How I Succeeded: Freshdesk’s Sreelesh Pillai

How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Sreelesh Pillai from Freshdesk.

Current gig: General Manager at Freshdesk Australia
Location: Sydney, Australia
Current mobile device: iPhone SE, Moto X
Current computer: Dell Latitude E5450 touchscreen
One word that best describes how you work: Pomodoro

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Google Drive, Gmail, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Skype, Google Maps, Calendar, Freshdesk and Freshsales.

What social network do you find the most useful?

Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp.

What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?

There is always going to be one or two focus areas that will take your business to the next level. It is important to identify these and focus on them relentlessly, no matter how many things you have going on.

Team, team, team. Spend as much time as you can in hiring the right people and once they’re on board, spend time helping them succeed individually and as part of a unified team.

What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?

Beautiful Rome and rocketship businesses were not built in a day, a month or a year. I’m tighter buddies now with Mr Calm and Miss Patience.

What’s your sleep routine like?

I’m very quick to sleep (just give me three quiet minutes!) and not fussy about sleep hours. I make it a point to get six hours of sleep every night as a minimum.

What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?

It may seem cliche, but that’s because it undoubtedly needs to be your numero uno: know your customer, their business profile, journey and pain points really, really well. Have you ever asked someone for a piece of paper to write on, and they’ve brought you paper and a pen too? When you know your customer, you’ll know how to delight them.
When it comes to choosing your team, hire for integrity, passion and expertise. And possibly one of the most important thing is never think you’ve succeeded, the bar can always be higher — that’s how you continue to grow.

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