Getting to Know you: Saketh Devineni, Software Engineer

Saketh Devineni is a software engineer and an entrepreneur. He was born in Southern India, in the city of Hyderabad, and raised in the state of Maharashtra.

Through his position as a fairly high-ranking government employee, Saketh’s father offered his young son a lifestyle that gave him the opportunity to travel and interact with many different people and cultures. Through his travels, Saketh discovered his inherent preference to work in a creative environment. Following that inclination, he determined an appropriate area of study, earning a bachelor’s degree in 3D animation and gaming. 

Saketh Devineni moved to the United States in 2012, whereupon he earned a Master’s degree in Virtual Reality Technology and 3D Animation. Shortly after graduation, he was rewarded with his first professional position at a New York City software firm. In an effort to secure his financial future, Saketh began to invest his earnings, and has done well in this respect over the years.

As an entrepreneur, Saketh Devineni prefers to work within the service industry. He owns two restaurants in San Diego, California, and one in his home city of Hyderabad, India. He is a silent investor in cryptocurrencies and is currently working on several startup ideas with colleagues. All things considered, the future looks bright for Saketh Devineni in all of his endeavors.

What do you currently do at your business, either as an investor or a software engineer?

I am currently working on a few startup ideas with friends. We are planning on opening an NFT blockchain startup in India, and developing resources from Cisco. Other than that, I watch a lot of movies. I have a strong interest in screenplays. I read the screenplay notes of the movies I enjoy the most, and then I discuss the various concepts they include with my friends. 

What defines your way of doing business? Essentially, your approach to doing business? 

The approach I take to doing business is to encourage people to work in the software engineering industry. Many people believe it to be a very difficult field. Once I talk to them and provide the material to educate them, they learn very quickly and become prepared for a career in software engineering. I think it makes them happy, and it pleases me to know that I may have helped. I enjoy being helpful and would like to continue to work with people in this way. 

Another way of putting my approach to doing business in context is to provide a bit of relevant family history. My mother is an entrepreneur in my hometown of Hyderabad in India. Growing up, I observed the relationships that she built with her customers. They trusted her and appreciated the quality of service that she provided—and still provides to this day. I adopted those virtues from her and incorporated them into the way I do business. I believe that doing so has encouraged associates to invest with me. Colleagues must have a sense of trust in order to help establish or fund a new business or corporation. The strongest components in the initial stages of a startup are trust, patience, and taking a proactive approach to support one another’s ideas.

What are the keys to being productive that you can share?

I have read about Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who each begin their day at 4 or 5 am. It makes them very productive. I have done the same since my childhood. I used to be up at 5:30 am to do household chores. After that, between 6 and 7 am was always the most productive time of my day. I’ve carried the habit of rising early forward into adulthood, and it still results in me having a productive day. A productive day will convert into a productive week, which turns into a productive month, and so on and so forth. The point is, rising early will help you succeed, step by step. 

Can you share one long-term career goal?

I believe I will always be involved in the service industry, specifically with restaurants. I am a people person. I’ve met many people and experienced different cuisines. As for a long-term goal, I would like to begin a business to ship and store food. I’ve tasted different kinds of authentic Indian dishes—they’re delicious—and would like to present them in a creative manner to people in North America. Shipping and storing this food straight from the source is, I believe, the best way to accomplish that.

How do you measure success?

I pride myself on maintaining balance during the ups and downs of business. I attribute my success to my self-confidence. 

What is the most valuable lesson learned through the course of your career?

I learned the power of patience. I used to be inattentive to co-workers when they brought me ideas. But during the pandemic lock-downs of the last two years, all of my work was home-based. I had to pay close attention to the issues and ideas my co-workers were communicating to me. I was not as attentive previously, but I learned to develop patience. That was a powerful and valued lesson.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed either as a software engineer or as a hospitality investor?

Both industries have one thing in common: They require that an individual presents themselves well. An engineer has to present self-confidence. You convey self-confidence in communicating clearly with clients, peers, and teammates. When you own a restaurant, you should love people, you should mingle with customers and know what kind of food they appreciate, and you should always be very polite. This advice will take you very far in both industries.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

I always look forward to the weekends and engaging in relaxing activities. On Fridays, I bond with colleagues over cocktails to unwind and discuss matters other than work. On Saturdays, I love going to the temple just to sit and meditate for a while. My Sundays are spent having fun in nature. I usually go for a six-mile walk while listening to music. 

What is a piece of advice you have never forgotten?

Be yourself and never lose your cool. I used to be very short-tempered in my childhood. I was seen as a villain in my college days, to a point where other students stopped talking to me. I am extremely grateful to one of my professors, who pulled me aside and said, “I like the way you present your work. However, you’re very short-tempered. If you want to participate in a group project, you should mingle with the group and listen to everyone’s ideas. Only then, can you have creative focus.” That wisdom has stuck with me for the past 14 years. I eventually learned to control my temper using meditation and yoga. Nowadays, it is very rare for me to get angry.