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The very young and versatile Deepen Sharma – Product Experience talks about his love for design and how self-learning is important and his perspective on the same.
Early Days and where it all began
I was drawn to Design very early. I always loved cars, and my aunt used to draw tires on the alphabet. I began associating alphabets with cars. Every single time my father bought me a toy car, I started with dissembling and studying them. I was more drawn towards the parts and designs within, then playing with them. I used to think of all the different designs and visualize them. In the ninth standard, I knew I aspired to become an Automobile Engineer. Engineering didn’t happen, so as an alternative I took up Bachelors in Mathematics.
I was inclined towards Design and began learning about the same. I started self-studying. I didn’t have a laptop. I had my sister’s laptop. My mother advised me to refurbish the old laptop rather than buying one. That was a life-changing moment for me. I refurbished the laptop and began learning tools and problem-solving. That opened up doors for me. I got an opportunity to work with international clients. I began Video editing, learnt animation. I didn’t want to be an expert at one field but learn everything. I used to research topics, design and study on my own.
I got my first internship and a pre placement offer as well through a company. My first job changed my life. I was the youngest employee, about 19 when I joined, I began the role of Jr Art Director. I cracked and learnt and we earned awards for our work as a team. The people I got to work with at this job were amazing. I began reading books, expanding my knowledge. The co-founders there were super transparent and attended parties as well as offsites out there, I grew a lot personally. It changed my perspective of approaching and negotiating with clients.
My journey at CleverTap
I was working with a company which is located below CleverTap. My ex-Boss at the company and I left the company together. He invited me to be a design lead of the new venture he was beginning. He encouraged me to learn about SAAS products and he mentioned CleverTap. I got curious and then applied at the company. At the same time, CleverTap approached me for freelancing. That didn’t work out and after some time, they approached me for another role which perfectly matched my qualifications. I was told that eight designers got rejected before me for the role. I went through the rounds and I joined the company as soon as I got the opportunity. Initially, it was a rollercoaster for me, but I soon began creating impact in my role. My work was appreciated and it encouraged me further.
People think I have only succeeded because I have achieved so much, but I have equally faced rejection as well. They see that I have worked in different companies for internships and got a lot of opportunities, but what they don’t see is the background of how many rejections I have gone through before them. I worked on my rejections as well, learnt their perspectives, saw what was missing and tried to fill in the gaps. I feel we should look at these as an opportunity to develop and grow personally. I feel we need to keep learning and growing, and there’s never an age and time for the same.