-Indonesian working in Flip there was naturally a lot of curiosity within the people in the organization and a lot of questions that came from the people were funny enough to make the day memorable.
A Leader A Minute: How would you describe Flip’s culture in one word?
Sourabh: Fair. [Fairness is one of Flip’s core values]
Learn more about how Flip has evolved as an organization amidst the development of fintech in Indonesia
A Leader A Minute: How has your work at Flip changed the way you see your role and the product function?
Sourabh: The key learnings for me has been in regards to scaling the teams:
- Enhancing the skill sets of existing teams: To expect that once we have clearly defined the expectations from various roles and the path to it, the team will automatically follow the course is a fallacy. As a leader, you need to constantly mentor the team and work with them very closely to make this shift, especially when there is a fundamental change in the approach of building products itself.
- Acquiring Quality Talent: While this might now be more of a global problem affecting most growth-stage companies, after talking to more than 100 people for the open roles we have. I have realized hiring to be much harder than I thought and I understand it better now.
Even though you can define what to expect from the team, what skillsets they should acquire, define standards to achieve, and mentor them for it. It does not happen easily.
A Leader A Minute: What are the top 3 skills of a tech startup’s product owner or leader?
Sourabh: The skills I would like to highlight would be:
- Have great product sense (i.e. the intuition and judgment to make a product great)
- Being able to balance between tactical and strategic thinking
- Be an effective leader, who takes initiative and makes quick decisions to drive the change
A Leader A Minute: What are you most excited about for Flip’s product team as it grows?
Sourabh: I think what excites me the most is how we have changed our approach to building products as a team. From building products based on intuition to having clear goals, we are aiming to achieve, iterating and experimenting constantly to enhance our offerings, investing in building platform capabilities with a view of the future, taking data-informed decisions, and displaying extreme ownership.