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I am Sujayath Ali, CEO of Voonik, and This is How I Work

I am Sujayath Ali, CEO of Voonik, and This is How I Work

Location : Bangalore
Current Gig : CEO,
One word that best describes how you work : Focus
Current mobile device : Samsung S8
Current computer : Macbook Air

He started Voonik with the mission to democratise fashion through technology. From being rebuked for his dressing sense as a child to running a successful online marketplace for affordable fashion, Sujayath Ali, CEO of Voonik, has come a long way. In an exclusive interview with Lifehacker, he shares interesting insights from his journey and all about how he works.

Tell us about your journey and how did you get where you have?

As a boy, I had grown accustomed to my dad commenting on my dressing sense or more so, the lack of it. I thought luxury brands and paying more for clothes would be the key to my external transformation but that strategy didn't seem to help. That's when I asked myself, "If I don't need to be a geek to buy a laptop, then why should I know about fashion to buy clothing?" That was the idea that sparked the creation of Voonik.

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

I rely on Gmail, One Note, WhatsApp and Flock for internal communication at work and my go-apps for entertainment are Netflix and Google Play Music.

What's your workspace setup like?

My workspace setup is minimalistic and well-organised. Apart from a laptop, monitor and phone, I have a book shelf, pen stand (containing Schnedier One Business for document signing, Parker for writing and a Staedtler highlighter), a calendar, a stand for markers, a hand gripper and a TV (for projecting presentations).

What's your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

I pick only one or two priorities for the day. Even in meetings and reviews, I tend to focus on one or two important aspects rather than the entire agenda and that helps me save time and improve efficiency.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?

I use my pocket-size notebook (Moleskine) to manage my to-do lists.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without and why?

Kindle and Chromecast are my absolute favorites and I also enjoy gaming on PS4.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

I get my Gmail inbox to 'zero unread messages' every day. I have separate workflows for every type of work query and each gets forwarded to respective teams for follow ups. I personally have to respond to less than 10% of my emails. I use Flock to get automated hourly reports on all business areas so that I stay on top of all things.

(Also read: I Am Amarjit Singh Batra, CEO Of OLX India, And This Is How I Work )

What do you listen to while you work? Or do you prefer silence?

I prefer silence while working. While driving, I listen to Ilaiyaraaja songs (Tamil) from Google Play Music app.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I play with my sons or watch Netflix. Sometimes, I just sit in the balcony of my house and think about a different phase of my life, mostly past and sometimes future - it takes away my focus from the present.

What's your fitness and sleep routine like?

I need 7 hours of sleep. Without it, I can't survive the day. I don't go to a gym regularly but I walk a lot. I exercise with dumb bells and grippers while watching TV. I drink a lot of water to keep my body hydrated and try to get fresh air whenever possible.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike and The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World

What's the best advice you've ever received?

Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen, the first person to reach both the North and South Poles, said "Victory awaits him who has everything in order - luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck". I find it very intriguing and inspiring.

(Also Read: I Am Nitin Saluja, Founder & CEO Of Chaayos, And This Is How I Work )

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Ishita.

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