Scaling with Insight: Tejas Manohar’s Journey of Innovative Leadership and Strategic Growth at Hightouch

Tejas Manohar: Mastering Growth and Leadership at Hightouch – Exclusive Interview

In the bustling world of tech entrepreneurship, where innovative minds shape the future, Tejas Manohar stands out as a beacon of inspiration. As the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hightouch, Tejas has carved a niche in the realm of data activation, helping businesses unlock the full potential of their customer data. Our latest episode of “Bright Founders Talk at Temy” offers a deep dive into his journey, filled with insights and stories that are both inspiring and instructive.

Our host, Barry, engages Tejas in a conversation that traverses the landscape of tech entrepreneurship, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs of building a startup. Tejas, an engineer and technical product expert by trade, shares his experiences from his early days at Segment, leading to his pivotal role in Hightouch’s success. His story is not just about technical acumen but also about the passion and determination to build something transformative. In this interview, Tejas reflects on his early fascination with programming and his journey from a young enthusiast to a successful entrepreneur. He delves into the inception of Hightouch, highlighting the critical role of team dynamics and shared vision in the company’s genesis. His narrative is a testament to the power of collaboration and friendship in the entrepreneurial world.

Listeners will find in Tejas’s story a wealth of knowledge and motivation, whether they are budding entrepreneurs, seasoned business leaders, or tech enthusiasts. His insights on data activation, team building, and the entrepreneurial mindset offer invaluable lessons for anyone looking to make their mark in the tech industry. Join us on this enlightening journey with Tejas Manohar, a true pioneer in the world of technology and entrepreneurship.

Tejas Manohar: Mastering Growth and Leadership at Hightouch - Exclusive Interview
Tejas Manohar: The Entrepreneur Who Turned Friendship into a Foundational Pillar of Success

Tejas Manohar, the spirited Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hightouch, dives into the heart of his entrepreneurial journey, a story not just about data and technology, but deeply rooted in friendship and collective ambition. Unlike the typical startup narrative, Tejas’s path to success began with a shared dream with close friends. He reflects, “For me, it’s always been about starting with people I vibe with.” This philosophy defies the conventional wisdom that warns against mixing business with pleasure. Instead, Tejas and his co-founders turned their strong bonds into a business advantage, laying the foundation for Hightouch with trust and mutual understanding at its core.

Ever since his school days, Tejas has been mesmerized by the magic of programming and the potential of technology to transform lives. His childhood fascination with tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook wasn’t just a passing phase; it was the spark that ignited his entrepreneurial fire. “I was obsessed with the idea of founding something in entrepreneurship from an early age,” Tejas shares, his voice reflecting the deep-seated passion that drove him. His journey wasn’t a straight line but a series of explorations and discoveries, from early tech ventures in middle school to his pivotal role at Segment, which later merged with Twilio.

For Tejas, the decision to launch Hightouch wasn’t marked by a single epiphany, but rather the culmination of the right team coming together at the right time. Emphasizing the importance of team dynamics over individual skills, he says, “My best work is often done in teams.” Tejas advocates for a synergy where co-founders are not just skillfully compatible but also personally connected. This belief is central to Hightouch’s ethos, where friendship and professional collaboration coexist, driving innovation and growth. As Tejas puts it succinctly, “Working together well with people is more important than complementary skills.”

For me, it’s always been about starting with people I vibe with

Tejas Manohar: Blending Friendships, Networking, and Strategic Hiring in the Startup World

Tejas Manohar, co-founder of Hightouch, brings a refreshing perspective to the startup scene, emphasizing the value of friendships and networks in business. “A company is hard enough, and with friends, you enjoy the time spent working together,” Tejas notes, highlighting the importance of personal trust and camaraderie in a professional setting. His approach challenges the traditional boundaries between personal and professional relationships, advocating for a blend where friendships enrich the business fabric. Tejas’s strategy extends beyond mere friendships to networking, where he believes in building personal connections, not just transactional relationships. This approach, he implies, is not just a feel-good factor but a strategic asset, fostering a supportive and interconnected business environment.

