Talent Spotlight: Building an Engineering Team That Puts Customers First

Talent Spotlight: Building an Engineering Team That Puts Customers First

Libby Zay

29 Sep 2022
3 minute read
Srini outside of Lake Tahoe

Completing credit card purchases online, ordering groceries for delivery, or hailing a car via an app are such intuitive experiences that users rarely think about all of the behind-the-scenes work necessary to ensure these processes run smoothly. Pull back the curtain, though, and it’s software engineers who are the unsung heroes making sure every transaction is a success. And orchestrating teams for well-known brands like Stripe, Instacart, and Uber has been Srinivasan “Srini” Rajagopal, who joined Navan as the vice president of engineering-fintech in May.

“Like Navan, those were all fast-growing companies with a lot of impact and a lot of consumer reach,” said Srini. His fintech knowledge and experience growing and scaling software teams made Navan a natural next step.

“There is a lot of demand for what we are doing,” he said. “There are not many products in the fintech space that are growing rapidly and growing sustainably—and that gives us a unique opportunity to scale what we have.”

In his role, Srini oversees product development from concept to production. He also provides technical direction, guidance, and hands-on management to the engineering team, which he said is composed of passionate, driven people.

“Everyone here has an intense customer focus and wants to build what is right for the customers,” he said. “We move fast and leverage what we have to maximize our impact, and that resonates very well with my values.” 

Those customers include both end users and administrators who oversee travel and finance at company and team levels. During his time so far at Navan, Srini has had the unique opportunity to put himself in the customer’s shoes. In addition to managing his own travel through Navan and using the corporate card for expenses, he is the administrator for his team, who travel for off-sites, conferences, and other in-person events. 

“The magic happens when you use the card and it syncs up with the platform,” Srini said. “You don’t have to worry about filing expenses—you just use your card and you’re done.”

From an administrative perspective, Srini only needs to step in when an expense is flagged. The policies are built into the platform, and the expenses flow through without human intervention, eliminating his need to complete expense reports and opening up his time for more strategic work.

“Navan saves companies time and money because employees understand and stay within policy, and it completely eliminates the need to file expenses and for admins to reconcile expenses,” he said. 

Srini is focused on growing his team, which is primarily located in Palo Alto, Tel Aviv, and Berlin. He is looking for ambitious engineers who take ownership of projects, can work independently, and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

“We give people large projects and expect them to run independently,” he said, adding that craftsmanship is also important. “We want people to feel proud of their work and like they are doing their best work here at Navan.” 

Interested in joining the engineering team? See available positions at Navan or check out some of the team’s recent work on the Navan Tech Blog.

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