An Exclusive interview with Lee Keshav, a Self Made Motorsports and Tech Aficionado
Life is just as extraordinary as you believe it to be, and Lee Keshav, a Design Leader On Weekdays and Racing Driver On Weekends, has been writing his extraordinary life story since the age of 16.
Subsequent years were a roller-coaster of success and failure for Lee, as he kick-started his journey in the racing arena soon after taking professional training in Thailand.
Later that year, he was invited to a selection event by the prestigious Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in Spain. Even though he couldn’t make it to the academy, he never backed out.
The lows fueled Keshav’s dreams and he switched from superbikes to cars, which worked wonders for him as he earned the title of India’s ‘Fastest and Fittest Young Driver’ at the highly competitive JK Tyre Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R Cup championship.
Since then, he has competed in several top-tier championships, namely JK Formula BMW and MRF Formula Ford 1600 championship, and garnered multiple wins and podiums under his belt.
Keshav also managed a last-minute entry in the highly acclaimed MRF Challenge winter championship, which marked his debut in international racing and made him one of the fastest-progressing drivers from India.
He carried this momentum and started competing against the likes of Freddie Hunt, Mathias Lauda, and other top racing drivers from around the world.
When Keshav is not racing, he adorns the hat of a successful Product Design Leader in the startup space.
He has been fascinated by tech and even founded his App Design firm when he was just 16. There is no stopping him, as he joined Hike Messenger as a head Product Designer.
When you have the determination to do something big with your life, you find ways to make things happen, and so did Keshav, when he later head Product Design for Hike Messenger and Airtel Wynk Music.
Keshav has also successfully led product design teams for other startups in India like OYO Rooms, Foxy India, and most prominently NITI Aayog, where he advised as an industry leader to help build the Women Entrepreneurship Platform.
Lee Keshav is truly a self-made man in every sense. From finding his passion at a young age to investing energy and time in building it from scratch, Keshav has come a long way in his careers – motor racing and product design.
Today, while he is getting ready to make a comeback in the racing arena, he is also taking care of the Creative Head role at Rush Gaming Universe.
Tell us a little about yourself
Lee Keshav: I am a self-taught individual who has been passionate about motorsports and technology from a young age. I never attended a university but have continuously pursued learning and skill development.
My journey started at the age of 16 when I entered the world of racing, beginning with training in Thailand and eventually participating in prestigious racing championships such as the JK Tyre Volkswagen Polo R Cup, JK Formula BMW, and MRF Formula Ford 1600.
I achieved multiple podium finishes and wins at the highest level of national racing which allowed me to go international as well.
In addition to my motorsports career, I have also been involved in the tech industry for over 10 years. Currently, I work as the Design Head of Hike’s Rush Gaming Universe.
I have had the privilege of collaborating with some very esteemed organisations such as Airtel, Oyo Rooms, and Niti Aayog, shaping innovative customer first solutions and driving business growth.
Can you share with us your journey as a self-made motorsports and tech aficionado?
Lee Keshav: My journey as a self-made motorsports and tech aficionado has been both exhilarating and challenging.
From the early days of training and competing in racing championships, I have dedicated myself to honing my skills and pushing the boundaries of my capabilities.
Through perseverance and continuous learning, I have had the opportunity to race against some of the best drivers in the world, gaining invaluable experience and exposure.
Simultaneously, I have nurtured my passion for technology and product design. Working in the startup industry, I have been able to create world class products for millions of people in India.
The combination of my love for motorsports and technology has allowed me to explore unique opportunities and expand my horizons.
Motorsports and technology are two diverse yet interconnected fields. How do you find a balance between your love for motorsports and your passion for technology?
Lee Keshav: I am very grateful that I am passionate about both. And both are very competitive and high paced environments.
In tech we never stop thinking about how to innovate and become better, and in racing we never stop thinking how to become faster and fitter.
Both require critical thinking, a genuine desire to learn and challenge yourself everyday. In a more practical way as well, racing happens on the weekends while the weekdays are for work.
