17,5 Questions with Deepa Gautam-Nigge

We ask inspiring people 17,5 questions. This week we have Deepa Gautam-Nigge, Global Lead at SAP Next-Gen Ecosystem. She drives the innovation of one of the world’s largest tech companies, and she couldn’t be more passionate about her work – although she wouldn’t mind a vacation in Hawaii

Deepa Gautam-Nigge

1. What I like about my job

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire the decision-makers and entrepreneurs of the next generation to shape our future together through innovation, and thus to further develop as a society – especially when it comes to our innovation culture.

2. What sometimes frustrates me

That we in Germany are often "technology-skeptics", and that significant areas are so overregulated. So we often hinder ourselves from developing the great innovations that are generated in our country systematically, until they're mature, and from bringing them into the market. For example, the innovations generated through our cutting-edge research.

3. My secret dream job

Even though my friends once predicted that I would have a great career as a radio journalist, at the moment my favorite alternative would be to become a bartender at the café "Lava Java" on Allií Drive in Kailuakona, Hawaii – but maybe this wish is just because of lockdown, and I would be bored after three weeks just staring at the Pacific Ocean.

4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office

Lots of coffee and even more chocolate…

5. How I get into the flow

Whenever I can dig into a new topic with which I can expand my current knowledge or (preferably) place it into a completely new context. That has always been my driving motivation to develop professionally as well.

6. Biggest success so far

I can't limit the answer to "one" success – I have been able to build, try out and implement many different things. The greatest joy for me is always when the success of a self-developed strategy, a business model or a project idea turns out exactly as "planned".

7.  Biggest defeat

When a career path that I had deliberately planned, and for which I had worked very hard, was ultimately not feasible due to political power games. Nevertheless, in retrospect, I would not call it a defeat – because a few years ago, this situation also helped me to direct my energy consistently and consciously towards what I wanted to achieve for myself personally, and to make myself less dependent on the opinions of others.

8. Worst buzzword

"At the end of the day"... because at the end of the day there is the evening. Period.

9.  Best reward after a hard week at work

A hot bath accompanied by a good glass of red wine and a women's magazine.

10. Home office or in-house

Preferably a balanced mix – both forms of work have their advantages and their limitations. As a mother, I appreciate that I can combine home office and homeschooling well in the current situation, but I still miss the sheer heat of constructive in-house workshops and the direct interaction with colleagues at the coffee corner.

11. Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have

Clarity, commitment and loyalty – that's what I value in my professional and private life.

12. My creative hack

Despite digitalization, I prefer to structure my thoughts with a fountain pen and black and blue ink in a bound notebook.

13. First website to check in the morning


14. Favorite digital tool

The LinkedIn app.

15. The book or series from which I have learned the most for my (work) life

I found the book Mittelmaß und Wahnsinn (Mediocrity and Madness) by Gerhard Hastreiter, and the supplementary book Das Comeback der Konzerne (The Comeback of Corporations) by Lucas Sauberschwarz & Lysander Weiß to be stimluating overviews of innovation structures in corporations, with valuable advice for further action.

16. A series, book or podcast I can generally recommend

As for the book: I found Roger Willemsen's insight into Das Hohe Haus (meaning the German Bundestag) enlightening. My favorite podcast is Handelsblatt Disrupt by Sebastian Matthes, it's now a regular part of my Saturday mornings.

17. Most prominent follower on a social media channel?

I'm not aware of anyone in particular at the moment, but generally speaking I'm very enthusiastic about the exchanges that take place on the various social media channels, and about the fact that people and opinions that you might not otherwise have come across are "flushed to your shores" that way, regardless of the "celebrity factor".

17 and a half: What has always...

…moved me: People who are never satisfied with the status quo. People whoquestion existing structures as critical thinkers, tackle new things as pioneers and consistently develop themselves further.



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