Adventure: My Overseas Journey to Startup Life


It’s almost been a year and a half since I moved to the United States in order to join Nextenture.  Before working here, I was born, raised and employed in India. I also worked for a Fortune 500 company that employed more than 200,000 people worldwide. It was about as far-off from American startup life as you could possibly get.

Heading into my job, I loved the “corporate hustle.” I thrived on watching big organizations get even better, so why wasn’t I fully satisfied? This question confused me and continued to haunt my thoughts for the time in which I worked there. Instead of elevating me to greater emotional heights, my job left me wanting. I knew something was missing, but I just didn’t know what it was. I felt a call, but to something drastically different.

Not long after working in India, I moved to the United States, leaving the country and job I knew behind and joining Nextenture. I still remember my first day, when my sister dropped me off at work, as if she was dropping off a kid to school. Having worked at a Fortune 500 company, I wasn’t quite sure how a startup company of four people would operate, but I was excited, ready to explore a new world and a new country. Quite literally, I was leaving everyone and everything I knew for adventure.

If you’ve ever worked for a startup, you’ll know that the long hours, far-off goals and seemingly impossible deadlines can be a mountain to climb. One other aspect of working for a startup is the amount of unknowns. We have ideas and strategies that we think might change the market, but we also need to have the flexibility to watch the market and respond, reassess and refocus. You can take risks, as long as you react accordingly.

The tight-knit office community I have makes every challenge worth it – and conquering each and every task that comes up is even better with a good team to support me. Sometimes, it feels like every day is a real-life episode from “Silicon Valley.” After all, not everywhere you work lets you have pizza Fridays and weekly happy hour sessions. Not everywhere you work feels like a family.

Sailing in a small ship like Nextenture means getting to participate in something bigger than myself. Although I didn’t quite sail a ship to the United States, the thrill I feel working here was the same feeling of jubilation I felt when I made the decision to travel across the world and try to find myself. Now, with a team of coworkers and friends that I care about, we’re trying grow our company and culture.

And like the mystery of a crew coming together for a maiden voyage, it doesn’t happen by the book. Instead, we strengthen our team in the day-to-day hard work of examining what we do, and asking how we can do it better. And sometimes, yes, we take risks, but haven’t we all? After all, who doesn’t like adventure?

– Krishna Sundarakrishnan