If someone would have told me last year that I would soon be working at a deep tech start-up in Berlin, I would have laughed at them because a) that’s crazy and b) in no way is “deep tech” a real thing. You see, my journey has not been the most conventional, nor has it been one that I would have chosen from the onset. Nevertheless, it has all lead me to a job in deep tech, something that I could never have foreseen myself undertaking, and also something that I would never have imagined myself feeling so passionate and excited about. So, how did I go about getting myself hitched to a company like R3, to begin with, you might wonder? That answer is one that I’m still trying to formulate for myself, but I guess there’s no better place to start than by giving you a bit of background:
I was born in East Berlin, but when the wall came down, my parents and I moved to a village outside of Cologne. After my studies, I settled into a job in the commercial vehicle industry. Even though the commercial vehicle was not an industry I purposefully set my sights on, it presented me with an exciting opportunity I couldn’t pass up; building a subsidiary for a family-owned company in New Delhi, India. The two-year contract I started with eventually turned into six years. At that time, my work took me all over incredible India and to company subsidiaries in Singapore, Hungary, and China, which gave me deep insight into international and cross-cultural business relations. More importantly, though, I was able to witness the wonderfully complex cultural diversity of humankind and gained some pretty unforgettable experiences. But after six years in the industry, I still felt like my heart wasn’t in my work, so I changed my path and headed to Florida, USA, to expand operations and set up new business models in the trailer and aviation industry (yet another left-field choice).
Unfortunately, even the white sand beaches of Florida couldn’t distract me from the sense that I wasn’t in the right place, so yet again, I uprooted my life and family, which had by then grown to include a wife and two kids (one born in India, the other in the US), and headed back to Berlin where it all began. It wasn’t until then that I met Mati and Florian, who not only introduced me to the term “deep tech,” but also welcomed me into a company that I can finally say feels like the right fit for me.
So, am I excited about getting to ditch my suits and ties and come to work every day in sneakers and T-shirts? Hell yes. Am I happy to be back on my home turf, walking the same streets of the city I grew up in with my kids? You bet. Am I ready to finally feel like I’m a part of something that my heart is really in? Most definitely. Working for R3 is a new journey for me, and while it is one that I never saw myself embarking on, it is also the one that my heart is finally, truly on board for. So, here’s to taking those roads less traveled…. they might just end up leading you right to where you’re meant to be.