In the early stages of Hightouch, Tejas adopted innovative networking strategies, understanding that a robust network can significantly amplify a startup’s reach and impact. He shares a unique approach, “Every call was an opportunity to expand our network,” revealing how he leveraged initial contacts to snowball into a broader network. This proactive networking wasn’t confined to personal interactions; Tejas also capitalized on tools like LinkedIn to exponentially grow his professional circle. His insights are a goldmine for aspiring entrepreneurs, demonstrating how creative and persistent networking can propel a startup’s growth.

Tejas navigates the complex terrain of startup hiring with a philosophy that balances talent and character. In the early days, he leaned more towards hiring versatile generalists, but as Hightouch grew, the focus shifted to defining specific roles. This evolution reflects a deeper understanding of team dynamics, where the right mix of skills and personalities is crucial for sustained growth. “You can’t make a trade-off below certain minimum thresholds,” he asserts, underlining the importance of hiring individuals who not only possess the necessary skills but also align with the company’s ethos and trajectory. Tejas’s approach to hiring emphasizes a holistic view of candidates, valuing their potential for growth and ability to contribute positively to the company culture.

A company is hard enough, and with friends, you enjoy the time spent working together

Tejas Manohar on Nurturing Growth at Hightouch: A Blend of Strategic Hiring and Personal Harmony

At the heart of Hightouch’s rapid expansion, Tejas Manohar shares insights on maintaining quality and culture in a growing company. “Even at 100 employees, we ensure every hire is approved by a founder,” he states, highlighting the founders’ involvement in every hiring decision. This approach, while seemingly more time-consuming, ensures consistency in company values and role requirements, a critical factor in maintaining the company’s ethos during rapid scaling. Tejas believes that this hands-on approach in hiring is not just about control but about instilling a sense of purpose and alignment within the team, a strategy that other large-scale companies like Coinbase are also adopting.

Diving into the origin of the company name, Tejas elucidates that ‘High Touch’ is more than just a catchy label; it’s a philosophy that resonates with the company’s mission. “We help companies use their data to personalize customer experiences,” he explains, emphasizing the company’s focus on enhancing customer interactions across various domains. The name ‘High Touch’ reflects the company’s commitment to offering a refined, white-glove experience to its clients, a principle that has guided its services from marketing to customer support. This approach, born out of the company’s early days in customer support, now forms the core of Hightouch’s identity and service ethos.

On a more personal note, Tejas delves into the challenges of maintaining work-life harmony as a founder. “As a founder, achieving high levels of work-life balance while aggressively growing a company is challenging,” he confesses. For Tejas, the key lies in finding harmony rather than balance, integrating work with essential personal activities like spending time with family and friends, and exercising. This approach helps him stay mentally sharp and emotionally present, both for the company and his personal life. Tejas’s perspective sheds light on the often-overlooked aspect of entrepreneurship — the need to harmonize professional ambitions with personal well-being.

Even at 100 employees, we ensure every hire is approved by a founder

Tejas Manohar on Fostering a Culture of Growth and Detail-Oriented Leadership at Hightouch

Tejas Manohar, the visionary Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hightouch, shares his philosophy on team dynamics and expectations. “Being a founder does have a different expectation than other staff,” he acknowledges, emphasizing the need for a passionate and dedicated team to drive the company’s fast-paced growth. Tejas steers away from rigid work hour requirements, focusing instead on urgency, ownership, and alignment with ambitious company goals. His approach goes beyond the conventional 9-to-5 mindset, advocating for a balance between professional commitment and personal autonomy, fostering a culture where everyone is invested in the collective success.

In a world where growth is often the sole focus, Tejas presents a more nuanced approach. “At a macro level, we’re always in the growth stage, but you can’t scale what you haven’t figured out,” he states, highlighting the importance of strategic scaling. This mindset involves proving new ideas and methods before fully implementing them, ensuring that every step towards growth is grounded in stability and clarity. Tejas’s leadership style reflects a deep understanding of the intricacies of business expansion, where careful planning and adaptability are key to sustaining growth in the long term.

Reflecting on his own growth as a leader, Tejas shares a candid insight: “Staying in the details is crucial.” He believes that managing and leading a large organization is a skill honed over time, requiring a balance between being deeply involved in the minutiae and stepping back to guide from above. This delicate balancing act, as Tejas describes, is essential for any founder or CEO aiming to foster a high-performing company. He encourages continuous learning across different domains, underlining the importance of being versatile and adaptable in leadership roles.

Being a founder does have a different expectation than other staff

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