They don’t get in each other’s way. However you do need to know how to manage your emotions and balance your efforts fairly.
As a young Indian, what challenges did you face while pursuing your dreams in the motorsports and tech industries? How did you overcome these obstacles?
Lee Keshav: In the early days, there was not enough infrastructure and platforms to help young passionate people like me to enter racing or tech.
I believe we have come a long way and now we have a flourishing startup industry and an ever growing motorsport federation which is supporting young talent to enter and grow in India.
I was always an internet kid and most of my learnings have been through racing games, doing self study courses and looking for unique opportunities to grow my skills.
Like working with car brands to do driving events or taking part in entrepreneurship events to grow my network.
What specific areas within motorsports and technology are you most passionate about? Are there any particular projects or accomplishments that you are proud of?
Lee Keshav: In racing, I am very passionate about the raw thrill of driving a racecar at it’s limit. You achieve a trance state which is very rare and special.
I also love the technology and methodologies we use in racing which are very advanced and always aiming for excellence.
In the tech world, I love building products which the customers find delightful. I am very inspired by a minimalist and outcome driven mindset.
My biggest milestone in racing so far is driving a Formula 2 car recently. And in tech I was the original designer of Hike Messenger which achieved over 100 million users in India a few years ago.
How do you stay updated with the latest advancements in motorsports and technology? What steps do you take to ensure you are at the forefront of industry trends and innovations?
Lee Keshav: We always have to keep an open mind to learn and adapt. I am fortunate to be surrounded by some very ambitious and driven people in both racing and technology. This keeps my competitive spirit going and helps me push myself.
There is no shortage of access to information these days. The more difficult part is to keep focused and not get lost in the noise.
Motorsports often require a significant financial investment. How did you navigate the financial aspect of pursuing your motorsports career? Any advice for young enthusiasts who may face similar challenges?
Lee Keshav: Navigating the financial aspect of a motorsports career can be the one most challenging hurdle that every aspiring driver will face.
I worked very hard in the tech industry and kept advancing my skills to achieve higher positions which helped me pay for the racing.
With any sport, you have to make an investment before you can get paid to do it. It’s a painful but essential necessity and I’m grateful I was able to carve my own path..
Persistence, professionalism, and the ability to showcase tangible results is very important to attract the right opportunities and partnerships.
For upcoming drivers, social media fame can be a new factor. It is helpful to build a good and engaged following which can help potential sponsors get more exposure and make your proposal more attractive.
In your opinion, what is the most exciting aspect of being involved in motorsports and technology?
Lee Keshav: The most exciting aspect of being involved in both motorsports and technology is the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation, pushing boundaries, and constantly evolving.
In motorsports, the thrill of racing at high speeds, the competition with fellow drivers, and the pursuit of excellence is exhilarating.
In technology, being part of the ever-evolving landscape, creating delightful experiences, and shaping the future are immensely fulfilling.
Both fields offer a platform to explore uncharted territories, embrace challenges, and experience the joy of continuous growth and self-discovery.
Can you share any advice or words of wisdom for aspiring young individuals who wish to pursue their passions in motorsports and technology?
Lee Keshav: My advice to aspiring young individuals is to pursue their passions relentlessly and fearlessly. Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Surround yourself with mentors, professionals, and like-minded individuals who can guide and inspire you. Network extensively, build a personal brand, and showcase your skills and achievements.
Continuously invest in your knowledge and skills, stay curious, and adapt to changes. Remember that success rarely comes overnight, so be patient and persistent.
Most importantly, believe in yourself and your abilities, and never underestimate the power of hard work, passion, and resilience.
What are your long-term aspirations and vision for your motorsports and tech endeavors?
Lee Keshav: My long-term aspirations revolve around making meaningful contributions to both the motorsports and tech industries.
In motorsports, I aspire to continue pushing my limits, constantly improving my skills, and raising the Indian flag on the international stage.
In the tech industry, I aim to leverage my expertise in product design to create beautiful solutions that enhance user experiences and positively impact people’s lives.
|Are you an
Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories