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7 Questions with Nishargo Nigar
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7 Questions with Nishargo Nigar
Name: Nishargo Nigar
Current title: CEO & Founder
Current organization: Cheesecake Technologies
I am a student entrepreneur, blogger and computer engineer (Summa Cum Laude Graduate). Special Recognition: Forbes Top 30 Under 30 Asia Nominee
I founded Cheesecake Technologies. The startup offers the greatest software and mobile application development services. Our startup was shortlisted for ‘Best Tech Startup (Women)’ at Bangladesh Startup Awards 2017 and it was among top 100 Startups in ‘Startup Turkey 2017’.
Currently, I am enlisted as an initial founding and technology team member at STRAFFR where I am developing the backend to make sure all user data and workout data are stored efficiently and preparing things for future machine learning applications.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The most challenging factor of being a CEO for me is finding out the potential, risks, and everything associated with the product that we are creating. The tech industry is constantly shifting in a new direction. Sometimes it is difficult to understand if we are on the right path.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I used to work on Upwork (previously known as oDesk). From being a freelancer, I got some experience working with clients from all over the world. It gave me a lot of courage and I found my passion. When I met more freelancers like me, I developed my own team and started getting projects. I come from a developing country and the city I used to live in is technologically backward. I wanted to create a startup where we have our own product. We were able to create an impact.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a student, for that reason sometimes it gets hectic to manage my studies, job, and business altogether. My working environment matters a lot to me. I try to create enough space for me with enough materials like notebooks, pens, sticky notes and water bottles. I try to fix certain hours for my work, study and business. My goal is always not to do too much because for me flexibility is everything. I am not into hustle culture. That is why I do not stress too much even when I can't get everything done. I make time for my friends, family, and myself.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
You can't make everyone like you. There will be decisions where people might get upset. You need to know what you are doing. These situations are hard but necessary for the future of the company.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg
This book inspired me a lot because it focuses on leadership for women in the tech industry specifically. It is based on reality and tells us so much about what is happening around. For example, how women are not so confident about themselves in job interviews as men are. Even if they match most of the job criteria, they would not even apply because it is not one hundred percent. For men, it is not the case. The book made me think about this problem and I take these issues more seriously now. I plan to build a coworking space and hub for women in tech in the future.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
I maintain strategies to build a leadership plan for my company. There are certain hierarchies and mind maps that I created. Lots of useful software is present in the market right now which helps a lot in this case. For a leader, it is essential to see him/herself as a team member rather than being a boss. I always learn with my colleagues. Communication level must be excellent so that conflicts can be managed well.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
As I mentioned before, the city where my startup was born(!), is not so developed technologically. We were one of the pioneers to set new trends and build newer products and release them. For example, our mobile games. We also created lots of workshops, campaigns and programs for students in computer science so that they are motivated to build tech products. We also wanted them to come up with their own business ideas and build their own startups.