Startup Stories: Saptarshi Nath, Co-Founder & CEO of Airboxr

Join us for an insightful conversation with Saptarshi as we explore the startup’s journey, its innovative data automation platform, and how it empowers non-technical business leaders to make data-driven decisions.

by hao-nguyen on March 23, 2023

Welcome to another edition of Startup Stories! Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Saptarshi Nath, Co-Founder and CEO of Airboxr, a data automation platform designed to empower direct-to-consumer (DTC) founders and marketers.

With a background in management consulting and venture capital, Saptarshi has a unique perspective on the importance of data-driven decision-making. In this interview, we’ll explore the origins of Airboxr, how it addresses the challenges faced by non-technical business leaders, and the strategies Saptarshi employs to manage his responsibilities as a startup CEO.

Join us as we dive into the entrepreneurial journey of Saptarshi Nath and learn about the exciting developments on the horizon for Airboxr.

Are you looking for a global startup or scaleup recruitment agency? We can help connect you with world class talent around the globe, get in touch with us today!

Hey Saptarshi! Welcome to Startup Stories. For those who may not know, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Airboxr?

My name is Saptarshi, I’m co-founder and CEO at Airboxr. Airboxr is a data automation platform for direct-to-consumer founders and marketers. The platform connects to Shopify, ad channels, and email platforms to uncover revenue opportunities and automate daily reporting.

Before Airboxr, I worked in a venture capital firm for a couple of years, started a VC-funded company, and spent quite some time in management consulting.

How did your background in management consulting lead to the creation of Airboxr?

Like many consultants, my time there was spent between Excel sheets and Powerpoint presentations! I worked a lot with data during my time there and noticed that business leaders (basically anyone who wasn’t a data analyst) wanted to see everything within spreadsheets. Honestly, back in 2005, I thought spreadsheets would die out because there were so many more powerful tools out there.

I also noticed that most business leaders were looking at the same data points to make the same kind of decisions. So why should everyone have to start from scratch? That’s the core philosophy driving Airboxr today. We work very closely with our early customers to understand how they use data, then automate it for them so they never have to do the same work again.

Can you walk us through the challenges and observations that prompted you and your co-founder to start the company?

After my time in management consulting, I started a DTC business of my own. Over the next six years, we took it to about $10m in annual sales and raised money from tier 1 VCs. That’s when I found that the way I was using data to run my business was not great—I was simply repeating what hundreds of other founders did before me. So when it came to launching my next product, we decided to focus on automating the data operations for DTC brands. It helps that my co-founder and CTO also comes from a DTC background and worked on the technical aspects of data management.

How does Airboxr empower non-technical business leaders to make data-driven decisions?

Business leaders are typically non-technical people and they need to make data-driven decisions. When they get overwhelmed with data, they tend to start making gut-feel decisions. Even when supported by an analyst team, most business leaders need to wait days to get the data they need. And that is when you know what you’re looking for in the first place.

Airboxr helps cut down the work a data analyst team would do into a few minutes by automating all the analysis required for business decision-making. Because we take input from a wide range of DTC companies, we also help ask and answer questions that may not be obvious to a business leader. This makes leaders not only faster at making decisions but also help them preemptively make strategic shifts that they may not have made otherwise.

As CEO, can you explain your role in leading and working with the team?

We’re still an early-stage company. That means the CEO role is basically everything-other-than-tech! I spend most of my time seeking out users, getting user feedback, and on marketing and product.

We are also a remote team and everyone has a slightly different preference for how they work. I also spend time on building our growth and hiring plans, seeking out just the right kind of team member for us.

How do you prioritise and manage the various responsibilities of running the company?

My work-life is a series of prioritisation exercises. Thankfully, our team is at a place where I am not the primary blocker on most tasks anymore—so, lately I have been able to plan more long-term. I think the balance between short-term execution and long-term planning is key for startup CEOs to achieve.

I write my medium-term priorities down in a small notebook. And then keep a checklist of daily tasks on my Slack DMs (I know that isn’t how Slack intended to be used!). I liberally use the Remind Me feature on Slack to make sure I don’t forget tasks with an important deadline.

Can you share a highlight or accomplishment from your entrepreneurial journey with Airboxr that is particularly memorable to you?

We started the company over two years ago. But we spent the first year or so experimenting with MVPs. Once we knew enough about the market, we decided to go back to basics and launch our current product—literally starting from scratch. I think the fact that we got our new product designed, built, and launched with customers within 3 months has to be the most exciting highlight of the journey.

Are there any upcoming developments or expansion plans for the company that you can share with us?

We have quite a few early users in Australia and we plan to double down on the region this year. I’m also very excited about new features launching on the product. We want to build a small and high-performance team, so we tend to hire sparingly—but we will likely hire for more growth roles this year too.

Are you looking for a global startup or scaleup recruitment agency? We can help connect you with world class talent around the globe, get in touch with us today!

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