When Sathvik Vishwanath launched Unocoin in 2013 with his partners, Bitcoin was priced at around $200. In 2017, Bitcoin touche $20,000. Meanwhile Unocoin had secured over $1.5 million in funding, and over 1.2 million customers. With Unocoin emerging as the leader in the crypto market in India, we spoke with Sathvik about his journey, his thoughts on the industry, and his advice for young professionals looking to enter the sector.
Q1. Please tell us about your academic and professional background. What responsibilities does your role entail, and your journey so far?
I did my MBA graduation from Melbourne Business School. My professional life started with a venture called Next in 2008, which involved custom scripting for businesses in the popular virtual world game at that time – called Second Life. After discovering Bitcoin in 2013, I was convinced it was the future of our economic systems, and I decided to launch Unocoin to help accelerate the transition we were going to see. Soon we were bringing it to the masses, starting off at the Global Bitcoin Conference in Dec 2013.
As a CEO, I believe that I need to exhibit alignment between the company’s beliefs and the behavior that the leadership team reinforces when building and maintaining cultures. Listening, Empathy, Transparency, and Communicating are all important responsibilities that I entail very seriously.
Q2. You’re in a sector that is an interaction of multiple domains – the blockchain, finance, broader tech in general as well. What role, according to you, does technology play in the finance domain?
Technology is the most sophisticated organization in itself, consistently evolving in its existence and the impact that it has. Financial firms in particular are evolving even faster, with complex investment management and risk analysis tools brought in thanks to the technology of today. In this context, the opportunities offered by new technological phenomena – such as cloud computing and big data analysis are rapidly gaining traction. Meanwhile, the blockchain is undeniably at the epicenter of a financial revolution.
Technology is of course very much likely to alter the landscape of financial industries, where we are seeing several global securities exchanges launching bockchain-based platforms, because the blockchain introduces a lot more reliability, and security and trust to the systems it integrates with. It can be a growing ideal solution for banks, brokerages, insurers, regulators, and others actively testing ways to harness the benefit of blockchain. The journey has just begun.
Q3. Where do you see the cryptocurrency industry headed over the next 5years?
2017 was an important year – actually the biggest breakout year for crypto. Gone are the days when it is only used for dodgy dealings on the dark web. Now it is a serious investment for businessmen and is slowly proving that it is here to stay. The reason behind are obvious – it is a fast-mover advantage, the scale pioneering. We as crypto investors and beau would want to see crypto in the mainstream economy.
Q4. 2017 was also just a year after you completed a career spanning a decade. Looking back, what have your most memorable moments been?
One of them would be in 2017 itself – when Unocoin completed 4 years. It marked a milestone for us and really made us look forward with a lot more excitement.
The other would be where all of this started – my MBA convocation.
Q5. Speaking of your convocation, any piece of advice for the candidates willing to pursue a career with your organization?
With a continuous determination to transform businesses, fresh countenance is always embraced. I strongly believe in a phrase penned by Napoleon Hill – ”First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of these plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”
I’d highly recommend having some clarity of thought first and foremost, followed by a zeal to execute. It’s all you need to make a difference, really.
Q1. Which aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
Being a mentor.
Q2. Your Favourite movie?
Wall Street, Pursuit of Happiness and many more.
Q3. What do you love the most about your city Bangalore?
The technology growth it is host to, the startup Hub that it is, and the weather of course.
Q4. If not for this profession, what would you be doing?
I’d definitely be into the food industry.
Q5. Your hobbies and interests?
Anything related to tech drives my curiosity.