We talked with Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder & CEO of DevRev, a business software company that brings developers (dev) and customers (rev) together in the era of product-led growth with the purpose to build the earth’s most customer-centric companies.
Dheeraj Pandey is a serial entrepreneur with a wide range of experience who has built one of the iconic fast growing Unicorns in the tech industry, Nutanix, as well as he is a board member of the American software giant Adobe.
In this interview he shared with us some really interesting insights.
Can you share with us what is your vision of development of DevRev?
We founded DevRev to enable developers to build the earth’s most customer-centric companies. A handful of companies have built great businesses through product-led models, but developers in general are still too far from the end users of their products, and siloed tools and organizations only exacerbate that distance. DevRev is built to get to the core of this problem – we bring all work-, product-, and customer-related data into a single platform that connects the maker to the customer, with a modern interface and a fully extensible API platform.
Why have you chosen Slovenia and CEE region for your unit? What plans do you have in Slovenia and Europe?
I have long been impressed by the quality of the engineering talent here in Slovenia, so when we were looking for a place to establish our European hub, it was a natural choice. That decision has absolutely proven well founded, as we have been able to build an exceptionally strong team here, and we are continuing to grow this office rapidly. The broader developer community in the region also has tremendous energy, and partnering with founders and developers to grow it even further, including through the community at PODIM, is something to which we are very much looking forward.
Where do you see DevRev company in 5 years?
We believe that the 2020s will be the decade when business software finally becomes consumer-grade. DevRev is built to provide company-builders of all types with a modern methodology for creating products, coupled with a digital experience powering the four primary functions of a company – Build, Operate, Support, and Grow. We are transforming software development and enabling developers to run entire businesses with code. I am extremely excited not only for what we ourselves are building, but also for the impact that we can have by empowering the global community of developers in the coming years.
What have you learnt from your previous entrepreneurial experience when you built the Unicorn? How does this help you building DevRev?
The learning never stops! I look for opportunities to learn each day – from my colleagues, from our customers, from the industry, and beyond. One of the most important lessons that I have taken from all of these places and from the experience of company-building is that culture is essential to get right from the start, because it compounds. We have focused on instilling and living out DevRev’s core values – our four Hs of hunger, humility, honesty, and heart – since our earliest days as a company.
The world has changed a lot in the last two years. How have you in DevRev responded to market changes?
We founded DevRev in the middle of the pandemic, so we have had to adapt and evolve rapidly out of necessity. One of the big effects of the growth of hybrid working practices for us has been the ability to have a truly interconnected team from the start, spanning Europe, Asia, and North America. At the same time, we have also developed a renewed appreciation for the importance of face-to-face interactions for fostering serendipity and trust – especially when building a new company whose culture is still in its formative stage.
How important is innovation in your company? What does an innovation process actually mean to you, how do you deal with it, how do you solve the obstacles that arise in the process?
Our mission at DevRev – to bring developers and their customers closer together – is fundamentally focused on accelerating innovation in software. Our platform is purpose-built to empower developers to build, support, operate, and grow new and innovative companies. This is extremely exciting to us as developers. As both builders and users of our product, we push our team every day to challenge their assumptions, to question the possible, and to learn through rapid iteration.
How do you see the importance of the startup ecosystem?
Serendipity is at the heart of the ecosystem. The blossoming and debating of ideas, the facilitation of collaboration, the creation of learning opportunities – these are the hallmarks of thriving ecosystems. With start-up ecosystems, you also have a lifecycle effect as one generation of founders and venture capitalists mentors and funds each subsequent generation of company-builders.
What do you think about the importance of cooperation between companies, especially with startups?
A lot of the importance of cooperation and openness relates to the idea of the ecosystem. In these kinds of communities, you not only have companies that thrive through mutually beneficial partnerships, you also have great companies that are built on (and contribute to) the success of open-source projects. We expect to see the growth of developer-to-developer collaboration accelerate in the coming years.
Could you give any advice to startups, entrepreneurs?
Stay humble and stay hungry. There is always more to learn, and you can always push yourself further than you think. Dag Hammarskjöld, who was UN Secretary General in the 1950s, expressed this theme well – “Never measure the mountain’s height until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”
What do you expect from cooperation on PODIM conference? Who would you like to meet with?
We are deeply committed to partnering with and growing the thriving community of founders and developers here in Slovenia and in Central Europe more broadly. PODIM is clearly at the center of this community, and we look forward to engaging with other technologists who are as excited as we are about building a new generation of product-led, customer-centric companies.
What message do you have for entrepreneurs from CEE & Balkan region?
The future is yours to build! I can’t wait to see the great companies that you will build in the years to come, and I hope that we at DevRev can partner with you in your journey.